Looking for a way to have FUN with your child while teaching them mindfulness and exploring world cultures and traditions? This family-friendly activity is a fun way to experience holiday music, mindfulness, and geography with your family at home. The goal is to help your family learn mindful listening skills while enjoying holiday music from around the world. The idea is to teach kids to focus on sounds and to notice a range of detail.
Listen to the list of family-friendly holiday songs from around the world. Before each song, tell your family a bit about its origins, then ask them to pay attention to the mindful moment listed with the song.
This is a beautiful Yoruba Christmas Carol entitled “Betelehemu” sung by the African Children’s Choir from Nigeria.
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Notice when you feel uplifted by the music. Pay attention to that feeling. What is it like? Discuss that feeling after the song is over.
“Kujichagulia” is one of the principles of Kwanzaa, particularly of the second day. It means “self-determination.”
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Pay close attention to the lyrics in this song. After the song is over, see if you can explain what “Kujichagulia” means, in your own words.
“Mi Burrito Sabanero”
This South American song refers to a little donkey “burrito” on its way to Bethlehem.
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Don’t be afraid to dance to this awesome song! Every time you hear the singer say “tuqui, tuqui, tuqui, tuqui,” sing along!
“Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah”
This is a famous song about celebrating Hanukkah. Listen to the words to learn more about how this Jewish holiday is celebrated!
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Give a “thumbs up” every time you hear the word “Hanukkah.”
The word “tannenbaum” means Christmas tree in German. This song was originally a traditional folk song that became associated with a Christmas tree and today is sung as a Christmas carol.
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Did you feel calm while the song was playing? Pay attention to that feeling. What is it like to feel calm? Discuss that feeling after the song is over. What song do you know that reminds you of this song?
“Snow Candy” by Starship Planet
This is a K-pop song, which is a genre of pop music that comes from South Korea and has become very popular.
WHILE YOU LISTEN: Maybe you don’t understand the lyrics of this song, but pay attention to them anyway. How does this song make you feel? After the music ends, discuss that feeling with your family.
When you are done listening to music, ask your children if it was easy to stay focused. Were they able to bring their attention back to the music if their minds wandered? Were they able to notice whatever it was you chose to have them pay attention to?