Do you have a special Winter Playlist? Can you call out… “Alexa, play Winter Music!”, and then enjoy singing together along with “Winter Wonderland” and dancing along with “Frosty the Snowman”. Our holiday celebrations in December can be such a wonder filled part of our culture, and we LOVE our Christmas music!   Yet, sometimes, it seems that MUSICALLY the amazing season of winter, and all its wonders, can be overlooked. So January is a perfect month for a playlist to embrace this season all by itself !  In this article, we’ll explore music for your Winter Playlist, including 13 Kindermusik recordings you can download as an album, as well as some additional favorites in the following categories:

  • Winter Season fun with Snow and Ice
  • Sleigh Rides and Jingle Bells
  • Family Connections

Those of us in Florida have to improvise a bit and be creative in making this season REAL for our children, so I’m adding a few ideas for pretend play, and links to more. 

Having a great playlist you can listen to in the car, and initiate interactive play at home is a perfect way to ring true through this season, and many more to come.

Jumpstart your Playlist & Engaging Play

 

As an added bonus for those who can join us in Lakeland, Ms Debbie in is “SNOW” READY to facilitate a winter experience with your family to jumpstart your family’s winter fun.  Kindermusik International has recorded a wonderful selection of winter songs and music for you that I am eager to share with you.  So, let’s get you this music, and kick off the season making music and playing in “snow” together.

 

Winter Wonders Pajama Party Playdate

YES!  On Saturday morning, January 18, 2019, Let’s make the Winter season come to life for our children with songs and playful interactions with traditional songs and
music passed down for generations, and some fresh new songs for dancing and
more.  Wear your best winter Pajamas and join us for about 45 – 60 minutes, as we are singing, jingling, laughing, playing in the “snow” and even “ice skating” as part of this delightful event with an intimate group of other families. 

You will learn some musically interactive ways to enjoy this whole season with your little ones, take home some cool “pretend snow”, and you’ll have 10 high quality recordings to add to your playlist… music you will enjoy hearing again and again… and will be eagerly anticipated each year to come.

What will be on your Family’s Winter Playlist?

How can you build a Winter Playlist for your family that respects the traditional and familiar, as well as the extended family favorites, and the fresh new songs that add the playfulness to our pretend play? 

Several of these songs are included in the Kindermusik album “Winter Wonderland” on play.kindermusik.com, which you can purchase separately if you are not able to join our Winter Wonderland Playdate.  The songs that are underlined are included on the album you would get as a part of our Playdate.   On the album page, it only lists 8 songs, but when you purchase the whole album as a set, you get all 13 songs… which you will LOVE.  In addition to the songs on this album, I am including a few more favorites from MY family, and I’d love to hear more about YOUR Family’s favorite songs of winter.

Songs of Winter with Snow and Ice

 “Sleighbells ring, are ya listening?  In the lane, snow is glistening.  What a beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland.”  Kindermusik’s recording of Winter Wonderland is a hopping sweet version with an expressive singer that is perfect for this story song. 

If you are looking for another version, Dean Martin’s smooth and jazzy voice in his version takes you to a different place in time, and was one of my mom’s favorites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkFP0VwpPRY   

Speaking of classy crooners, how about Bing Cosby and Danny Kay singing “SNOW!” with the girls from White Christmas? 
Their harmonizing is beautiful and the lyrics paint a pretty picture of
fun things you can do in the snow.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMTd1X9c6kg 

Snow play the Florida way !

ADD some props to your “snow play” There are many options you can use for homemade snow.  The closest at hand may be a box of tissues.  A run to the store can get you a few bags of cotton balls fairly cheaply.  For a full sharing sheet of ideas, see the link below.

 

Frosty the Snowman is a delightful song from your childhood that you can pass along to this new generation.  Those of us in Florida could easily adapt this to sing “Sandy, the Sandman” on our beaches or in our sand box.  Your child can dress up as a snow man and play the part of Frosty, dancing around with a hat, scarf, and sticks in their hands.

Kindermusik created a delightful song, “The Jolly Snowman with dancing ideas… make sure to wear a hat.  Perhaps your child has been enchanted with a more recent snowman that sings fondly of summer, which is wonderfully fun, and your child would probably like that whole “Frozen” album added to your Winter Playlist, if you want it to be longer.

ICE!   The Skater’s Waltz introduces children to 3 beat rhythms in a delightful way.  We enjoy sliding around like we are ice skating; sliding slow and smooth over 3 full beats, and short shuffles with each beat.  This music even has a section that encourages twirling.  Some folks like to use shoe boxes on their feet as skates, or use paper plates and shoes or socks that grip the paper while sliding around on a slick floor.

……
 brrr… are you feeling cold yet?  

Of course, there is Let it Snow, which is an upbeat song about staying inside and letting it snow outside.  This is a perfect song to cuddle up with and talk about how to keep warm together after a full day of snow play. It does mention popping corn around the fire, but maybe your family would get some hot cocoa.  My family can truly relate to the idea of not wanting to leave a friend’s house, especially when it’s cold outside… yes, even in Florida. 

Funny Mondale Family Fact:   My children wear hoody jackets in the summertime folks… they like to be warm. (eye roll)

 

Jingle Bells and Sleigh Rides

 It is likely your young child is already singing Jingle Bells, as it is a perennial favorite and this recording is in the perfect vocal range for young children.  We typically sing just the chorus (not the verses) for our young ones for several weeks to build up their confidence in singing.  The version of Jingle Bells on our album is a fantastic instrumental jazz version perfect for dancing.   Gain a whole new perspective on this song, from its origins to the story of it being performed in space, in my article from 2013.   

Jingle Bells Shake Up the Fun Factor

 

Through songs shared over generations like this, we are connecting with our past and the history of our people traveling by sleighs drawn through the snow by horses wearing bells.  Sleigh Ride flows right along with this theme. You can hear the bells and the sound of the horse on our recording, as well as on this rocking version by the Ronettes.  Get your bells and dance. 

Keeping these songs alive in the hearts of our children creates a sense of respect for our ancestors and the way life was lived during a time that came before us.  We won’t be expecting our little ones to sing the more complex verses of songs, but they will love to be pulled around like a sleigh on a long blanket or in a laundry basket by a willing adult or older child, with everyone sporting and playing their bells.

Connecting with Family and Adding Family Favorites

What expression will your child have on their face as they learn that Grandma sang “Jingle Bells” as a child, or how will they feel as they sing “Frosty the Snowman” along with Grandpa… even by FaceTime or Skype.  Take time to find out other winter songs that may have been sung by Grandparents, or even Great Grandparents if they are still alive.  Perhaps your family comes from a specific culture and a grandparent’s favorite might be from a different country in a different language.   What a wonderful conversation that might be.  You might want to record it.

Even elderly folks with dementia are likely to sing along with favorites from their earlier years, especiallyDeck the Halls singing mainly the Fa-la-la parts. If we sing fairly slow, my mom will still sing “Winter Wonderland” with me and my girl.   She grew up in the 50s, and even though she can no longer sing along, she recognizes the music and gets up and does the twist to Jingle Bell Rock.    While at church camps with our family, we enjoyed “Sing-a-Ling-a-Ling” around the campfire, and that brings back good memories as well.  It was a thrill to find it on this album.  We work persistently to get as many good happy times as possible with Nana as she is in this moment.    

Make sure to find good recordings of your family’s traditional favorites and add these to your playlist to keep these memories alive, and to sing with them when possible.  This annual recognition of family favorites
helps build a strong sense of belonging that will be extremely helpful as our children grow and discover who they are… as part of your whole family.

You may even want to add some NEW songs, like Kindermusik’s own “Laughter Makes the World Go Round”, created just for this album.  It has become a family tradition in our house with it’s easy to sing along with lyrics and laughing while tossing “snowballs” at each other.  (check out these snowballs for sale.)

Please add your thoughts and recommendations for
songs to add to a Family’s Winter Playlist in the comments below.

I’ll start with some of my family’s more modern favorites:

  • “In the Winter Time” by Steve Miller  –  We can all sing this in unison… so cool!

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Your family will delight in pretend snow play, but you may need a jump start for ideas.  Years of playing with children and families led me to create a document about pretend snow, with suggestions for types of pretend snow to buy or make, as well as ALL the different ideas for indoor snow play to go along with this music.  Let me know if you’d like to have a copy.  Complete the Start a Conversation form to request this PDF document on Snow Play, the Florida Way.

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For those who want a playlist that includes Christmas songs, including those from different countries, just type that in the search area of play.kindermusik.com.  And there are beautiful recordings of Shalom Haverim and Hevenu Shalom for our Jewish friends.  Personally, I have these last two on several playlists, as I love to invite peace into our world all year long.

So what will be on your family’s Winter Playlist?