Friday, May 14, 2010

Product Review: Hap Palmer Learn In Two Languages

I recently received Hap Palmer's brand new, educational CD: Learning In Two Languages / Aprendiendo en dos idiomas to review. It arrived the day before we headed out on a 6 hour mini-roadtrip so I thought it would be perfect to listen to while driving. My kids do a lot of learning in the van anyway, so this was perfect.

Hap Palmer is an American musician who writes educational songs that integrate music and movement. His music helps develop motor skills, improve language acquisition, encourage creativity, and develop reading readiness and math concepts. He has been well loved by schools and day-care centers for over 3 decades and helped write songs for the best-selling Baby Songs
video series. Other CD's of his include: Multiplication Mountain, Rhythms on Parade, and Learning Basic Skills Through Music.

His newest CD, Learning In Two Languages / Aprendiendo en dos idiomas was just released in May 2010. It is designed to help children ages 4 to 9 build vocabulary in both English and Spanish. The songs play first in ENglish and then in Spanish and at the end, are all the songs music soundtracks. Each song encourages the listener to participate in music and movement activities to help with the learning and enjoyment of the music. Palmer worked with several people, including certified ESL and Spanish teachers, a Spanish language educational expert, and in a bilingual classroom to develop these songs. The music introduces children to a wide range of "true" (as opposed to synthesized" musical instumnets including: piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, piccolo, violin, viola, cello, marimba, bongos, congas, tambourine and maracas. The listener is also exposed to variety of musical styles including jazz and mariachi. They cover a wide range of introductory vocabulary as well as early childhood educational topics such as: days of the week, animal sounds, opposites, clothing, and prepositions.

We enjoyed listening to the CD on our road trip, but the kids enjoyed it more when they were able to actually move around in our living room. For example, it was difficult to actively participate in the "What Are You Wearing?" song where the child is encouraged to stand up if they are wearing a certain article of clothing, while riding in the van. We did end up adapting the song to "raise your hand" instead, but they enjoyed it much more when they could really stand up. However, they loved looking all around in the van while listening to "Percival the Parrot". I also like that I can go to the Hap Palmer website and find all the lyrics and ideas for corresponding activities for each song, allowing me to further expound on the learning concept. This is actually available for all of Hap Palmer's CDs along with coloring pages for various songs, sheet music for many of the songs, and even instructions for making teaching aides such as scarves, hoops, and bean bags.

Do I recommend this product? Absolutely, and it is ideal for families as it helps even the youngest children learn basic skills while teaching those of all ages basic Spanish vocabulary. On the flip side, it would also be a great tool for those learning English as a second language. The CD itself is great, but the treasure trove of additional activities and information on the website, add to the value of this CD.

I received a free copy of this CD for review. No monetary compensation was received. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any outside source.


pragmaticmom said...

I blog on Introducing Kids to Foreign Languages at

My kids are learning Spanish and Chinese and started very young. We speak English at home. I have a lot of dvds, cds, games, and books to help kids stay interested.

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on parenting, education and chiildren's literature

Kids Love Languages said...

Introducing foreign languages and culture is so important in today's global society. I'll check out your blog as well. I've been teaching basic Spanish to children for years and just co-developed a Spanish CD for children, families and educators. It was just released and being used in classrooms and homes throughout Minneapolis. Visit for more information. Thanks!