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The Music Box: Songs, Rhymes and Games for Young Children

ELZ Publishing

33 Sheridan Road
Wellesley, MA 02481

The Music Box is a thick and durable cardboard box containing 180 sturdy 5½ x 8½-inch cards featuring songs, rhymes, and games that will inspire kids to participate in the joy and fun of music. You'll also find detailed instructions, additional blank pages, and even pages for writing your own music.

These fun activities were compiled by Elizabeth Lund Zahniser and include well-known favorites like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Where Is Thumbkin," as well as lesser known ditties like "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" and "Willoughby, Wallaby, Woo." The cards are designed with the fantastic, colorful illustrations of Carolyn Rose Sullivan. The front of each card includes lyrics, motions, and vibrant illustrations while the back features the music, chords, and footnotes with recommended recordings.

With the handy tabs, you can group the cards by number, title, or style. The Music Box functions as a true recipe box for musical fun. It is designed for preschool children ages 3 to 5, but my entire family got into the fun. My 4, 6 and 7-year-old really love The Music Box! It also became wonderful practice in reading music, as my 9-year-old began choosing cards from the box and determined to lead the younger children in songs and activities.

The Music Box is a wonderful tool for family use as well as for larger groups like day cares or church nurseries. All schools, whether homeschooled or not, will enjoy the creative and colorful kid-sized cards that burst with fun and inspiration. The endless suggestions will spark activity and effortlessly capture children's attention. Through finger plays, chants, games, and musical songs, your children will develop rhythm and rhyme and practice various skills, such as sharing, taking turns, following directions, and expressing emotions appropriately.

My children learned new favorites like "Train Is A-Coming" and "There's a Little Wheel A-Turning in My Heart." I watched them play and interact with excitement and focus. In fact, as I write this review, with The Music Box beside me at my desk, my children are reaching for cards, searching for their favorites, and singing at the top of their lungs. This product has certainly generated a passion in my children for musical play.

Parents can purchase The Music Box for $49.95. This may sound steep, but when you see the many hours worth of activity and enjoyment this tool offers, you'll consider it a small price to pay for the convenience of this quality educational resource. Parents, teachers, churches and librarians will love the handy box filled with ideas to spark musical development in the youngest, most active age group.

I would absolutely recommend The Music Box. In fact, my children give it five stars, two thumbs up, and a standing ovation.

Product review by Heather Randall, Affiliate Manager, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, July 2011

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