Welcome to the Silly Bus Blog!

We hope you enjoy our blog - we try to provide helpful updates about our music, what we are up to and cool things we find to do with music, activities for kids & families, and every day stuff! Stay Silly, Silly Bus

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Giving Back in April - National Autism Awareness Month

We are so excited that tomorrow is April 1st!!! Besides April Fool's Day - there is an even better reason - April is National Autism Awareness Month.

We are teaming up with The Autism Grant and The Dominion School for Autism to raise money to support families and kids who need help getting help!

We will donate 50% of all profits from the online downloads and online CD sales of our popular Alphabet Volume 1 (ages 2 to 6) and our self-titled CD Silly Bus (ages 6 to 10) to The Autism Grant. The Autism Grant provides tuition scholarships to families in need that may not otherwise be able to receive the specialized assistance needed for children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Scholarships are provided for students to attend the Dominion School for Autism.

For more information about The Autism Grant, please visit their website: http://www.autismgrant.org/ and for the Dominion School for Autism, visit: http://www.dominionautism.org/. The Dominion School for Autism is a 501(c)(3) public charity located in Richmond, Virginia.

We are so excited to have this opportunity to give back, it really means so much to us to provide music, and support in other ways where we can.

Have a great day, don't fall for too many April Fool's Day jokes.
Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Had a great time at the First Market Mile Kids Run yesterday!

As always, the Kids Race was a funfilled event! Not even 30 degree weather could keep away thousands of children excited to exercise and dance with Silly Bus. Sportsbackers has once again produced an amazing event of which Silly Bus is thrilled to have been a part. The race was awesome, Silly Bus had a rockin' time getting everyone warmed up for the race. The Silly Man was very silly before the race too - posing and stretching - getting ready to go!

Coach Billy says "The Kids Race was amazing. Seeing thousands of kids out so early in the morning that are all being so healthy is awe-inspiring. And getting to play songs, entertain and warm up the crowd before the race was a blast. Silly Man did a great job keeping all of the mascots focused and on-the-job although when he brought out the Olympic torch it was clear that he was once again a little confused".
The race had sooooo many people there - there was such energy in the air! This event was great fun and Silly Bus had a great time playing there! We can't wait to play again!"

Our next concert is later in April on the 24th at the Goddard School - who knows what the Silly Man will be up to then! Though the show was a short set to get everyone going - it was fantastic and Silly Man and Coach Billy brought down the house!

These are some of the songs we played - in case you want to listen to them!
-Wacky Wheels(Alphabet Volume 2)
-Happy Homes (Alphabet Volume 2)
-Alphabet Eyes (Alphabet Volume 1)
-Hokie Pokie Dance Off
-Chewy Chocolate Chips (Alphabet Volume 1)
-Outstanding Owls (Alphabet Volume 2)

We hope everyone had fun and enjoyed the show - more pictures to come!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Supporting Earth Hour

Silly Bus is excited about Earth Hour this year. Last year hundreds of millions of people turned off their lights for one hour, showing their support.

You can go to the Earth Hour website and pledge to turn off your lights for one hour - starting at 8:30pm.

As many of you know we are making a new release and are really looking at ways to be good for the environment. The CD cases we are looking at are using recycled content and not the big plastic cases. We have not figured out how to have the band members play their instruments and create energy to power the studio - but hey, baby steps.

Other earth friendly suggestions are welcome :) In keeping with the Earth theme:

One of our favorite kids songs and videos is "Earth and Sun" - check out the video here or subscribe to us on YouTube.

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Monday, March 22, 2010

Silly Bus excited about "My Family" being available!

I know it seems weird, talking about another band - but hey - this blog is here to also share content that you might find helpful! And let's face it - we are excited too. We write our kids music and make kids videos that hopefully help kids have fun and learn at the same time. We know this band makes great kids music - so here is the exciting news:

For those of you who know of the Laurie Berkner Band - they finally are putting their song "My Family" on iTunes March 23rd! Yes - tomorrow! This song was first heard on Nick Jr. ages ago and has not been available.

So we wanted to make sure you knew as well - hooray for bands that make great music!

Stay Silly and enjoy this great song about loving families,
Silly Bus

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We Are Recording & Rehearsing (Whoo Hoo!)

Well - this week is all about continuing to record for our new album coming out soon! It is great to get together - but tough work getting all of the components just right. It takes a lot of time working through the really cool and various instruments we have on this album. We are really trying to bring something new and different for our fans - we look forward to sharing it with you soon!

In addition, we are rehearsing for our show this coming weekend - March 27th - the First Market Mile Kids Run. Silly Bus will be up on stage and ready to get the "party" or race started!

Whew - well long weekend of working - and getting out and enjoying some weather too! We hope you had a great time this weekend and were able to get out and have some fun.

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Some Spring Ideas!

So I was looking around for some activities to do later in the day after playing outside - or in case it rains - you know April showers are coming soon. Here is one I love! This is from the Kaboose site.

Ladybug Rock Crafts (or any bug really)

Friday, March 19, 2010

What are you doing to get in to Spring?

So at approximately midnight tomorrow it is Spring! We are very excited that the weather this weekend is looking pretty sunny and just what we need to go and play outside. Who knows - maybe some basketball, trampoline jumping - we will see! (just like in our Jump Up video).

What are some of your favorite Spring things to do?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Silly Bus wants to know: What makes a great Fan page?

Hey fans,

We would love to know what you think makes a great Fan page on Facebook. Our page continues to grow and we appreciate it! We want to make sure that our content is relevant, fun and great.

Let us know so we can keep getting better.

Silly Bus

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Partnering with Charities Leveraging Educational Media

Educational Media opens the doors for several types of partnerships. As a group, it is important to think about your objectives to determine what the right types of partners are and how to have those partnerships come to life.

The easiest place to partner for a musical group is of course through shows. When scheduling shows, it is important to think about what you are getting out of the performance, ala revenue, exposure, good will, practice time for bigger shows. Revenue can show up in actual contract dollars or in free advertising that the host may do for you. Exposure is a great one to think about – because different audiences may spread word-of-mouth in very different circles. So if you do an outdoor event related to sports vs. an indoor school event, the people listening could overlap in your target audience or complement each other really well. Practice time, let’s face it – practice makes perfect. Most times you do a show for lots of reasons and practice/rehearsal for shows is a great way to try out new material and see how the audience reacts. It is relatively safe and helps you work out kinks.

Playing for charity and good will is a great thing to do. There are lots of benefits for both the group and the charity. Hitting back on audience and cross marketing – it is likely that the charity members are a different audience that one typically plays for at a show. So exposure is great – the group will also bring a new membership base to the charity, so it creates a potential group that may donate hours, money or skills to the charity once you market the partnership. It is also great for morale and it is good to show that you as a group care and give back. Sometimes this may mean you play for less revenue, which again can show up in others ways as far as value (ala marketing by the charity, new audience, etc.).

In closing, it is critical to have a partnership strategy on paper and to have thought it through before diving in and going after just anyone. Partners can make the journey a lot easier or frankly tougher depending on how easy they are to work with and how helpful they are in supporting your vision as a group too.

Please visit our website, www.sillybus.net , to sign up for our monthly newsletter, which has more articles and great fun stuff!

Author: Jen Dalton

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From Kid's Music to a Kid's Meal - not that far of a stretch as it turns out

So - today we started our "Let Out Your Inner Artist" email and facebook update. It is very exciting because not only are we saying thanks to our fans for being fans - but we also are making it fun and where you get something free! When you go to our website and download our Operation Cow Drop / Silly Bus coloring page, you can take it to the Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace for a free 4 piece nugget kids meal! The store will also post the pictures on the wall and select a winner by May 8th to get a Family Meal! Why May 8th you ask? Well read on about Operation Cow Drop!

As you may (or may not) know we are supporting and partnering with Chick-fil-A at Virginia Center Marketplace with their annual Operation Cow Drop event on May 8th. This is such an awesome event - it is a Family Fun Event from 11-3 with us performing at 12 - and then get this. A COW DROP at 1:30pm! No not real live cows :) These are nice plush cows that can be purchased to support non-profits and other organizations in Virginia. You can see exactly which ones at the CFA site. Each cow only costs $10 and you can win prizes like a Disney Family Vacation, 32 inch Samsung TV, etc. When the cows are thrown out of the plane they land hopefully on the "Cow's Eye" and if your cow comes closest you win!

This should be a great day - there will be great kid's songs and music, a petting zoo, clowns, face painting, vendors, Mad Science, Romp & Roll, Crafts, clowns and lots more.

This is our first time playing at this event - but it is awesome. This event raised a lot of money for organizations like Connor's Heroes, Special Olympics and the Goddard School - just to name a few.

We can't wait to come out and party with all of the families!

Check out our website for more fun activities and sign up for our monthly newsletter too!

Stay Silly,
Silly Bus

Monday, March 15, 2010

Silly Bus to start off Kids Run with Great Kid Songs!

We are so excited to play at the First Market Mile Kids Run next week! We have performed at this event for three years running (pun intended :) ) and love it. It is great to see thousands of kids with their parents out there getting fit together.

We perform right at the starting line of the Kids Run - which is part of the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K. We play some of our favorite songs for the kids to sing along to like "Fun on the Farm" and "Teddie Bear Boogie". Of course the best song we do is the Hokey Pokey Dance Off, that is a great one that gets everyone warmed up and ready to race.

We are rehearsing and getting ready to have a great show - look forward to seeing lots of people out having fun and getting/staying healthy!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exercise Goal Setting for Kids

Exercise for kids has many positive benefits that can help them mentally and physically in many aspects of their life. Although goal setting may not be the first thing on their mind when playing an entertaining game of basketball, making sure a child continues to be challenged is an important aspect of their physical and mental development. Goal setting for kids is an essential element that can bring about a successful achievement.

Exercise, as with any project a child or an adult takes on, should have goals to be met. Setting these goals is essential in taking steps to reach them. It also gives the child motivation to work harder to progress. An exercise goal for kids could be as simple as being able to do five push ups. It could also be more complex such as working on skills that will help them out on the soccer team.

There are two types of goals to keep in mind when supervising a children’s fitness program, short and long-term. A long-term goal should be the ultimate objective that the child is working for. As an example, it could be to participate in a mile long kid’s road race. When a child wants to run in a race like this, it is a great motivator for them to know they are going to be able to run a whole mile after they are finished! After the long-term goal is set, it is time to implement the short-term goals.

The short-term goals are what will make the seemingly daunting task of running a whole mile attainable. Short-term goals should be set to work on the smaller pieces of the long-term goal. Just getting the child out to go on a fifteen minute walk at the park could be a good starter. After this is accomplished, the walk could extend to thirty minutes. The next progression could be that they jog for fifteen minutes. A good mid level goal would be to run for half a mile. These short-term victories keep the child moving in a forward direction. The accomplishment of the short-term goal motivates the child while always moving them forward. This way the long-term goal is very attainable by putting together the fulfillment of short-term goals.
Proper goal setting is essential for the successful progression of every child’s fitness routine. It takes smaller short-term goals to realize the long-term. It is up to the adult to help lay out a formulated plan for success when a child expresses interest in accomplishing a goal. Although short-term and long-term goals seem academic and calculated, the child doesn’t have to know this! They should be having fun! Never forget to make sure the child is enjoying themselves while putting in the effort to work toward a well earned achievement.

Author: Robert Smith

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Educational Music for Busy Families on the Go

These days, families are busier than ever balancing work, school, activities, and simple household chores. This makes it difficult to find time for additional learning activities outside of school. Additionally, this time constraint makes it challenging to effectively prepare preschool age children with the fundamentals needed for kindergarten.

Families are often faced with the reality of both parents needing to work. Forty years ago, this was not as prevalent since mom often stayed home to raise the kids and could devote the time to supplement educational activities. The time spent at home gave children a boost when it came to preparing for and engaging in elementary school. The foundations put in place at an early age provided the needed head start. This allowed generations of children to begin their schooling successfully and to continue on through high school and college with the same success.
To help parents and guardians solve this challenging issue, parents should consider leveraging educational music and videos for use in the car or during times when there is down time for their children.

There are multiple companies that offer this type of content and media for children. A few things that parents and teachers should look for include:

- Music that focus on storytelling and phonetics to help children learn basic concepts and sounds;
- Images in videos that help children correlate the concepts that they have heard about with pictures, allowing children to learn from both audiation and visualization;
- Media that has repetitive themes which will help children remember content and concepts; and
- Songs that are upbeat to maintain the positive mood and feeling of achievement.

These types of key components can be very powerful for children. Leveraging this type of content can help preschool and early elementary children turn play time into class time and class time into play time.
Parents can quickly implement this type of media into their daily routines by simply playing music and videos while on the way to the store, commuting to and from school, and before and after afternoon activities. By taking a few simple steps now, parents can help give their children a real leg up as they prepare for and begin their educational adventure.

Author: John Henneberger

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reinforcing Healthy Habits with Kids Music and Videos

Kids music and videos are great tools for teaching and reinforcing habits essential to a happy, healthy life. The invention of the iPod, satellite radio and on-demand programming has made it easier than ever for parents and educators to teach and emphasize healthy choices. Whether in the home, in the car or at school, children can watch, listen and learn. Simply by taking the time to select and share kids music and videos, parents and teachers can enrich the lives of children.

All music and videos, however, are not created equal. Kids music and videos should be chosen based on theme and feel. To encourage healthy living, parents and teachers should select music promoting healthy habits. Habits every child should know and follow include: (i) Getting rest through naps and a good night’s sleep; (ii) Washing hands and regularly bathing; (iii) Brushing teeth and flossing; (iv) Exercising regularly (running, dancing, swimming, playing with friends, etc.), (v) Good nutrition (healthy meals and healthy snacks); (vi) Keeping your room and clothes clean and (vii) Wearing sunscreen. Parents and teachers should instill these habits in their children and students at a young age to ensure a lifetime of health and fitness.

In addition to teaching and reinforcing healthy habits, kids music and videos provide an enthusiastic way for children to be active while playing, laughing and having fun. The feel of the music is what makes this possible. Children can’t help but move around when listening to irresistible, energetic music. Music containing upbeat drumming and grooving bass lines creates the perfect exercise environment. Parents and teachers should encourage movement as often as possible when children are listening to music.

To find healthy habit themed, upbeat music and videos, parents and teachers need not go far. Google, I-tunes and CD Baby have made searching as simple as turning on your computer. Word searches might include “kids songs” or “children’s music.” Examples of such songs include Silly Bus’ “Jump Up” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/silly-bus/id156493677, “Yawns at Night” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/alphabet-volume-1/id282427190 and “Healthy Dose” http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/silly-bus/id156493677 . Fun, energetic videos to use at home and in the classroom include Silly Bus’ “Falling Leaves” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GsCuUvpNTk and “Earth and Sun” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM01YJF8xT4&feature=related.

Making small changes today in a child’s routine can yield years of health and happiness.

Author: Justin Laughter

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Monday, March 1, 2010

The Magic of Music for Kids

What’s so great about music? We all know that music can make us want to jump, dance, and tap our feet. But did you know that music has been linked to math scores, brain development, and anxiety relief? During the critical young ages of learning while the brain is still developing, the impact of music is at its greatest level. But even beyond the younger years, music can still play an important role, providing instruction for pre-teens, anxiety relief for adults, and even therapy for Alzheimer patients.

Psychologists and Educators are just beginning to uncover the many benefits that music provides for our mental health. While we all may be somewhat familiar with the idea that loud and fast music makes us feel different than quiet and slow music, research is showing that the predictable ways that music can influence us goes beyond altering our moods. Some studies show that we can predictably alter many of our mental states, and even heal damaged brains. Another study has found that students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) were able to improve their focus, given neurofeedback results while listening to background music.

There are many genres of music, and for a student wanting to benefit from the motivational and instructional elements of music, the first step is to appropriately align their age and interest with a particular music genre. Parents and teachers know that pre-teens are not going to be caught listening to music that kept their attention as a toddler. But while there are many genres and songs to choose from for the very young and for adults, there are fewer selections for those in the middle, who could benefit the most from the educational value of music.

Educational music for kids can be influential for teaching values, instructional for memorizing the alphabet, for example, and motivational for wanting to learn more about a topic. Some teachers play “welcoming music” as the children are entering the classroom, which captures their attention and desire to learn more about the subject of the educational song.

Kids are hard-wired to want to learn, and the teaching approaches that work the best are aligned with the natural learning process and interests of the learner. Music for kids is a powerful way to connect, motivate, and teach young students, in a method that is not forced, but yet aligns with their interests and natural desire to learn.

Authored by John Lewis, Ed.D, Explanation Age LLC.

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