Monthly Archives: November 2013

This Little Light of Mine – A Special Video Announcement and Sneak Preview

As we gear up to perform at the Little V.I.P. Concert Series at the Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, starring Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke, here’s a video message from Yours Truly, along with an acoustic performance of “This Little Light of Mine,” with a special anti-bullying message added to the lyrics.

Let us and your friends know you’re coming! Check this event out on our Facebook page.

And bring an unopened toy for Toys for Tots. You’ll get a raffle ticket!

The Jungle Gym Jam Teams Up with Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke at Little V.I.P. Concert at Crossroads

Montclair, N.J. – Jason Didner, host of the Cool Rockin’ Daddy Video Show (www.coolrockindaddy.tv) and his band, the Jungle Gym Jam (www.junglegymjam.com), along with Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke, (http://keywildeandmrclarke.com), winners of the Parents Choice, Gold Awards, will provide a morning of live “Rock ‘N Roll for Kids and Their Families,” as part of the Little V.I.P. Concert series, on Saturday, December 7, at 10:30 a.m., at Crossroads, 78 North Avenue, Garwood, N.J.

Key Wilde & Mr Clarke

Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke

Parents and kids will rock to favorite tunes from the Jungle Gym Jam such as “Jungle Gym Jamming,” the classic “This Little Light of Mine,” and a new piece — “The People Exhibit at the Zoo” — a humorous take on what zoo animals think as the people pass by. Parents, grandparents, and kids will enjoy the fast-paced music event that encourages dancing, interaction, and making new friends, while sharing messages of anti-bullying, kindness, and friendship.

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

Drawing on many traditional folk music styles Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke will headline the concert, performing original humorous upbeat songs with an emphasis on guitar and tight vocal harmonies. The audience can expect to hear the songs “Animal Alphabet”, “Railroad Medley”, “King of the Town” and “Raised By Trolls” from their recent release Pleased To Meet You in addition to classic Sirius XM Favorites like “The Rattling Can”, “Mary the Fairy”, “Favorite Names” and “Pepito.”

Tickets are priced at $7.00 per adult, $5.00 for children age 2 and up, and children under 2 are free. Attendees are asked to bring a new, unopened toy to donate to families still affected by Hurricane Sandy.

For further information, contact Crossroads at 908.232.5666 or visit www.xxroads.com.

About Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam: Kids around the world are experiencing the sounds of Jungle Gym Jam (www.junglegymjam.com), a kindie band founded by Jason and Amy Didner, in their families’ kitchens and cars, over the radio airwaves, Internet radio and podcasts as numerous DJ’s spin the band’s tunes carrying messages of anti-bullying, active play and fair play. Their debut album, “Everyone’s Invited,” will launch in January 2014. The Jungle Gym Jam has appeared on the “No Cover” TV show for TV-34 Montclair, a municipal access station where they were interviewed by host Gail Prusslin and then gave a live performace. This episode can be viewed in its entirety at http://vp.telvue.com/player?id=T01411&video=170029

About Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke: Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke (www.keywildeandmrclark.com) are known for their wildly imaginative songwriting and distinctive harmonic sound. Their 2009 release Rise and Shine won a Parents’ Choice GOLD Award, and their EPs Hey, Pepito! and Happy Holidays attracted national acclaim and radio play. Their kid-friendly and sophistically funny songs get regular rotation on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live and WXPN FM’s Kids Corner radio, among many other shows nationwide. At theaters including Symphony Space to World Café Live and at more informal venues including Kindiefest and the NYC summer parks series, the dynamic duo delivers their whimsical story-songs with involving, visually dynamic performances.

…and We’re Back at the Crossroads, and we’re bringing Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke!

That’s right, those amazing harmonies, motor-mouthing their way through tongue-twister lyrics, their blend of punk, new wave and bluegrass like they were always meant to be played together for kids, the guys that won the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. That Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke. We’re opening for them at the Crossroads in Garwood on Dec. 7.

Little V.I.P. Concert Series KWMC

Check out the event on our Facebook page!

Please bring a new, unopened toy and get a raffle ticket!

Where’s the Button?

Some of the Most Important Toys Run on Imagination, Not Batteries

2-year-old daughter offering her doll some tea

Our 2-year-old daughter lives in a time and place where every object is a gadget, where even every stuffed animal is expected to talk, sing, dance, light up or something. So when she picked up her colonial doll her Grandma brought from Colonial Williamsburg, she asked “Where’s the button?”

I told her there is no button, that the doll worked with her imagination. Then I said “Would you like to offer your doll some tea?” She was sitting at the table with the doll, so this only seemed natural. This clicked in right away, like a switch going off in our girl’s active mind. She got right down to pouring tea for her special guest and striking up an engaging conversation.

Moments like these are valuable as a dad when they remind me to mentally check in to be fully “in the moment” with my daughter and help her engage her most powerful developmental tool – her imagination.

When do you find yourself wandering to your “to-do list” or subjects other than engaging with your child? What are some moments where you and your child are reminded to engage your imaginations? What cues help you check in?

Radio Spotlight – Theme Attic with Phil Maq on WHFR-FM Dearborn, MI

Radio host Phil MaqMichigan radio host Phil Maq (www.philmaq.com) has his own approach to categorizing music. To Phil there are really only two genres: “Good music” and “everything else.” When he fits a sampling of that sizable pool of the “good music” that resonates with Phil and his WHFR-FM listeners into an engaging and topical theme, the result is often surprising and satisfying at the same time. When the theme is a “road trip,” you might hear a Beatles song, followed by the work of a band that specializes in children’s music, followed by Frank Sinatra belting out “Route 66.” When you start enjoying music to a theme instead of one specific genre, the words, melodies and rhythms have a way of transporting you.

–> Tune into WHFR-FM at your computer now.

The kids’ music is where I come into the picture. After noticing some twitter interaction between fellow kindie artist Joanie Leeds and Phil Maq about radio airplay, I naturally reacted by offering my singles for Phil to share on the show. Since the summer, Phil has given my songs a reliable home on his Wednesday morning program and includes songs I’ve written both for children and for adults, as the theme calls for it. Other kindie artists have been known to pop up in Phil’s playlist, since the lyric ideas in kindie songs are quite varied. You’ll probably find a few kindie songs that fits any given theme Phil cooks up.

I tune in just about every Wednesday that I can, whether or not I’m in the playlist that day, because it’s a fascinating listen and it’s fun to “play along” with Phil, thinking up other songs that would fit the theme. If you’re in or around Dearborn, MI, tune in to 89.3 FM. From anywhere else in the world, listen live at http://whfr.fm on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM Eastern to 12:00 noon.

Phil’s show has inspired me to run a new daily ritual on Facebook. As a parent, I come up with a parenting playlist theme every day. Recent themes have been “Nursing your Kid Back to Health”, “Supermarket Meltdown”, “Halloween Candy Hangover” and “Play Date!” I pick the first song title and open up the comments for fellow parents to add their song ideas. To play along with me, simply like our Facebook page.