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Product Review – My World: Harvest and The Niki Davies Book of Songs for Autumn and Winter from Out of the Ark Music

  • Product Review – My World: Harvest and The Niki Davies Book of Songs for Autumn and Winter from Out of the Ark Music

My World: Harvest, a bumper crop of songs for celebrating the autumn harvest, and The Niki Davies Book of Songs for Autumn and Winter…

Reviewed by John Dabell

At a glance

• 12 brand new easy-to-learn songs for celebrating harvest time
• 20 hand-picked autumn and winter songs
• Teacher’s book with music, lyrics and guidance
• Tailor-made songs for children aged 3-8
• Curriculum links for each song
• Words on Screen eSongbook for easy rehearsing

There is plenty to celebrate during harvest season and schools traditionally play a big part. The harvest festival, also known as the harvest home, is a time for singing and rejoicing so music plays a big part too. It’s the closest thing we have to a day of thanksgiving.

We mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you at this time of the year and helping us do just that is My World: Harvest (from £19.95) – a musical masterpiece from Out of the Ark Music.

This is just the celebratory type of resource we need in our school ecosystems to come together and give thanks.

There are a dozen delightful songs on offer, all written by some of Britain’s most popular children’s songwriters. The songs are superbly sung by children and all benefit from slick and professional backing tracks that combine together to make a top-quality package.

Titles include ‘Harvest Hoedown’, ‘I’m A Scarecrow’, ‘We’ve Got Tomatoes’ and ‘I Can Eat a Rainbow’. My favourite is ‘Little Mouse’ because it’s the ideal song for getting children doing some acting and performing.

All the songs offer more than just singing and music, as they are all drama-rich with opportunities galore for being creative and making stories. These are songs to be sung and performed with gusto, to celebrate the harvest, life and a good year in store.

Harvest festival is a great opportunity to engage children with food and the songs combine beautifully with activities beyond singing. The resource comes as a Teacher’s Book and this contains the lyrics, music scores and food-for-thought teacher notes and suggestions, including plenty of cross-curricular ideas.

Some resources have all the personality of a packet of instant mashed potato, but not this one. This is like getting a basket of locally sourced fresh fruit and vegetables – colourful, tasty, wholesome and inviting.

User-friendly, flexible and pitched perfectly at early years, My World: Harvest celebrates diversity, pays reverence to nature and God, and makes harvest meaningful by reminding children they are part of a connected world.

The songs and music are a fabulous collection and will contribute to a real spirit of thankfulness, unity and to celebrate the value of life itself.

Also available is a delightful Autumn and Winter collection of songs (from £23.95) that helps children savour the seasons and observe changes in the weather.

It’s a clever compilation because it combines music with plenty of science, maths, art and PE, and helps children learn about transition, time and the unique characteristics and environmental changes of key seasons.

From ‘Pumpkin Head’ and ‘Big Red Combine Harvester’ to ‘Put Your Coat On’ and ‘Snowdrop’, each of the 20 songs are catchy, cheery and ideal for developing basic listening skills, building core skills and inspiring plenty of discussion and singing!

The verdict

• Perfect for children in schools and churches
• Creative, uplifting and wholeheartedly celebratory
• Easily integrates into global learning
• Joyous, happy and harvest festival- and winter-ready
• Songs for building a love of language, a love of music and for learning new concepts

Upgrade if…

You are looking for an inclusive celebratory resource that will spark children’s interest in harvest and provide them with golden opportunities to sing, perform and to think about seasonal changes and the importance of food in our daily life.

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