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Big news for fans of whales in music…2020 marks the 40th anniversary of Raffi’s Baby Beluga!
Growing up, my sister and I played his cassettes until the tape broke (quite literally) so when I ran across this special anniversary version of Baby Beluga I knew we had to do something to celebrate this whale of an occasion!
If you watched the whole video (or have listened to his albums, or follow @raffi_music on Instagram) you know Raffi is a champion of so many wonderful causes that are cornerstones of barley & birch’s own mission.
As a self-proclaimed “Beluga grad,” it was especially important that this collection of activities honor our shared commitments to climate change, unity, and child-honoring. The activities in this list are all eco-friendly, each encourages children to explore and embrace the lyrics of his songs, and the themes promote an appreciation for the environment, sustainability, diversity, unity, cooperation, and gratitude.
Whether you’re a forever-fan or new to his whimsical instant-sing-a-long classics, there is a song + activity combo here for everyone! Fire up the playlist and join us as we sing, make, and play…
Animal-Themed Raffi Songs + Crafts and Activities
Listen to Baby Beluga while you watch our DIY Baby Beluga floating whale bob along on a sensory play ocean (you can almost hear the whale calls now…!)
Listen to Octupus’ Garden and use recycled supplies to make these uber-imaginative under the sea sculptures from ART CAMP
Listen to Owl Singalong and combine some scraps and loose parts to fashion your own upcycled owl from The Art Garden
Listen to The Gorilla Song and make pick ‘n mix puppets from Handy With Scissors – whatever your puppet happens to be, you’re sure to love it!
Listen to Willoughby Wallaby Woo while you glue googly eyes on to these adorable paper tube elephants from Red Ted Art
Listen to Down on Grandpa’s Farm and turn this free miniature paper farm from Make It Your Own into a rich storytelling and play experience
Listen to If I Had a Dinosaur and enjoy some small-scale nature play in the dirt with a dino small world from Handy With Scissors
Listen to Six Little Ducks and make a simple little duck sensory pond with a baking dish and our DIY egg carton floating ducks!
Listen to Over in the Meadow and use natural and recycled supplies to make an insect hotel from Hongigkukuk
Listen to Robin in the Rain and build a shelter from the storm with this invitation to make mixed media salt dough nests from The Art Garden
Listen to Baaa Baa Black Sheep and craft the cutest pine cone sheep from Pysselbolaget
Listen to Walkin’ My Dog and take some tiny pups for a tabletop stroll with these free printable dog walking toys from Handmade Charlotte
Listen to Joshua Giraffe and sing along while you count spots with this recycled cardboard giraffe counting idea from Start Creative Studio
Listen to Five Little Frogs and make your own upcycled frog game of tabletop ring toss from Pysselbolaget
Listen to Luna’s Song while you tear scrap paper and turn your paper bits into an artful DIY dog mask from Brainy Beginnings Network
Listen to Spider on the Floor and channel iconic author and illustrator Eric Carle with a sweet set of tissue paper collage spiders from Oh Creative Day
Listen to Listen to The Horses and make your own hobby horse from recycled supplies with this tutorial from Harry the upcycled horse from Handy With Scissors
Listen to Tingalayo and craft a donkey from cardboard like this cute Animadolous set from Mitik
Listen to Here Sits a Monkey and build a beguiling egg carton and pipe cleaner baboon from Jumbletree
Listen Goin’ to the Zoo while putting together your own small world zoo with everyday items from Little Worlds Big Adventures – a play setup with elephant-sized opportunity for creative play!
Food-Themed Raffi Songs + Crafts and Activities
Listen to Going on a Picnic and use our DIY cardboard market food for an afternoon of picnic play
Listen to Down by the Bay while stamping up a deliciously fun (and gorgeous!) wall of pop art watermelons from ART CAMP
Listen to Bananaphone and cut up an old box to create your own cardboard banana phone!
Listen to Biscuits in the Oven and form DIY dough into a set of salt dough play breads from La Maison de Lou Lou for a sensory-filled pretend play experience
Listen to Market Day and use up past-their-prime veggies to try our vegetable-stamped market tote DIY – a fun intro to stamps and printmaking for little ones
Listen to The Corner Grocery Store and create your own funny face fruit family from Julie Curtin – you can use up old magazines, stickers or draw your own features
Listen to Apples and Bananas while you build tart and tangy towers with this apple architecture activity from Handmade Charlotte – playing with your food has never been so sophisticated!
Listen to Kitchen Sing Sing and prep for lunch at your own pretend play cafe – complete with a handcrafted cardboard shop sign from Handy With Scissors
Listen to Garden Song and get dig a little dirt planting a set of darling little cress heads from Red Ted Art
Listen to Peanut Butter Sandwich and use a couple of your favorite sticky foods to make taste-safe peanut butter play dough from Kids Activities Blog
Listen to Oats and Beans and Barley Grow and use the REAL things to make a miniature oat, bean and barley farm with this Raffi-inspired sensory bin from 4kids2moms
Listen to Popcorn and partake in a delicious edible science lesson with a corncob popcorn learning activity from Tinkerlab
Outdoor-Themed Raffi Songs + Crafts & Activities
Listen to Rainbow and turn the paper versions on their heads with our simple deconstructed rainbow collage art project for little ones – always a colorful crowd-pleaser!
Listen to In My Garden and make a merry family of tin can fun face planters from Project Kid
Listen to Douglas Mountain and recycle a scrap box into snow-covered cardboard train tunnels and mountains from Peek It Magazine
Listen to Spring Flowers and experiment with simple DIY stamps for a lovely printmaking bouquet art activity from ART CAMP
Listen to Walk Outside while you take these free printable nature activity cards from The Little Oak Learning out for a spin
Listen to Mr. Sun and watch what happens when you combine watercolors with oil pastels for our sunny kid-made sun garden art
Listen to Doggone Woods and learn your trees as you construct an enchanting woodland small world playscape from Little Worlds
Listen to To the Park and make a simple collection box for stashing nature treasures with our origami nature collection box – all it takes is 3 pieces of paper!
Counting-Themed Raffi Songs + Activities
Listen to Five Little Pumpkins and count along as you build jack-o-lanterns out of cereal box mix-and-match features with our cardboard pumpkins
Listen to Day O and count along on banana slices for a simple (and yummy!) activity that encourages listening and learning
Listen to Let’s Do the Numbers Rumba while you hop and skip to the numbered beats! You can trace around your little one’s feet then number and tape to the floor to create a simple interactive counting game
Practical Skill-Themed Raffi Songs + Activities
Listen to Brush Your Teeth and learn using this amazing tooth care learning craft from hello, Wonderful (who knew – rocks make perfect teeth!)
Listen to Take a Breath while practicing meditation and self-soothing with our magic zen jars meditation jars (with eco-friendly glitter!)
Listen to Bathtime while you scrub-a-dub in the tub with this colorful rainbow foam sensory soap from hello, Wonderful
Listen to The Sharing Song and try creating a collaborative marshmallow painting from ARTBAR – the perfect lesson in sharing of supplies, intention, and friendship
Happiness, Hope and Gratitude-Themed Raffi Songs + Activities
Listen to Thanks A Lot as you assemble a tangible collection of things your thankful for with these DIY gratitude stones from Fireflies and Mudpies
Listen to All I Really Need and build a visual representation of the love in your family with this meaningful wood peg doll family keepsake from Make It Your Own
Listen to May There Always Be Sunshine and upcycle boxes into a gorgeous DIY cardboard sun ray wreath from ART CAMP for Handmade Charlotte – an artful reminder of peace and hope of bright sunny days for all
Listen to This Little Light of Mine and turn an empty peanut-butter jar into your own kid-safe flameless lantern – this magic little light can never “pff’d” out!
Unity-Themed Raffi Songs + Activities
Listen to The More We Get Together and trace hands to create a purposeful friendship collage from Make It Your Own for hello, Wonderful
Listen to To Everyone in All the World and use a muffin tin to stamp earth prints from ART CAMP – this art-making process is so much fun!
Listen to Like Me and You and make your own set of DIY diverse peg dolls from barley & birch
Listen to One Light, One Sun and explore the artistic possibilities of ribbons tape and paper for these bright, sunny sunflower puppets from ART CAMP
Movement-Themed Raffi Songs + Activities
These fun movement-appreciation songs don’t even require a tutorial – the song tells you exactly what to do! For an entertaining 10-minute dance party, try listening to this series…
- Let’s Play – the perfect warm-up
- Sambalele – clapping and twirling – doesn’t get better than that
- Shake My Sillies Out – shake shake shake!
- Cool Down Reggae – time to sloowwww down
In honor of Raffi and his little whale that could, we put together a special Raffi playlist over on Spotify and paired each beloved song with an age-appropriate art, craft, and play activity specifically chosen to fit the theme.