5 Universal Truths About Canadian Kids

May 13, 2015

In my years of performing, parenting and teaching, I have come to observe that while every kid is unique, there are some universal truths about Canadian kids:

1. Kids love music

All kids love music. They may show it in different ways, but they all love it. Some sing, some dance, some play and some just listen. When I’m performing, I see kids do all these things at my shows. Often, the ones who sit back and listen are the ones who are the most engaged. Parents often tell me about kids who re-enacted my performances at home for weeks after a show. Sing with your kids, dance, play, listen—they will love it and it’s good for them!

2. Kids love to participate

Kids want to be part of the action. They're the heroes of their own inner narrative—they want to be a part of the story. Some kids like to observe before taking the leap, but in the end, they all want to engage. With my own kids and my audiences, I always have actions or call and response choruses so kids can join in. Not only do kids have more fun when they're taking part, they also learn a lot more. 

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3. Kids love to laugh

This may be true of nearly everyone, not just kids. I have to admit, one of my greatest inner motivations is getting kids to laugh. My childhood was a very happy one and I definitely want that for my own kids and any children that come to my shows. My wife would say that my sense of humour is very much in tune with that of my audiences (I don’t know if she means this to be a compliment, but that’s how I take it!).

4. Kids have fun in any type of weather

This one is definitely universal to Canadian kids. I tour in the winter a lot. Somehow, I always seem to find myself in Northern Alberta in the middle of February and I think "how did this happen again?!" However, it's always refreshing to see kids out in the snow and freezing cold temperatures, all bundled up and having a great time. We adults whine about the winter a lot, but kids just get on with it and find ways to have fun despite the cold, snow and rain. 

5. Kids enjoy special moments outside their routine

As a parent and a former teacher, I love my kids’ routines. I see my kids thrive when they have a routine. They are at their best when they know what's coming up, what needs to be done before they can move on to the next thing and what’s expected of them. Routines make all this work. That being said, it’s the departures from these routines that are the special moments that will resonate deeply and stay with them for a lifetime. Going on a holiday, to a festival or for an unexpected ice cream are the moments children live for.

Tune into Will’s Jams weekday mornings at 9:25 a.m. on Kids’ CBC or watch online. Will and his Backyard Band are performing this May at the Calgary International Children’s Festival, Vancouver International Children’s Festival and Potashcorp Children’s Festival of Saskatchewan. To learn more about Will, visit

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