Activity Book Nonsense – New Album and Interview with comedy musician Mike Phirman

Do you like to say the words, Activity Books? Do you like all the puzzles and games found in Activity Books? Then you’ll love comedy musician Mike Phirman‘s new album titled, “Activity Books“. In this episode you’ll get to hear one of the songs from his new EP, “Word Search/Vacuum”, featuring the voice of Weird Al Yankovich; you’ll also get to hear our funny and fabulous interview with Mike about how he became famous and about his unfortunate experience with a vacuum; and, you’ll hear from two Buttons & Figs kids, Olivia and Sophia, who were inspired to make a word search of their own (see below)!


New episode featuring Mike Phirman and a song from his new album

You can learn more about Mike Phirman’s work and find all the ways to purchase the Activity Books EP at his website: mikephirman.com

Be sure to subscribe to Mike Phirman’s YouTube Channel to see these and all of his wacky videos, including the connect-the-dots project he mentioned in the episode!


A few of our Buttons & Figs kids were inspired to create their own word search activity after listening to this fabulous album. Click on the image to print and do the word search!

Olivia’s Wild Word Search
Sophia’s Word Search

Great kids podcast created by Drennon Davis & Mike Phirman

Thanks for this episodes go out to Buttons & Figs kids Olivia, Sophia and friends, Beth Blenz-Clucas at Sugar Mountain PR, UofA Librarian Intern Anna Ferguson and comedy musician Mike Phirman.

Word Search/Vacuum and song excerpts from the Activity Books album used with permission from the artist.

Sound FX from Zapsplat


#47 – Idiom Play

Hold your tongue, because we’ve got our ducks in a row to sail our sieve to the land of idioms with Ms. LaBrie’s class of 3rd graders at Madison Simis Elementary School in Phoenix, Az. These kids were inspired by the book, “The Cat’s Pajamas” [public library] by Wallace Edwards. These kids had a lot to draw on as they grabbed the tiger by the tail to play with both the figurative and literal meanings of idiom they selected. Not to blow their horns, but they now know idioms are a piece of cake! Face the Music and GO PLAY! –www.buttonsandfigs.com

Listen and see the student’s idiom stories:



#46 – Alphabet Nonsense

Sail in a sieve to the land of Alphabet Nonsense with Edward Lear’s Nonsense Alphabet! On this episode you’ll learn a bit about Edward Lear and you’ll hear Buttons & Figs kids share nonsense letter poems of their own, inspired by Lear. The kids also tell you how they wrote their poems, so you can write them too. And, if you need a little help remembering the letters of the English alphabet, then we got you covered with A BETTER Alphabet song than the one everyone seems to like so much! Jonathon Roberts from Composer Dad podcast and I teamed up with some Buttons & Figs kids to write what we think is a WAY better tune…but you can decide. Be sure to check out “His Shoes Were Far Too Tight” (public library)a collection of Edward Lear poems, compiled by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Calef Brown. Now go play with letters…no words…no letters…no words….just go play.


WWW – Limerick Trick

Have you ever met that flighty Old Person of Phoenix? Our Limerick Trick will show you the patterns of play for making limericks this way! Each Wacky Wordplay Wednesday (WWW)episode will feature a wordplay game you can play – with your family, friends, classmates or on your own. Each Wednesday this fall, join us for a wordplay ball. WWW episodes are brought to you by Buttons & Figs, a podcast for kids about playing with words. Visit www.buttonsandfigs.com to find WWW activities.