• Kid Music We Love

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    When Henry was a baby his pediatrician told me that to encourage verbal skills I needed to be talking to him constantly, and playing a lot of repetitive songs: kid songs. So for a while I became that mom driving around playing Raffi’s Wheels on the Bus on repeat. And it was painful. It felt like one more difficult sacrifice I had to make as a new parent. When I didn’t think I could listen to one more obnoxious kid song, I made it a personal quest to find kid music that I actually enjoyed listening to! Slowly over the course of three kids, I’ve been working on an epic kid song playlist with kid music that I actually really love. Perfect for evening dance parties, long car rides, balloon parties in Dot’s crib, and of course encouraging those verbal skills. Here are my favorites…

    This post is in partnership with Kohl’s kid clothing line, Jumping Beans. Cute, affordable, and comfortable-enough-to-boogie-down-in kid clothing…

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    Music and dancing calls for comfy kid clothing. Edie’s ruffle top for $7 comes in a lot of colors so I let Edie pick out which one she wanted. And the answer was pink (always pink!). Her pants, the polka dot jeggings for $13, might be my favorite piece from the Jumping Beans line. The polka dots are really fun, but most importantly, they are SUPER stretchy and comfortable. Edie usually refuses to wear jeans at all but she’s been loving this pair.

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    (sweet kisses for baby sister!)

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    Dot’s in a cute star dress (just sold out but here’s another similar style), that could also be a top. I love dresses like that. When they’re little it’s worn as a dress, and as they get bigger you start wearing it as a top with pants or tights. Easy way to get a few years out of one piece! She’s also wearing these soft brown shoes for $15 and some simple white tights for $6. I really appreciate girls clothing that goes with everything because there are so many patterns in both of their wardrobes already.

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    Here’s a link to my playlist! It has a lot of fun, and sweet kid songs they’ll want to sing along to, plus a few chill-out classical pieces. I could have added family dance party songs on here (like Michael Jackson or Beyonce) but I feel like that’s a different list. This is strictly music written for children (with only a couple exceptions). Here are a few musicians that produce children’s music I love:

    1. The Laurie Berkner band: Really fun, engaging songs that I’m always humming along to as well. Great activity songs, dance and chase around the house type of music to get the post-dinner wiggles out. Just listen. You and your kids will love her stuff. My favorites are: Fast and Slow, I’m Gonna Catch You, and my absolute favorite is Moon Moon Moon (a sweet lullaby I sing to my girls every night now).

    2. Elizabeth Mitchell: Really sweet, folky kid music. Most are very short and sweet, but lovely. She writes her own music, but also has a few classic covers as well. My favorites are: Whose my Pretty Baby?, Little Sugar, and This Land is Our Land.

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    3. Frances England: A local San Francisco mother, her first album Explorer of the World was just released and nominated for a Grammy! Very indie feeling as well, inventive, and thoughtful lyrics. Favorites are: Explorer of the World and See What We Can See. 

    4. They Might be Giants. They have two great kid albums: Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s.  They’re really fun, upbeat songs, and obviously very educational. Henry used to love watching the animated versions of these albums on DVD when he was younger.

    Here are two more outfits for dance parties at home from Kohl’s Jumping Beans line:

     

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    1. Embroidered graphic tee $8
    2. Denim tiered skirt $8
    3. Pom pom baby tee $6
    4. Capri baby leggings $7

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    The best part about dance parties is they totally wear Edie out and she sleeps like a rock. What kid songs do you love? Any favorite musicians I need to know about?

  • 19 comments

    1. Aly S said… March 12, 2017 8:20 pm

      We’ve aged out of the music you’re talking about, but I invested a lot of time in finding kids’ music that wasn’t soul-crushing for me to listen to. We enjoyed most of the artists you’ve mentioned, including Frances England, who has been releasing albums for a decade now. Her first two were beloved in my house; “I ride the Tour de France in my underpants” is one of my favorite lines ever, found in the song “Tricycle.” Dan Zanes was another favorite, with albums “House Party” and “Family Dance” as particular favorites. Also, Robbie Schaefer’s “Songs for Kids Like Us” and “Mommy Says No!” by Asylum Street Spankers (the song “Boogers” makes me laugh every time). Ben Rudnick and Friends is a Boston area jam band for kids with lots of albums to choose from, that was on heavy rotation for family dance parties. One of my enduring favorites is “Wonderstuff” by Recess Monkey. It’s kind of a musical for kids, with story-telling tracks interspersed with songs. It’s goofy and funny and the news interview with the surfer dude squirrels is a riot. We still sing “Bad Ideas” to our kids when they’re having bad ideas of their own. Pete Seeger’s “Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fishes” is a folk classic, and the song “The Foolish Frog” is a highlight. Have fun. There’s some great stuff out there to counteract the music designed to make you lose your mind!

      • Liz Stanley said… March 13, 2017 9:36 pm

        These are great suggestions, thank you!!!

    2. […] to check out some of this kid music. (We’ve currently got Moana on […]

    3. Stephanie said… February 24, 2017 10:46 am

      You should check out Laura Doherty, she’s local to Chicago and has very catchy kids tunes that are easy on the ears.

    4. Shana said… February 22, 2017 10:22 am

      The Okee Dokee Brothers!

    5. Knivesliao said… February 21, 2017 7:46 pm

      I have conditioned my son to like The Beach Boys! I am also working in some more edgy music with Grimes.

      • Liz Stanley said… February 24, 2017 6:08 pm

        Yes! I love the idea of conditioning them to like real music. Good call!

    6. Ann said… February 21, 2017 7:32 pm

      Jack Johnson was always a fav of my kids. He is touring this summer so you could take them! He did the Curious George soundtrack!

    7. Sally from Little Hiccups said… February 21, 2017 7:19 pm

      My kids love the They Might be Giants kids’ albums. “Here Comes Science” is our favorite and a little more grown up than the ABC and 123 albums. We used to listen to it a lot in the car in Australia and I’ve often find myself singing along to it after I’d dropped my oldest off at preschool! That said, there’s not much difference between a regular They Might be Giants album and a kids’ one! Actually, when they toured last year, my kids were a little confused as to why my husband and I went along to the concert. They thought they were just a kids’ band!

      • Liz Stanley said… February 24, 2017 6:09 pm

        I haven’t heard of that science album!

    8. Lindsay said… February 21, 2017 3:09 pm

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We listen to lots of music in our house as well as while driving around town (and sitting in traffic thanks to living in LA). Looking forward to adding some more kid friendly songs to our repertoire! One of our absolute favorites is Walter Martin’s We’re All Young Together album. Fun and silly for the kids, but also fun to listen to and sing along with for the adults.

    9. Katina said… February 21, 2017 1:09 pm

      The excellent folk band The Weepies recorded two sweet kid songs (Navigation and Gravity Always Brings Me Down) for “PBS KIDS ROCKS!”

    10. Jen said… February 21, 2017 12:46 pm

      My boys are older now (14 & 11) but one of our absolute favorites was Barenaked Ladies “Snacktime.” I still have some of the songs pop into my head. Really catchy, funny songs that Henry would love too!

    11. Paige said… February 21, 2017 10:58 am

      I’m so horrible about playing music for my kids. In my 4 years of parenting, I can count on one hand how many time’s I’ve done it! I should give your playlist a try!

      Paige
      http://thehappyflammily.com

      • Liz Stanley said… February 24, 2017 6:10 pm

        No, I get it! It’s painful until you find the right music!

    12. Laura said… February 21, 2017 7:56 am

      My kids are almost 6 and 8 now, and have pretty much grown out of so much of the kids music. But I so loved Elizabeth Mitchell! I actually really miss listening to those songs (although Elizabeth Mitchell’s holiday music was played quite a bit this past December). With Pandora and Spotify, it’s so easy to have a great mix of kid music on in the background and to discover new artists as well.

      • Liz Stanley said… February 24, 2017 6:09 pm

        Isn’t she the sweetest?

    13. Jason said… February 21, 2017 7:04 am

      You definitely need to know Justin Roberts. He beautifully writes what it feels like to be a kid, which appeals to grown-ups as well. Think of him like Fountains of Wayne meets James Taylor writing songs about gym class parachutes and lemonade stands. We pretty much listen to nothing else in our house these days.

      And if you need some kid-friendly chill out music, anything by Lullatone will fit the bill.

      Cheers!

      • Liz Stanley said… February 24, 2017 6:09 pm

        Oh awesome! Need to check it out!

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