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Monday, August 5, 2013

Awesome Music for Kids

Cricket loves music.  Every morning, after breakfast, she walks into the living room, finds the remotes, hands them to me and says, "Do do do?" while shaking her tiny baby hips.


Anyway, I love music too, but a lot of music designed for kids is mind-numbingly terrible, and I believe that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to the arts in general.  I'm on a never-ending quest to find good music that she enjoys and that won't make me lose my ever-loving mind.  Here are some options I've enjoyed so far.

(This post contains affiliate links, and I receive a small percentage of any sales at no extra cost to you.  I am not otherwise compensated for my recommendations.  These are my opinions alone.)

Putumayo Kids: World Playground

I saw this CD at Whole Foods, and it caught my eye every time I walked past it, so I finally got it.  I'm so glad I did!

It has songs from all over the world (except, oddly, Asia) sung by actual musicians instead of being scream-sung by semi-tone deaf kids like most children's music.  It uses indigenous instruments and different languages, and Cricket LOVES it!  I love it too, because even though we listen to it over and over in the car, it's not super annoying!

Scripture Rock

I've had this one since I was doing puppet team in high school, and it's still fantastic.

All the songs are straight Bible verses, set to catchy tunes and sung by adults, sometimes with kids in the background.  Again, this is a CD I can listen to over and over and not get sick of it.  Plus, I like the idea of Cricket being exposed to all different kinds of music, and not just lullabies and acoustic guitar.

Sing-Alongs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George

This one has been around awhile, but it's great.

The songs are cute and most of them are upbeat, and of course, listening to Jack Johnson makes you feel like you're around a campfire on the beach at twilight, so these are good for times when you need to relax.

Crazy Praize

Spelling errors notwithstanding, this is a great CD.

I used this one in my classroom for six years, in two different children's churches, and I still love it.  This is actually "Volume 2" and I've never heard Volume 1, but I bet it's good too.  This one is sung by kids and adults, and the songs are upbeat, entertaining, and just plain fun!

Songs in French for Children

A sweet friend gave this to Cricket when she was born.  It's great.

I actually have several French kids' CD's from my time teaching French at school, but I particularly love this one.  It's got all the classic French kids' songs like Alouette and Sur le Pont D'Avignon, but it has a bunch more that I hadn't heard before, which is fun.  It is sung by kids, but in French, that doesn't seem to bother me.  There are also a ton of songs on this CD, so it plays forever, which is nice!


We don't use this one as much as we used to.  For a while when Cricket was little, it was like a magic sleeping aide that caused her to fall instantly into a deep slumber.  Now, she sleeps just fine on her own, but it's still a great CD.

I will give you a warning though:  this is such a soothing, peaceful CD that there is a good chance it will put YOU to sleep if you're too close to it, or if, for example, you can hear it through the baby monitor.  Yup.

Pandora Stations

We also love to listen to Pandora Radio.  We have a Roku player, so we can play Pandora on our living room TV, which is a great central location.  Plus, we get WAY fewer commercials on the Roku than when we listen to Pandora on the computer.  They have TONS of great kids' stations.

  • Pampers Baby Lullabies
    • This has been one of my favorite kids' stations since Cricket was a baby.  It plays a great mix of kids' songs like Elizabeth Mitchell's "You are My Sunshine" and everything Ravi has ever written, but it also plays kid-friendly "grown-up" music like Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Iz (which I'm pretty sure Pandora is contractually required to include on every station for children).
  • Rockabye Baby!
    • I was so excited to find out this was a station!  I've wanted to get these CD's that have acoustic versions of adult songs for a long time, but I could never justify spending the money.  Now, I don't have to!  We can listen to lullaby versions of Pearl Jam, Metallica, and Journey 'till our heart's content!
  • The Muppets (Children)
    • It's Muppets.  Need I say more?  (They also have a Sesame Street station if you want to get more specific.)
  • Ziggy Marley (Children's)
    • Cricket loves Calypso/Reggae music, and for a while I had a Reggae station that I would play for her, but I always ended up turning it off because the cover art on the TV was explicit or the lyrics were just not something I was comfortable with.  This station, on the other hand, is island music specifically geared for children.  Win-win!
  • Putumayo Kids Radio
    • Remember that CD at the top up there?  The World Playground one?  Well, they have a whole series of those, and their own radio station!  It doesn't just play their stuff, though, which kind of disappointed me.  I usually end up having to turn off this station when it tries to play music that makes my ears bleed Dora.
  • Schoolhouse Rock
    • This is my favorite station right now.  They play Schoolhouse Rock songs, of course, and they play a great mix of kids songs sung by bands we used to listen to in high school, Disney songs, and regular kid-type stuff. 
Of course, there are lots of non-kid specific stations and CD's that we love, too.  (Try the Ashley MacIsaac Pandora station if you like crazy awesome bagpipes and fiddles.)  But this is a good list.  It would take you a while to get tired of all of these.  I know I'm still enjoying them!

By the way, did you catch that up there?  Bands we used to listen to in high school are now doing kids' songs.  On one hand, I am pretty sure this is a sign that I am old.  On the other hand, that is really awesome news, which is also probably a sign that I am old.  But seriously, it was kinda neat when Jewel did her album, but now They Might Be Giants has like, four albums out, and they're all smart, funny, and catchy.  Barenaked Ladies, the most unfortunately named really good band, has a kids' album out called Snacktime, and it's really great!  They play a lot of these CD's on that Schoolhouse Rock station, which is another reason I love it.

Oh, and the lead singer from Presidents of the United States of America?  (You know.  The band that sang "Peaches.")  Yeah, he now goes by the name "Caspar Babypants" and is a full-fledged kids' musician.

Check out this CD.

This album is Schoolhouse Rock songs covered by famous bands like Better Than Ezra, Blind Melon, Moby, and Lemonheads.

We are officially adults, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I so struggle with finding children's music that I can tolerate! I'm actually working on a similar post so I will definitely have to reference this! Hope you're not going too stir crazy in the hospital ;-)