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60 Songs That Prove Kids Music Can Be Awesome


If you’re the kind of parent who views “kids’ music” as giving up and pledges to only play them “the classics” from Day One, bookmark this page and forget it. For all the other parents, who have accepted that it’s more fun to watch a kid spazz out when they hear music made especially for them than to try and explain Led Zepplin’s IV to a 3-year-old, these playlists are for you. Each features songs crafted for kids by artists who are too talented or clever (or both) to dumb them down. So, crank them up with your own kids, and when Mr. Classics shows up late to the party, tell him you’ve been listening since way before it was popular.

Best New School Kids' Music

Long the provenance of folk singers goofing up classic roots songs and toning down nursery rhymes, kids’ music has experienced a bit of a renaissance over the past 15 years. New artists incorporate everything from hip hop to new wave to bluegrass into songs written about subjects kids innately grasp — like farting.
1. Box of Crayons – The Pop Ups
2. Let’s Skateboard – The Not-Its
3. I Like Fruit – Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo
4. My Home – Brady Rhymer And The Little Band That Could
5. To Be A Fossil – Lunch Money
6. Everybody Farts – Randy Kaplan
7. Can You Canoe – The Okee Dokee Brothers
8. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – Elizabeth Mitchell
9. Someday, Some Morning, Sometime – Little Miss Ann
10. Just For You – Casper Babypants
11. All About Bob – Ralph’s World
12. Growing Up – Lullatone
13. Hey Sister – Walter Martin
14. Bicycle – Frances England
15. Mr. Tinkly Pants – Yellow Whale

Best Old School Kids' Music

Speaking of folk singers and classics, it doesn’t get much more classic than Pete Seeger or Lead Belly — just 2 examples of roots music titans who recorded nearly as many albums for kids as they did for adults. As for why these kinds of musicians take so naturally to kids’ music, the answer is complex: They like kids.
1. Oh, Susana – Pete Seeger
2. Swinging On A Star – Bing Crosby
3. Willoughby Wallaby Woo – Raffi
4. Stop And Go – Ella Jenkins
5. Don’t You Push Me Down – Woody Guthrie
6. Charlie Brown – The Coasters
7. The Fox – Tom Glazer
8. The Crawdad Song – Sam Hinton
9. John Henry – David Holt
10. Skip To My Lou – Lead Belly
11. Erie Canal – Bill Bonyun
12. Wimoweh – The Weavers
13. Oo-De-Lally – Roger Miller
14. Big Rock Candy Mountain – Tom Chapin
15. Bushel And A Peck – Dan Zanes And Friends

Best Kids' Music From Movies And TV

Everyone can take a break from beating up on Frozen’s “Let It Go” and acknowledge: Some of the all-time great kids music has been produced as part of all-time great kids’ movies and TV shows. Unless you disagree that the Muppets Show is an all-time great, in which case you probably shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.
1. The Muppet Show ThemeThe Muppets
2 . You’ve Got A Friend In MeToy Story
3. Reading Rainbow Theme SongReading Rainbow
4. Cruella De Vil101 Dalmatians
5. I Just Can’t Wait To Be KingThe Lion King
6. SupercalifragilisticexpialidociousMary Poppins
7. Bare NecessitiesJungle Book
8. C Is For CookieSesame Street
9. Fraggle Rock ThemeFraggle Rock
10. Goofy Goober RockSpongebob Squarepants
11. Sesame Street Theme Song Sesame Street
12. Whistle StopRobin Hood
13. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-DahThe Song Of The South
14. Under The SeaThe Little Mermaid
15. Movin’ Right AlongThe Muppets

In case you weren’t aware, kid-ified versions of popular music, which trade guitars and drums for xylophones and hushed electronic tones, are kind of a thing now — everyone from Pink Floyd to Kanye West has received the treatment, and the results are … oddly hypnotizing. It will put both you and your kid to sleep.

1. Such Great Heights – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star
2. Under The Bridge – Rockabye Baby
3. Wish You Were Here – Tiny Tot Players
4. On The Road Again – Hushabye Baby
5. Back to Black – Rockabye Baby
6. Ring of Fire – Hushabye Baby
7. Adams Song – Rockabye Baby
8. Black Hole Sun – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star
9. Sugar Magnolia – Rockabye Baby
10. Desperado – Cradle Rock
11. Born To Run – Rockabye Baby
12. Dog Days Are Over – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star
13. Sweet Child O Mine – Tiny Tot Players
14. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – Cradle Rock
15. Every Breath You Take – Tiny Tot Players