A List of Kids’ Songs That Won’t Drive You Nuts
By Aruna Bewtra
We listen to a lot of music in my house and we are not too picky or particular about any of it. Yet, we have always had one rule: It must be enjoyable for everyone in the house. This rule presented a bit of a challenge when my daughter was younger, as my partner simply would not put up with kids’ songs by Raffi or The Wiggles or anything nursery rhyme-related.
I had to find other albums appropriate for very young children, but still enjoyable for adults. After all, there is nothing better than music to soothe a tantrum, gently wake a toddler from a nap, or pass the time during a lazy afternoon. The next time you find your household being swallowed by a toddler’s happy
cacophony symphony (electronic toys! banging pots!), try switching on something from this list of kids’ songs.
Curious George The Movie Soundtrack: I played this album on repeat in the car for the first six months of my daughter’s life, when her fear of the car seat was at its peak. These songs never failed to soothe her. Jack Johnson has written songs specifically for children, but in his own unique, smooth, surfer style. You and your child can pick out your favorite songs together while watching the movie.
The Labyrinth The Movie Soundtrack: David Bowie! Dance Magic Dance! This album is responsible for several major dance-offs in our kitchen.
Elizabeth Mitchell’s You Are My Little Bird and You Are My Sunshine: These albums set kids’ songs to sweet, folksy melodies that adults and children will both enjoy. When my daughter was young and wanted these albums she would ask for the “tinkly-tankly music.”
Colours Are Brighter: This album might be a bit difficult to track down, but it’s worth the effort. It’s a compilation of kids’ songs from artists such as Four Tet, The Flaming Lips, and Belle and Sebastian. When it was released in 2006, all proceeds went to charity. You can still find it for download on the internet with some digging. This was another huge hit in my house.
Kimya Dawson’s Alphabutt: This folksy and fun album of kids’ songs from The Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson (think soundtrack from the movie Juno) features collaborations with artists like Third Eye Blind’s guitarist Kevin Cadogan. The track ‘Little Panda Bear’ became a bit of an anthem at my house.
Smooth transitions, soothe nerves, or just have a dance party in your kitchen—but make sure it’s to music you all can enjoy. Happy listening!