Kids’ Songs You’ll Love [Spotify Playlist Included]


kids songs adults like tooI never thought I’d venture into the land of children’s music—the soundtrack to my early days included Frank Sinatra, Tom Lehrer, Van Morrison, and whatever my older siblings were listening to—but here I am, 17 months into parenthood, shaking my sillies out and clapping my hands because I’m happy and I know it.

I surrendered to children’s music on a Saturday evening while crossing the Bay Bridge with a tired, hungry (hangry) toddler. There were two accidents ahead of us and as we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, I watched the sky darken and the time to our destination grow from 26 minutes to 57. When my son’s crying morphed into a primal scream, I grabbed my phone, paused the “Discover Weekly” playlist on Spotify, and frantically searched for Raffi. A few seconds later, as the singer’s familiar voice filled our car with “Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,” the power of children’s music took effect: the backseat went silent. (And no, he wasn’t asleep; he was wide-eyed and mesmerized.)

Since then, our repertoire has grown to include a good number of children’s songs and bands that span a range of styles. Raffi is still an easy go-to, but one can only listen to the same songs so many times before going bananaphone-crazy.

Here are some of the kids’ songs we love, and hope you’ll love, too. Let us know what kid-friendly songs you and your family are listening to in the comments!

Caspar Babypants, “Annabelle Pancake”  

Dan Zanes, “Jump Up”

Ellis Paul, “I Lost a Day to the Rain”

Alphabet Rockers, “I’m Proud”

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, “Let’s Dance”

Elizabeth Mitchell, “I Wish You Well”

Michael Hearst featuring Claudia Gonson, “Billie Jean King”

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, “Freight Train”

Walter Martin featuring Matt Berninger, “We Like the Zoo (‘Cause We’re Animals Too)

Karen O and the Kids, “All Is Love”

Taj Mahal, “Quavi, Quavi”

Ziggy Marley, “Take Me to Jamaica”

They Might Be Giants, “Why Does the Sun Shine?”

Frances England, “Bicycle”

The Laurie Berkner Band, “I’m Gonna Catch You”

You can find all of these songs and more on the Kids’ (and Kid-Friendly) Songs You’ll Love playlist on Spotify. (Most of them are also available on Amazon and iTunes.)

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Rebecca grew up in New York City and went to Colorado College, where she majored in English. After another quick stint in NYC, she moved to San Francisco, where she's been for the past 11 years. Rebecca was an elementary and middle school teacher for a decade, and then worked in educational publishing, where she helped to create a digital K-12 curriculum. Alongside teaching, Rebecca compiled and co-edited Breakfast on Mars, an anthology of essays for kids by notable authors, which received several starred reviews and was on NY Public Library’s “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013” list. She currently works for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a nonprofit that believes stories matter. Rebecca has a husband who loves to cook, an amazingly sweet and adorable son who loves to bang on things, and a dog who loves to bark. In rare moments of silence, Rebecca enjoys reading, writing, and doing the occasional downward dog.


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