As both a parent and a librarian, I recognize the importance of--and usually enjoy--fun and vibrant music made for children. Classic songs like "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," "The Hokey Pokey," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" are wonderful for helping kids learn about the sounds of words through repetition, get ready to read, as well as develop a love for music.
But sometimes we as parents need something a little different--something for the kid in us to enjoy along with our kids.
Luckily, many of our favorite bands and singers want the same thing and are there to help us out. Years ago I discovered a compilation of songs called For the Kids--kids' songs covered by a variety of artists, including Cake, Barenaked Ladies and Billy Bragg with Wilco--and it was just what I needed! Cake has a great cover of the Sesame Street/Muppets song "Mahna Mahna," taking me back to my own childhood. There are now For the Kids Too!, and For the Kids Three!, albums with more fun songs.
Speaking of "Mahna Mahna," be sure to check out the brand new Muppets: The Green Album, with covers of great Muppet Show songs by bands like Ok Go, Alkaline Trio, My Morning Jacket and The Fray with their version of "Mahna Mahna." I happily sang along to Alkaline Trio's "Movin' Right Along" today on my way to work!
Sometimes great songs come along that weren't made especially for kids, but have a fun kid-like quality, like "We're Going to Be Friends" by White Stripes. Check out the list below for other awesome bands and songs that both kids and their adults can love too! What bands and/or songs do you know and love that are great for kids too?
Albums for grown-ups and kids
Not for Kids Only - Jerry Garcia
No! - They Might be Giants
The Beatles - practically anything
Fun songs my kids and I love
I Feel Just Like a Child - Devendra Banhart
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? - She & Him
Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
Sloop John B. - Beach Boys
Headphoneworld - Busy Signals
Tickle Me Pink - Johnny Flynn
The Youth - MGMT
Do you have an email address or form where I might be able to submit music for this music blog's consideration?
Not at this time, but thank you for your suggestion.
Its my pleasure to tell you that your article has fascinated me. You are into a wonderful work. Keep the spirit high….
Here's a really fun one we found on Amazon:
Guitar oriented, all instrumental tunes that are really nicely done.
Thanks for posting this link--the songs sound great! I love using instrumental music that grown ups know well in Storytime because it really encourages them to sing with their kids. And of course, singing is a great activity for getting little ones ready to read and fostering a love of music.
Thank you for posting this. I look forward to listening to these songs with my baby boy!