I 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!
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.)