Real talk. Children’s music is cringey. Perfectly stimulating for babies but to the adults that have memory of the non-stop replays, let’s just say it could be used as a torture technique. Even with my son being only 4 months old, if I hear “It’s Raining Tacos” one more time I may cocoon myself.
After hearing an awful computerized version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” I was deadset to find some music I could vibe with. As it turns out, there is a lot of decent children’s music out there as long as you’re not getting it from a pre-made Spotify playlist. So many of our favorite alternative artists have songs for kids if not an entire album! Check out my top picks.
1. Royal & the Serpent – The ABC Song
At home with the kids was a fun little album collaboration between a ton of different artists writing music for their kids/relatives during quarantine. It came out in August 2020, making it the newest music on this playlist. I note this one from Royal & the Serpent as she timestamps the song with “Q is for quarantine.”
My personal favorite off the album is the Tove Lo song. I get down to some “Buzz buzz hop hop” and it’s listed at number 10. Other artists on the album include Saint Motel, Portugal. the Man and Sia.
2. The White Stripes – We’re Going To Be Friends
Obviously not classically a children’s song but I can’t help but include this here. It’s a band you love, a wholesome song, an easy strum with no startling noises and it’s easy to sing along with. My husband plays guitar and whips this one out for Shiloh a lot because it makes him smile so much! Can’t say that for the rest of the White Stripes repertoire…
Consider adding some lighter classics of your own into your child’s playlist. It’s important to give them a good mix of stuff you enjoy and the ones that are stimulating and educating for their little minds.
3. Jack Johnson – Upside Down
Just one more non-kid’s song song to note! Or really the artist. Jack Johnson is great background music for time on the floor with your little one or hanging out teaching them to help with chores. If you play guitar, learn some of it and have a family jam session. Memories like that last a lifetime.
4. The Verve Pipe – Cereal
Did you know The Verve Pipe did an ENTIRE kid’s music album? This song honestly made me crack up as soon as it starts. You see the lyrics and think you’re about to hear bells and whistles and it’s strong strum and a big belt about cereal. Fun for the kids, hilarious for the adult but also you get well composed music.
I recommend listening to the whole album!
5. They Might Be Giants – Clap Your Hands
They Might Be Giants released Here Come The ABCs in 2005 to CD with 25 kid songs and it was such a hit it was later released to DVD with 36 songs. I like this one because it makes it easy to help teach a classic milestone! I haven’t been able to make it through all 36 yet.
6. Barenaked Ladies – The Ninjas
Barenaked Ladies released their own children’s album, Snack Time! in 2007 with a companion book that came later featuring artwork from Barenaked Ladies guitar/keyboarder, Kevin Hearn. The music is light and definitely still sounds like you’re listening to Barenaked Ladies. The humor is still alive.
7. Franz Ferdinand – Jackie Jackson
Franz Ferdinand did not make an entire album but did pitch in a song for Colours Are Brighter in 2006. That album also features Snow Patrol with “I Am An Astronaut.” The one is upbeat. Not a before naptime song!
8. Sublime – Hong Kong Phooey
Saturday Morning Cartoons is a compilation album of cartoon’s favorite songs sung by the adult’s favorite bands to make them a little better. This song was featured in The Jetson’s. This album is STACKED with songs covered by Butthole Surfers, Collective Soul, Semisonic, Violent Femmes and more!
If you don’t know- ‘Hong Kong Phooey’ was a cartoon from the 70’s and this was the theme song.
9. Caspar Babypants – Stompy the Bear
I REALLY bet you didn’t know this one… Caspar Babypants… is actually just… Chris Bellow! (Lead singer for Presidents of the United States of America)
His first brush with children’s music was in 2002 for a fundraiser. Guess he fell in love because in 2008 he released his first kid’s album, Here I Am! Caspar is now HUGE online. Tons of content! Check out Stompy the Bear over here.
10. Tove Lo – Buzz buzz hop hop
I only put this one last because it’s actually my personal favorite and I was trying to not rank but also we already featured this album on the list. Basically I just really want you to hear this Tove Lo baby song. It’s got a stupid-fun beat to dance to while holding your little one- or not so little one!
Bottom line? We need not suffer any longer! A whole new world of children’s music is now at your fingertips. Have fun with it and remember- the fact that you’re even bothering to find fun new music for your child means you’re rocking it!