Playlist: Favorite (non-cheesy) Kid Tunes

The right playlist can turn a long car ride into a family sing-along, help a child relax for bedtime, or even defuse sibling squabbles. Music has always been an important part of our family time, but lately I found we were getting into a bit of rut.

So I decided to refresh our music library and bring some of our old favorites back into our family playlist. Here are some of the albums that always make both me and my kids want to sing along.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants are the hands-down favorites with my kids. Their songs are so catchy and fun to listen to, I (almost) never mind hitting repeat. We love all three of their “learning” albums; Here Come the ABCs, Here Come the 123s, and Here Comes Science.

For The Kids

The three For The Kids albums have a nice mix of mellow indie originals and covers of classic kids tunes. The very sweet See You On The Moon (on For The Kids Three) is so good I’ve added it to my own playlist as well!

The Green Album

Of course no kids music list would be complete without muppets! Muppets: The Green Album has some great new covers of great old songs. It’s not Kermit, but this The Rainbow Connection just might make you tear up a little bit.

Really Rosie

Carole King’s Really Rosie is a gem. The songs are based on characters in Maurice Sendak’s books, and they are just as quirky and fun as you’d expect. And Alligators All Around is amazingly alliterative.

Ella Jenkins

This is a great album for singing along and playing with call-and-response style folk songs. My kids love that there are kids singing along on these recordings, and I love that it encourages them to join in. And On A Holiday is a fun way to kick off a long car ride.

Finally, I wanted to share three of my absolute favorites; these are the songs I’ll put on repeat even if my kids aren’t around.

Over the Rainbow
by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
I could listen to this medley of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “What A Wonderful World” all day. So mellow and so happy, you can’t help but smile.

Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Your Eyes
by Kristin Andreassen
This song makes me think of my kids and a fresh box of crayons — a few of my favorite things!

Puff, the Magic Dragon
by Peter, Paul and Mary
I cry every single time I hear this song. It makes me see my little boys and picture them growing up and getting big.

We’d love to hear your favorite kids tunes in the comments!


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One Reply to “Playlist: Favorite (non-cheesy) Kid Tunes”

  1. We adore the “For the Kids” albums, too — esp. the Meow, Meow Lullaby by Nada Surf!

    Elizabeth Mitchell’s album YOU ARE MY LITTLE BIRD and the album IT’S A BIG WORLD by Renee & Jeremy are current favorites with my toddler. They are on constant play in the car, and I don’t mind one bit — the music is so lovely and it’s indescribably sweet to hear my toddler’s little voice as he sings along (sweeter still when his 9 year old brother chimes in with his voice.) An added bonus to these CD’s — there is a music video you can see on youtube for Elizabeth Mitchell’s song “Little Bird, Little Bird” and there is also a you tube video for the Renee and Jeremy song, “It’s a Big World Baby.”

    Thanks for the tips re: more music to try out!


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