Ever catch yourself in the moment driving down an open road, wind whipping through your hair and music blaring? You are belting out a tune like you ARE the next American Idol? Maybe the lyrics are something like, “I took a pill in Ibiza…and when I finally got sober I felt ten years older.” Suddenly you remember the kids are in the car. Whoops! Personally, I can tune out the colorful lyrics as background noise and just get lost in a good beat. But my kids will hang on to every single word and ask me a million questions about what it all means.
My kids already listen to a variety of music genres, but there are some concepts I just don’t want them to soak in. Like club scenarios, gun violence and drug culture. Plus, there is only so many times I can listen to Daniel Tigers snappy little rhymes before I actually snap. So what are parents supposed to do? Where can we find kid friendly music that we can enjoy too? Well, I did a little research and here’s what I found:
CHECK YOUR OWN MUSIC LIBRARY
First, sort through your own collection. What do you already have that you enjoy listening to and the lyrics aren’t offensive? My current CD collection (yes I still actually use those) spans all different types of music like: Bob Marley, Barenaked Ladies, Dave Mathews, The Beatles, The Monkees, REM, Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel and so much more. Pulling out my own favorite music to play helps to expand my kid’s musical taste, and keeps me from loosing my mind singing the ABC’s for the 4,000th time.
The beauty of a Google Play radio station is that you can select a station that plays only children’s music. Everything is filtered and it is a mix of music adults can tolerate and kids will love. We especially love the Shake Your Sillies Out station.
Similar to Google Play in that you can select a specific genre, except you build your play list through a thumbs up rating system. Pandora’s music library is limited compared to Google so there is a greater chance of repeats and wearing out those familiar tunes quicker.
You can select the music option in the sidebar menu and search for children’s music. This will pull up musical play lists lasting between 40-120 minutes. We especially like the Kids Party Music 2015 channel. It includes popular Disney favorites, popular oldies radio hits and songs adults are sure to recognize.
COMMON SENSE MEDIA
This website is a popular tool for parents to preview ratings for kid-friendly material for music, movies and video games. A quick search turned up an amazing list of parent approved albums recorded by recognizable artists. Each listing is categorized by age and subject matter, it also includes family talking points. Find bands like Barenaked Ladies, Andree 3000 from Outkast, The Verve Pipe, Jewel, Lou Rowels, Debbie Harry, Lisa Loeb, Issac Hayes, They Might Be Giants and even Def Leopard. Yes, Def Leopard made a kids album. Every song on this list is fun and it won’t leave you pining for grownup music! You can purchase directly from the site using an affiliate link and create a custom mixed CD.
Download the latest soundtrack to your kids favorite movie. The music is especially written to be catchy and appeal to the whole family. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played my Aladdin CD over and over… totally for the kids. It’s a fun way to relive your treasured movie moments as a family. Don’t forget to include musicals in the line up. I can still sing a set of show tunes I learned when I was a kid. (Thanks mom!).
There are many other radio stations and music subscription services to choose from. These are just some of the ways we bring family-friendly music into our day. Music doesn’t have to be annoying and repetitive and only sung in tiny kid voices. Family music can come in all different genres and sounds. What’s on your list favorites!?
The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.