Fatherly Stuff: Music for Kids that Won't Drive you Insane

Mar 6, 2012

Music for Kids that Won't Drive you Insane

It happens almost every morning when I'm driving the little guy to daycare. I'm listening to my morning radio show, being a good adult and catching up on my current events, until I'm suddenly interrupted.


"Yeah buddy, what's up", I nervously ask, knowing what's coming next.

"Daddy, I wanna hear Elmo"

I try to misdirect, "How about you play with your Alphabet Apple"

But he stubbornly requests, "Please let me listen to Elmo!"

I eventually yield and pop in the CD and I'm forced to subject myself to Elmo's high pitched voice as he sings about ducks, rainbows and lollipops. Now, don't get wrong: I don't necessarily hate Elmo or really any kind of kiddie music. The music is clean, the lyrics are simple and  usually educational  and most kids can't get enough. The problem for me is, between his favorite TV shows, DVDs and CDs, after a while, it gets to be a little mind numbing.

Poor bastard listened to too much Barney

Luckily for us, there are musicians out there who understand the parent's plight and have answered our call to create music that's clean and kids love, yet at the same time can be enjoyed by adults. It's cool because while I do have him listen to some of my favorite music from time to time, I didn't want to give up on his genre all together. Here are a few suggestions that helped us find middle ground:

1. The Aquabats

The Aquabats is a band based out of California who specialize in Rock n' Roll music for kids. From their superhero costumes, to their fun lyrics to awesome guitar play and cool names like Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk, these guys are sure to get both the kids and their parents on thier feet rocking out. I've been a fan since I saw them perform on Yo Gabba Gabba (another show with great music). They now have their own show on the HUB channel, and I highly encourage you to check it out.

 2. The Laurie Berkner Band

My son and I were first introduced to Ms. Berkner through a Nick Jr show called "Jack's Big Music Show". She and her band would regularly perform in music videos on the show that were very entertaining. Ever since, we've been hooked. Laurie, with her high energy, bubbly voice, leads with an acoustic guitar and is backed up by electric bass, electric guitar and a variety of other instruments, depending on the song. Their music very catchy and the lyrics are fun and easy for my toddler to sing along with. Any Laurie Berkner CD is a must have for your music collection.

I also recommend that if you're a smartphone user, to pick up the LBB Mobile App. Available for Android and iPhone, you can access their database and listen to most of their songs. There is also an option to view info regarding tours and other cool updates.

3. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

I'm a fan of hip hop. Unfortunately, most of what's currently out on the market isn't fit for young children.  Luckily, there are artist out there like Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Originally earning his hip hip stripes by touring with legends such as Run DMC and Mos Def, Skidoo began creating music geared specifically towards children, earning the moniker, "King of Kid-Hop". What I especially like isn't just that fact the he is a legitimate rapper, but the music is both fun to dance to and the lyrics simultaneously promote a number of positive messages. Case in point:

4. Lullaby CD by Jewel

Our family does alot of traveling between our in-laws who live on average 3-4 hours in opposite directions from our hometown. Mix that with a toddler who gets ansty after about 25 minutes in the car and your setting yourself up for a long drive. A very long drive. The soothing voice and melodic guitar play from Jewel's Lullaby album sets a tone of relaxation for our drives. We seriously don't leave the house on long trips without it.

So there you have it folks, those are my family's favorites. But as always, there are many other options for every individual family dynamic. With that being said, I'd like to hear from you: What types of music does your child like to listen to? Do you as a parent enjoy the music as well?

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1 comment:

  1. They Might be Giants has a good children;s album out, as does Bare Naked Ladies. I also suggest Jack Johnson and Friends who did the Curious George soundtrack.