The other day I was driving my three year old to a swimming lesson when I heard, “I got $20 in my pocket” being sung from the back seat. For a moment my heart burst with pride – my little baby was singing along to music I listen to, music her father and I like! In the next second my pride was washed away by the feeling of sheer terror that she would sing the next line of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” that contains a very naughty word.
Now, my daughter has never actually heard the uncensored version of the song that I know of, but you never know what kids might pick up. I mean, Britney Spears is introducing herself as “Britney, b#*$&” every time I turn the radio on, so who knows what my child has heard.
In order to avoid adding “baby’s first swear word” to the baby book, here are some great artists that make music you, your kids, and your kids’ vocabulary will enjoy.
- Caspar is actually Chris Ballew, lead singer of The Presidents of the United States. After having kids of his own and creating and donating a children’s album to a Seattle non-profit, Ballew started making children’s music full time. He has recorded eight albums that contain catchy, kid –friendly tunes and has some great videos available on his website and YouTube. Another great thing about Caspar is that he has the story behind each of his songs on his website. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT CASPER HERE.
- Who would know what kids want to listen to better than elementary school teachers? This trio of teachers bonded over their love of kids and music, and a band was formed! They just released their eighth album full of rocking circus themed songs. They have other theme based albums as well: super heroes, outer-space, and field trips have all been topics of their music. GET MORE INFO HERE.
The Not Its
- Besides amazing show outfits that include pink ties and tutus, this group of five parents plays high tempo music your kids will HAVE to dance to. Think the indie alternative music of the 90’s with kid friendly lyrics like “Helicopter feels so free, won’t you come away with me.” The only downside to this music is that it will have your kids bouncing around like you wouldn’t believe. I wouldn’t play this stuff right before bedtime! They have four albums available on iTunes. LEARN ABOUT THE NOT IT’S HERE.
- Elizabeth has been making beautiful children’s folk music for 15 years. She has a sweet, soothing voice and her music is a great counter balance to the rock based kid albums. Another bonus: You can download songbooks for her albums with lyrics and chords from her website. LEARN MORE HERE.
They Might be Giants
- You might know them from their late 80’s pop hits “Birdhouse in Your Soul” and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” but did you know they won a Grammy in 2009 for their children’s album? They have four children’s albums that are full of the quirky music they are known for. Their most recent two albums also come with a DVD of videos of every song on the albums. FIND THEIR KID MUSIC HERE.
- If you want catchy songs, Justin Roberts is your guy. He is more of what you think of when you think current children’s music, which is no surprise since he has been making music since 1998. He has some great songs to help kids get through rough times, like “Get Me Some Glasses” which helps kids feel good about going from two eyes to four. Like Elizabeth Mitchell, you can download songbooks with lyrics and chords from his website. LEARN MORE HERE.
- This group is a multilingual Latin-rock/hip hop band from Los Angeles. While they are best known for their adult music, they jumped into the children’s music world last year with the album OzoKidz. This is a great way to introduce your children to salsa beats. GET THE ALBUM HERE.
Various Artists – Science Fair
- As a mother to a girl with an engineering brain, I am a sucker for anything that is geared towards encouraging girls in the sciences. This compilation album is sung by women and girls with the theme of science and engineering education for girls. $3 of each sale goes to Girls, Inc. in support of girls’ science education programs. One of the co-producers of the album? Elizabeth Mitchell mentioned above! LISTEN TO SAMPLES AND GET THE ALBUM HERE.
Johnny Cash’s Children’s Album
- Johnny Cash. Children’s Album. The perfect combo. Enough said. JOHNNY’S CHILDREN ALBUM HERE.