It’s been said that music soothes the savage beast. Sometimes it can even soothe a tantrumming preschooler. For this reason, I try to keep some kind of music playing as much as possible.
When we’re in the car, I used to just tune into one of those “listen at work” radio stations which I thought was at least a safe choice—one that wouldn’t have me spilling coffee everywhere while frantically reaching for the dial when the lyrics got too spicy for little ears. But recently, I had to find a new plan. That’s because the other day, when I told my son to go wash his hands, he turned to me with great drama and said, “I don’t care what you say any more– it’s my life. Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.”
Yeah, that’s great when Billy Joel says it—not so much when those words come out of my three-year-old’s mouth.
The challenge was to find music that was safe and enjoyable for him, but not too repetitive and annoying for me to have to listen to a million and a half times. So, taking a cue from my fellow NMB contributor Rachel’s recent children’s book post, I present to you some of my favorite children’s music . . . for parents!
Frog Trouble, by Sandra Boynton & various country music artists
If you’re reading NMB, then I figure chances are pretty good that you’re familiar with the work of author and songwriter Sandra Boynton. Frog Trouble is filled with some great sing-along songs performed by some of Music City’s best artists. Our favorites: Dwight Yoakam’s “I’ve Got a Dog” and “Heartache Song” by Kacey Musgraves.
I love these albums because the songs are catchy, fun, and musical; but, they’re also really educational. At the age of 2, my son could tell you that 1 plus 1 is two and 2 plus 2 is four as a result of repeating lyrics from the song “I Can Add.” I will say that some of the songs make a lot more sense when you see the videos that go with them. Our favorites: “Alphabet of Nations,” “E Eats Everything,” and “Seven.”
Choo Choo Soul, Disney
I like this one mostly because I think the singer’s voice is amazing. I could listen to her sing the alphabet—which is a good thing…because she does. Our favorites: “ABC Gospel” and “Chugga Chugga Choo Choo.”
A Day at the Farm, by Farmer Jason
Pretty much every day at random moments, my son announces that “The Tractor Goes Chug-Chug-Chug.” Also, the tractor’s name is John. This album is one of many kids albums by Jason Ringenberg—whom you may know from Jason and the Scorchers. We went to see him at Cumberland Park recently, and I can report that it really was entertaining for the whole family. Our favorites: “The Tractor Goes Chug-Chug-Chug” (of course), “The Doggie Dance,” and “I’m Just an Old Cow.”
BONUS! Click here for a printable playlist of some of the songs from the albums mentioned above, plus a few more of our favorites that you might want to check out!