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Notice I did not title this MY favorite kids’ music. These are not necessarily the tunes I would choose, day in and day out. (I’m a big fan of The Rizers and Yancy, personally.) But these are the albums my kids ask me to play – especially in the car – over and over and OVVVEERR again.
Who loves it? All my kids, but especially Joshua (almost 3).
Their Favorite Song: Joshua likes “5 Little Ducks,” because of all the quacking
My favorite: “De Colores,” because I have listened to this album so much I can sing a whole song in Spanish, which I have never studied.
This album was released in 1989. For reference, I was 7 years old in 1989, the age my oldest daughter is now. Ha! And I remember some of these songs, like “Apples and Bananas” from my childhood. (And “Baby Beluga” from Full House.) Despite the fact that it’s 25 years old, the album doesn’t really seem dated, other than the names-around-the-world in the song “Like Me and You.”
I’m not sure whether Joshua just likes it because he can say “Raffi” (or “Ralphie,” usually), but he will always ask for this one.
I’ve Got Music in Me – Jack Hartmann
Who loves it? It was Libbie and David’s favorite a few years ago.
Their favorite song? What they call “The Fish Song,” really “Five Little Fish.” They just call this whole album “The Fish Song.”
My favorite song? “Be the Best You Can Be.” Who can resist a song with a message?
Jack Hartmann composes and records songs from his role as a teacher. This album is from 1995, and while it teaches letter sounds, body parts, and more, it’s the album of his that seems most appropriate for the car and not the classroom. (Several of his others, like Math in Motion, have songs recorded with places for kids/teachers to fill in blanks, etc, if that makes sense.) This one is just music other than the last track, which is one of the songs in instrumental for performance. I credit Jack Hartmann with teaching David his letter sounds! Hartmann is kind of cheesy, but he knows what works, and we enjoy these songs a lot.
The Family Garden – Billy Kelly
Who loves it? All my kids (ages 7 to nearly 3)
Their favorite song? Probably a tie between “I’m Thinking of an Animal” and “Rock Lobster”
My favorite song? “That Old American Flag” – it is a sweet song about patriotism and family.
My LEAST favorite song? I hate “Straw,” because it’s a bunch of nonsense lies and I am rule-follower. But oh well. Haha.
Billy Kelly is pretty much insane, which might be a prerequisite for being a children’s artist. This goofy album celebrates gardening, flags, pen pals, and nonsense; remakes a few songs, like “Coney Island Washboard” and “Rock Lobster”; and adds some total nonsense with “Straw.”
The Merry Goes ‘Round – Jewel
Who loves it? Libbie (7)
Their favorite song? “Sammy the Spider”
My favorite song? “Snooze Button Blues.” Because every morning.
In her standard Jewel style, The Merry Goes ‘Round is folksy, with some pop and blues built in. She remakes the classics “O Susannah,” “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain,” and several other old favorites, while adding peppy tunes like “Sammy the Spider” and “Supermarket Song.” The album is kind of weighted toward the beginning tracks, in my opinion, but overall it’s a fun listen and one my kids are starting to get into.
The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band – Laurie Berkner
Who loves it? All of us, Mom included. We like many of her albums, but this one is a good compilation of the best tunes.
Their favorite song? Libbie – “Five Days Old”; David – “Buzz Buzz”; Joshua – “Boots”
My favorite song? “Victor Vito,” although they are all super catchy and you will find me singing “Moon Moon Moon” all the time.
According to Amazon, Laurie Berkner has nine albums for children. We listen to three of them on a regular basis, but this best-of compilation is really fun. My kids basically have every one of these songs memorized, and that includes the 2-year-old.
If we aren’t listening to Kids Place Live on the satellite radio, we are probably listening to one of these in the minivan. What are yours kids’ favorite tunes?