Let’s face it: music for kids can be more exhausting to your patience than your own little ones. It can be noisy, repetitive, and overly chipper — in some cases adults would rather eat a spoonful of baby food than hear another moment of it. At its best, music for children can be a hoot, which is why a growing number of established and well-respected musicians started recording albums that both meet kids on their level, and please the adults who have to sit through it.
Laura Veirs’ Tumble Bee, Kimya Dawson’s hilarious Alphabutt, and They Might Be Giants’ Here Come the ABCs all provide excellent examples of a joyful and fun kind of music. The compilation See You on the Moon - Songs for Kids of All Ages is another, with artists like Sufjan Stevens, Junior Boys, Broken Social Scene, Mark Kozelek, Hot Chip, and Kid Koala all contributing songs.
A number of adults are also dedicating themselves to making quality tunes for youngsters and adults alike — there's the cleverly-titled Recess Monkeys, a trio of Seattle teachers are The Not-Its (whose singer formerly fronted 90s indie-pop group Velocity Girl), and Caspar Babypants, who is former frontman for The Presidents.
Other people on Rdio ensured that they don’t go kids-music-crazy by creating their own playlists of songs they love that go over well with their children. “Dancing Music for Kids of Hipster Parents” is sure to tucker out any energetic young thing, while “Kids Music That Won’t Drive You Crazy” and “Songs for My Kids (That Don’t Suck)” promise musical fun for all ages.
Kids will be kids, and sometimes they just want to hear the tried and true, familiar classics from Yo Gabba Gabba!, Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, The Wiggles, Raffi, and the folks at Nick Records. You could also make your own playlists of the songs your kids like that you too can stand, as listeners have done with “Stories for Bedtime” and “A Christmas Playlist for Kids”. So let's hear it, when the kids want music, what do you play for them without compromising your sanity?