If you’ve been stuck in traffic with a high-pitched version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” on to keep the kids quiet, then you know just how important it is to find quality children’s music. And it surprises some people to learn that there are entire albums for children that don’t feature “Old MacDonald!”
2010 brought lots of great music to children of all ages: imaginative albums that delight and entertain (and don’t induce even the slightest hint of a migraine). Happy children and music that doesn’t make you want to veer into oncoming traffic? That’s music to everyone’s ears.
Here are 5 of our favorites from 2010:
1. Sunny Day by Elizabeth Mitchell: A friendly, folky family album from the talented Elizabeth Mitchell not only features her family (her husband Daniel Littleton, daughter Storey make plenty of appearances), but also musical friends including Levon Helm, Dan Zanes and Jon Langford. Like her previous album You Are My Little Bird, the whole CD is a joy to listen to, whether your children are with you or not.
2. The Verve Pipe: A Family Album: Many popular pop artists take a stab at children’s music: They Might be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, and Lisa Loeb have all found success entertaining the smaller set. For older children, The Verve Pipe’s album is upbeat and so grown-up sounding that if you’re not listening to the lyrics, you could mistake it for one of your own CDs. A must listen for fans of the group or for those looking for more sophisticated children’s music.
3. Time to Rock by the Not Its: While the title of this CD suggests all out crazy dance time, this is actually a balanced offering from the Seattle based band (remember Velocity Girl? She’s the lead singer.). Some of the songs are rock, and some have a lullaby quality, but they all have great, lasting lessons we’d love our children to grow into. A good compromise when you need a little downtime in-between all that rocking out.
4. Keller Williams: Kids: If your taste lean toward country music, this humorous, twangy album will be a welcome addition to your children’s music collection. And if you listen long enough, you’ll realize that Williams’s talent is no kids’ play–his amazing guitar and banjo skills shine through his silly lyrics. And if your children doesn’t have the patience for the finer points of music appreciation, don’t worry: there’s plenty of playfulness in these songs for them, too.
5. Jungle Gym by Justin Roberts: If you get a kick out of reliving your childhood with your children, this album by quirky songwriter Justin Roberts is for you. From trick-or-treating to snow days or sleepovers, there’s a song that will have you dancing down memory lane. Featuring lots of unique instruments and vocals, this is one of our favorite albums of the year, whether your a prior Roberts fan or not.
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