The Beauty of a Playlist (Cool Kids Rock!)

The following is by contributor and music reviewer Jennifer Brown.

This month I wanted to give you a surefire winner, something you could count on to immediately improve your personal music library.  Then of course I realized that there’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to music.  We all have our own personal tastes and opinions, and while I do my best to find those gems that will make parent’s ears happy—our ears are not all created equal.

So…I decided I would give you my best of three albums to kick off our new year of music together at Simple Kids.  Simply because just as our ears aren’t created equal, all tracks on any one particular album aren’t created equal either.

In our house, we’ve compiled the following selections performed by contemporary artists into a playlist we lovingly call Cool Kids Rock.

The  Cool Kids Rock Playlist

For the Kids

I’ll start with “For the Kids,” a various artists compilation album, which now has three versions.  Our personal favorites come from album one, but you may want to check the others out to see what they have to offer.  Your kids are going to love “The Hoppity Song”—it’s great for getting the wiggles out.

  • Mahna Mahna by CAKE
  • La La La La Lemon by Barenaked Ladies
  • I’ve Got To Be Clean by Guster
  • The Hoppity Song by John Ondrasik
  • It’s All Right To Cry by Darius Rucker
  • Sing by Ivy
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Raine Maida & Chantal Kreviazuk

Mary Had a Little Amp

My next group of songs comes from a terrific little gem called Mary Had a Little Amp,” a benefit CD released in 2004 from which the proceeds go to the People For the American Way Foundation’s Start Smart America program.  We’re loving these tunes from some artists you may already find in your adult music rotation.  My husband, a huge Dave Matthews fan, has been known to sing along with “Sing Along.”

  • Pure Imagination by Maroon 5
  • We Walk by R.E.M.
  • Rainbow Connection by Dixie Chicks
  • Sing Along by Blue Man Group featuring Dave Matthews
  • The 3 R’s by Jack Johnson
  • Anchovie by Moby
  • Wild, Wild Party in the Loquat Tree by Indigo Girls
  • How to Be Strong by Roseanne Cash
  • When You Wish Upon a Star by Joe Henry
  • Teach Your Children by Graham Nash

Muppets: The Green Album

Finally, we just picked up a new album over the holidays:  “Muppets:  The Green Album.”  I really planned to love every track on this album, in full disclosure I’m a huge Muppet fan.  But I found, while there’s nothing really wrong with any of the tracks on the album, I ended up choosing a handful of songs that would get more playing time on the playlist .  The following tracks are the ones that made me want to sing along.  The rest of the album is what I’d classify as a little more mellow.

  • Movin’ Right Along by Alkaline Trio
  • Muppet Show Theme Song by OK Go
  • Bein’ Green by Andrew Bird
  • Our World by My Morning Jacket

I also have to say I enjoy The Fray’s version of “Mahna Mahna” and Weezer and Haley Williams’ “The Rainbow Connection.”  They are totally interchangeable with the versions I previously mentioned.

All of these songs can be found and sampled on Amazon (“Mary Had a Little Amp” is not available on iTunes).  You can also check out the creative antics of the Blue Man Group featuring Dave Matthews on You Tube.

What other songs would you include on your Cool Kids Rock playlist?

About Jennifer

Jennifer, is a stay at home mom to two energetic, fun loving boys ages 6 and 2. She found a new passion in exploring great children's music after becoming a mom, which she blogs about at Swing Whistle Zing. Jennifer fancies finding quality tunes the whole family can enjoy, and dancing with her boys (both big and little) to her favorite songs that connect her to the past & keep her grounded in the present.

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  1. Love this list, Jennifer!

    At our house, pretty much anything by Recess Monkey is in heavy listening rotation right now. And, over the holidays, Max discovered Jimmy Buffet’s Run, Rudolph, Run – which we are still listening to, even thought it is January 😉

    Lots of booty shakin’ going on. I love it!
    Kara @SimpleKids´s latest post: The Beauty of a Playlist (Cool Kids Rock!)

  2. Thank you for sharing non-kid singers…I think we can all enjoy this. Especially for those 5pm dance parties in the kitchen while I try to coordinate dinner!
    Emily @ Random Recycling´s latest post: How to Make Your Own Yogurt

  3. Love this list, especially the Muppet Green Album. It was first brought to our attention by our 15-year old, usually a very picky musician. It is wonderful that we have something to listen to that everyone can enjoy. I also just bought Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies. I am really enjoying the covers on that album as well.

  4. Thanks for suggestions; my daughter loves it when we break out new songs.
    Steph´s latest post: A Story on Transitioning to Motherhood

  5. My son likes moving to techno music so Daft Punk is a favorite around our house.

  6. We love listening to music by “Go Fish”

    • I’ve heard great things about them but haven’t checked them out yet. I’ll have to put “Go Fish” on my 2012 music wish list. Thanks!

  7. Great suggestions! I’ve never heard most of the songs on your list, but I can’t wait to check some of them out. Our favorites are Barenaked Ladies “Snacktime,” anything from Sesame Street, and They Might Be Giants.
    Tara´s latest post: How to Decorate Around Radiators

  8. Great music suggestions! I have listened to many, and will try many more! Our favorite thing to do at the moment is to turn on Pandora Radio and be completely surprised by the next song that it chooses to play for us!
    Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site´s latest post: Ferber or Weissbluth?

  9. I started a fun tradition of making a mix CD for my children’s birthday parties…last year I made a very fun “train theme” for my son and a great “summer lovin” CD for my daughter’s summer birthday (Summer Nights from Grease starts it off). I like to put grown up music in there! And we just received a gift this Christmas- Juice Box Heroes. It’s many of our favorite 80’s tunes with new lyrics for kids. My husband and I LOVE it!

  10. Praxton G. says:

    Cute pictures. I really love children ever since before. I would definitely listen to these songs. Which one is the best of all?

    Thanks for the list. I’ll share this to my friends as well.

    Praxton G.´s latest post: How To Get A Girlfriend

  11. Excited to check these out! Sandra Boyton’s “Dog Train” is our favorite kid-oriented album with some great rock and roll. 🙂

  12. What a great idea! I’ll be checking out all of these songs for my 5 year old daughter and 3.5 year old identical twin boys! What fun!
    Dianna´s latest post: Avoiding the Doldrums: Saints and Scripture Sunday

  13. Great list of albums.I only have kid singers album for kids party now i will use these so that all of us enjoy them.Thanks for sharing this list.
    Printable Party Invites´s latest post: The most spoilt little girl in the world? Meet the mother who spent $36,000 on her daughter’s sixth birthday