Toddler Tunes

"Turn up the tunes mommy!"

So the last time we spoke about toddler tunes, I was recommending children’s songs that don’t drive mommy crazy. Those are all well in good, but for our 6 hour torture session drive to cape cod, I need DISTRACTION. It’s time for the big guns… what are your toddlers favorite songs of all time?

Right now we have the Earthworm Ensemble in constant rotation, which is ok but he only likes about 5 of the songs, maybe three at any one given time.  He really, really loves playing DJ, which consists of him calling out what songs he wants to hear, usually midway into another song and usually followed by incessant whining until I put on the requested song.   Mamma Loves you is my personal favorite, but for Jasper that award goes to “Little Willy Buffalo” which he calls “Boo-ca-ca” because there is a part where it says “Boom Shakalakalaka” which is all he can make out. (He must have inherited his mommy’s lyric deciphering disability!)

But, 6 hours of the same few songs clearly will not do!  So, please help me expand Jasper’s musical horizons. After I get some suggestions I’ll make an iMix in case anyone is interested in listening. The last one was called “Jammin with Jasper“. Maybe I’ll call this one “Driving with Jasper!”

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Kath says:

We currently have Laurie Berkner’s Rocketship Run on rotation in the car.

Erin M. says:

Ziggy Marley’s Family Time! We also listen to all day long with the laptop. We actually have the Ziggy Marley station (for kids) programed and he seems to really love it, it has a great mix of tunes, good luck!

Love your blog!

SarahD says:

My hubby hates the usual kids music, and we do a fair bit of traveling ourselves. Here is one of his favorite…
See you on the Moon….a good mix of songs that should be just as fun for you as for him! (Great Lake Swimmers, Sufjan Stevens, FemBots, Montag etc.)

One of my favorite albums as a child, that was ironically written on the year I was born, is by Raffi.
My son loves “Wiloughby Wallaby Woo” with a passion. Although these are definitely children songs, the gentle guitar and vocals don’t make it so annoying irritating as some!

Beth says:

I highly recommend Pandora for finding new tunes. Just create a list with your favorite artist(s) and let it play. It will find similar music, and you may stumble on something new that you like. After reading through some of your comments today, I typed in They Might Be Giants and found some great stuff including Justin Roberts which several people already mentioned.

Btw, love the blog. Hard to believe, but I’ve stalked since I was putting my son’s nursery together and now he’s almost one!

Ali says:

I know I have commented on children’s music on your blog before, but here’s my comprehensive list of individual songs, artist and album that we listen to over and over.

Catch That Train! Dan Zanes, Catch That Train

Walkin’ The Dog, Dan Zanes, Catch That Train

Colas, Dan Zanes, Smile Smile Smile

I Like To Swing, Ellis Paul, The Dragonfly Races

The Autumn Song, In The Nick of Time, Coconut Groove (disclosure, this is my brother)

Seven, In The Nick of Time, Coconut Groove

The Dinosaur Song, In the Nick of Time, Coconut Groove

Alligator Sally, In the Nick of Time, People Places and Things

The Freeze Dance, In the Nick of Time, People Places and Things

Jellyman Kelly, James Taylor and the Kids, Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music (A sesame street album)

What’s That Sound?, The Jimmies, Make Your Own Someday

The Peanut Butter Polka, The Jimmies, Make Your Own Someday

Nasty Dan, Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Children’s Album

African Alphabet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Songs from the Street

Belly Button, Ralph Covert, Happy Lemons

L.I.C.E., Recess Monkey, Field Trip

Mi Cuerpo Hace Musica, Sol Y Canto, El Doble Di Amigos

Always Chew Your Food, Trout Fishing in America, Big Round World

kayleen gamo says:

Owen really loves the Jack Johnson album he did for Curious George, the songs are fun , but hey its jack johnson. and he loves all the they might be giants cds.
Owen also loves allot of regular songs and i have whole playlist put together of those .
He loves both of the amazon kindle songs for some reason, they are both good songs though
theres also some muse, coldplay,jack johnson,edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros. if you think jasper would be interested . you can email me for the whole list

Lindsey says:

I also have to recommend Family Time but Ziggy Marley. It’s super cute and not all kid like. I do have to make the disclaimer that Ben is awesome in the car so I’m not sure if he loves this music or if he’s just up for whatever. To be honest, we usually just listen to the music I like (nothing inappropriate but adult music). He seems to like that too!

Ben also loves a Raffi record we have. We obviously don’t listen to records in the car but he loves to dance to it.

Nanny Amy says:

I second Justin Roberts! We LOVE Laurie Berkner, Parachute Band (you’d know them from Gymboree), and Peyt is really into Philadelphia Chickens by Sandra Boynton…I like most of her songs, and books for that matter.

Peyt does the same thing requesting songs ;o)

Kristy says:

You already know that I swear by Family Time by Ziggy Marley. I actually enjoy the songs too. JoJo loves this one song (#5 on the CD) that gives him a little dance to do…wiggle your toes… make a peace sign, etc. So cute. HAVE FUN!

Jill says:

Here are some of Ava’s favorites…

The entire “Choo Choo Soul” cd. It’s actually pretty catchy….

Some songs from Yo Gabba Gabba — “Banana” by the Agrolites, “I’m So Happy” by the Saltines, and “I Love Sandwiches” (not sure who that one is by).

A few songs by the Laurie Berkner Band — Five Days Old (my favorite), I’m Gonna Catch You, My Family, Victor Vito.

Shane says:

You are running up to the edge of time for your trip, but here is something I just stumbled on. I’ve saved about a dozen Elmo videos from YouTube — using saved as mp4 format files for syncing to iPad/iPhone. I noticed that when I created a ‘playlist’ in iTunes, that I was able to play the sound from the video in ‘iPod’ part of my iPad (so assume it would work the same w/ iPhone). I dig the musical guests w/ Elmo – Spin Doctors, Nora Jones, Jack Black, Goo Goo Dolls.

Still in heavy rotation for me is Jack Johnson’s Curious George soundtrack!

Jennilynn says:

I really like The Terrible Twos- I found out about them on pandora.

Melanie says:

We love ‘Raisins’ by the Barenaked Ladies .. very catchy!

Lourdes says:

I don’t know if anyone had recommended Justin Roberts to you yet, but I’m madly in love with his stuff these days. As in crazy, listen to him in the car even if Wes isn’t there with me, LOL. We have two albums so far: Pop Fly and Meltdown. If I had to recommend individual songs you could get on iTunes, I’d go for “My Brother Did It,” “Get Me Some Glasses,” “Taking Off My Training Wheels,” “Henrietta’s Hair” (very Bob Dylan-esque) and “She Sits.” I’m mad about “Fruit Jar” also, but I can see how an adult would like it better than a kid.

And of course, we are They Might Be Giants fans too. But I don’t love Here Comes Science as much as Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s.

Jacqueline says:

We love Caspar BabyPants (both albums, although the most recent one is a little more adult friendly). I also second the Putumayo kids album Picnic Playground.

liz says:

I highly recommend Steve Songs. He has little segments on PBS in the morning during the kids shows, but he also has some great albums like Marvelous Day and Flying Guitar. He songs are upbeat, melodic, clever and most importantly, adults can appreciate them, too! Also, they are downloadable from iTunes. Good luck!

Hannah P says:

Holy typos!!!

That should read: I’m a fan of all of THEIR music – and – Favorite SONGS include.

That’s what I get for commenting while feeding the kids breakfast and trying to work, lol.

Hannah P says:

My little dudes are big fans of Medeski, Martin and Wood’s “Let’s Go Everywhere”.

Fab album, start to finish. Mama likes it too (I’m a fan of all of music, they’re a jazz trio, but this is the only ‘specifically for kids’ album they’ve made I think).

Favorite sons include: Pirates Don’t take Baths & The Squalb.

Liz says:

This album is great. It has a lot of songs in other languages, which is great too! My favorite song is the Mouse in the House song. I really need to download the other Putumayo albums because I am sure we would like those as well.