I once taught Mommy and Me classes in the West Village. My boss was crazy as a box of Gary Buseys, but we did agree on one thing: No CDs of children’s songs sung by children. NO KIDZ BOP. The fact that we could see eye to eye on this matter is the only reason I lasted at her establishment as long as I did.

Because of this, I’m very picky about the music I play during my First Five Years play classes. I might rock a little Raffi once in a while, because, let’s face it, Baby Beluga is still our collective jam. But for the most part, I don’t want a room full of parents and caregivers with bleeding ears and glazed over eyes as they listen to that same Barney CD for the 1,000th time.  I want something the little ‘uns can shake their little diapered bottoms to, but will also make the grown-ups smile as well.

Here’s what’s in heavy rotation at my Story and Play classes. Shake it, don’t break it.

♥ Dude, I’ve been playing They Might Be Giants even before they started writing kids music. Songs like James Ensor and James K. Polk are boppy AND informative. This song is a little NY centric, so if you don’t like it, I suggest you take a look at TMBG songs that are not included in their kids’ albums. Yo, I know this is a cover, but TMBG, why you no mention Queens?

♥ Do I know what Slim Galliard is talking about? No idea. But it’s super fun. There are tons of versions of this song. I’ve used a mellower version when I used to teach kid’s yoga. I’ve had a million jobs. This is a fact.

♥ I love Beach Boys’ harmony. It reminds me so much of my childhood. Much of Pet Sounds is Toddler Time appropriate, but this is my favorite.

♥ Strictly kids music is OK, especially if it’s quality stuff like Really Rosie. So many of the parents will recall the Nutshell Kids fondly. A little nostalgia is good once in a while.

♥ Want to make your class feel like it’s taking place in a fancy supper club?

♥ There are seven days, there are seven days in a week.

♥ OK, so, this song in context of the entire Evelyn, Evelyn album is pretty sad, but as a stand alone, no one seems to notice. It’s pretty jaunty and it’s got elephant sounds, which is pretty much all I could want.

♥ Puppy Bossa Nova Hour!

♥ This song is probably an acquired taste, but I love it, so there.

Click here for an amazing Sesame Street mashup called “So Happy”. I spent a summer working at the Bushwick branch, and my coworker and I couldn’t stop singing this. If you don’t shake your butt to this, there’s something wrong with your butt and you should see a butt doctor.

♥ It’s no secret. I love a good remix.

♥ I’m a huge fan of this entire album, Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks, which is 90s bands covering Schoolhouse Rocks songs. All of them are pretty good, but this one has a special place in my heart.

♥ OK, fine. This one too. #toddlertimeslowjams

♥ I hope you’ve discovered Dino 5 already, but if you haven’t:

♥ Well, this is good for any old time:

♥ A little on the long side, but a nice little mellow jam, especially if you’re one of those people who can’t sing AND blow bubbles at the same time.

♥ I will always love Michael Stipe. ALWAYS. And crying monsters will always make me cry too. You don’t have to cry, monsters. You can be happy. Bonus: Check out Muppet Kate Pierson’s amazing hair!

Alright, mama’s all tapped out. What do you like to listen to with the kiddos?

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

About magpielibrarian

Youth Services Librarian, Mediocre Crafter, Urban Magpie, Glitter Addict, and Worshiper of Ridiculous Outfits, Emerging Leader 2012, Former Rainbow Book List Member, and GLBT RT Director-at-Large! This is what a librarian looks like, kids.

5 responses »

  1. Jennifer says:

    Jim Gill, Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell, Funky Mama (just her Moo Juice cd)

  2. I’m obsessed with the Asheba song “No More Monkeys” from the Putumayo Animal Playground CD. If I hear it, I will sing it all day long AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbzS3uRdbwg We jam out to Beatles quite a bit (a lot of their early hits are very littles-appropriate) and last spring my whole baby storytime CD was nothing but Ralph’s World.

  3. The Israel Kamakawio’ole version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, “Good Morning Sunshine” by Imagination Movers and anything Elizabeth Mitchell or Laurie Berkner

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