Favorites: Children’s Music That Won’t Make Your Ears Bleed

As a former childcare provider, and a mother of two, I am well acquainted with the kind of children’s music that will make your ears bleed and possibly send you running from the room seeking refuge in a closet.

No, I’ve never actually hidden in a closet but only because I was required by law to remain present. But really it’s because I do not relinquish control to preschoolers. Alas, not everyone is as stalwart as I, and sometimes one finds ones self listening to the same sickening children’s verses over and over and over again.

If there was one piece of wisdom, one hard and fast rule for raising children I’d like to impart, and possibly save your sanity through the early parenting years, it is this—

Do Not Give Up Control Of Anything To Your Children.

They have poor decision making skills, crave repetition, and don’t give a crap about what you like or don’t like—especially when you are trapped with them in the car, train or airplane.

That is not say choices are not offered, but far too many parents give their children control over every aspect of their lives. They have become a culture of caterers. Eff-that. Embrace boundaries, and set limits.

Music You Can Listen To Over and Over Again-But Not More Than Three Times.

Today topic is children’s music that won’t make your ears bleed. I’ve recommended and bought my fair share of these recording for other parents and they continue to be favorites. Also they make great gifts for baby showers, birthdays and holidays, especially when you don’t know the recipient very well or don’t have children of your own.

We all have different taste in music, you don’t need to like my choices but they give the gist of what I’m getting at. Music from your own collection you find yourself singing along to that is appropriate for little ones ears is what your looking for. They like it when you participate.

You just can plug in any of my recommendation into Pandora and see what else pops up, evaluate according to your personal tolerance for mariachi, flutes, and banjoes.

We were really mean parents and refused to listen to certain children’s music (Rafi and any KidBop music). These are the albums we liked to sing along with and didn’t make us want to drive into trees on three hour road trips.

Children’s genre:

Rhinocerus Tap by Sandra Boynton

A Wonderful Life by Jessica Harper

40 Winks by Jessica Harper

Ralph’s World by Ralph’s World

At the Bottom of the Sea by Ralph’s World

• Strangely enough the girls developed eclectic taste favoring adult fare over most children’s pablum by the time they were five (subversive parenting skills!)

Adult Easy Listening:

Classic Julie-Classic Broadway by Julie Andrews

Nature Boy by Aaron Neville

Ultimate Manilow by Barry Manilow

The Best Of Ray Charles

Heart Shaped World by Chris Isaak

Eventually, you will be able to incorporate your full music library. That will be just about the time they develop a liking for your least favorite music on earth (Enya) and you’ll be grateful for ipods and earplugs—the hell with their hearing. You’ll be long gone by the time they go deaf.


And for those of you who noticed-yes, I did follow a post on rape culture, with one about children’s music. There’s just no making any sense of this thing.




  1. Oh my gosh I can identify! My children had boundaries. I had 4 under the age of 6. If they hadn’t had rules, I would be dead by now. And I did my best to avoid children’s music. Oldest was (and is) addicted to John Denver, 2nd was all over the soundtrack of Oh Brother WHere Art There. 3rd, Fleetwood Mac, and the youngest is all about anything from the 50’s.
    LOUD, wonderful mixture! *grin*

  2. I don’t have kids yet, but my parents DEFINITELY established boundaries in terms of music. I don’t ever remember thinking that I was in control of the radio as a child. When we were on long car trips, though, they would alternate. We would listen to one tape that my parents wanted and then one parent-approved tape that we wanted. It worked out well!

    • As children we were not allowed to even talk in the car let alone play music. It took a long time to get over. My friends were always asking me if I was still in the car so ingrained was the fear of talking while someone was driving. The first few years in the car with the girls I had to drive so Paul could talk to them-“Mama is driving she can’t talk to you, or read (I get motion sick).” Music became a self-defense move on my part. From age 1-3 my entire memory of being in the car with them is “Mama, mama, MaMa, MAMA, mom, maa, maa, MAA, Momma, Mamamamamamamamamama???”

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you, Lynn. In fact, we take it a step further than easy listening and go all the way to punk. While other moms played Mozart for their infants in utero, my husband strapped the earphones of his iPod to my pregnant belly and blasted The Ramones. I went to Austin City Limits while pregnant so baby #1 enjoyed REM and The Shins, and while baby #2 was bursting at my seams at 8 months, I sat front row at a very feedback heavy Yo La Tengo show. Now my daughter can’t get enough of Adele (which I can’t argue with) and my son just wants to listen to the Star Wars soundtrack (also a fine choice). There is really good children’s music out there, most of which we found while watching Yo Gabba Gabba – The Aquabats and They Might Be Giants (who I’ve loved since college) do some really fun, smart music – but I’m with you. Show boundaries, give direction, or else your kids are going to be doing some stupid line dance before you know it!

    • I love it! We did too really, they knew who Led Zep was before they’d ever heard of Raffi.
      My daughters just dragged the turntable, albums and 45’s out of the attic, this weekend. We’ve been grooving pretty hard. Funny you mention Star Wars, they played that album last night.

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