The Savvy Five: Kids’ Music CDs

Our Favourite Albums for Kids
The Savvy Five: Kids’ Music CDs

Children’s music might be good for the development of their brains but let’s face it: the average adult brain is programmed to reject the very same music immediately.

Does this mean our brains are underdeveloped? Likely not, but just in case we need some help there are some decent tunes for kids that even parents will like. So for these SavvyFive, we got some recos from Kara Turner, mom, expert traveler and owner of the Little Traveller baby equipment rental company, for parents heading out this summer on a road trip—or for any occasion, really (think sing-along playtime, keeping peace in the backseat or soothing them off to sleep when they are in a new place).

Here Come the 123s by They Might Be Giants
Good for: Rocking out while learning to count
Why it Made the List: Alt rock band TMBG have been around for more than 25 years, but in recent years, they’ve turned their talents to schoolhouse rock. This CD won the Best Musical Album for Children at the 2009 Grammy Awards. The catchy tunes and off-the-wall, often hilarious lyrics will appeal to everyone, young and old. “Eight hundred and thirteen mile car trip” is destined to be a family road trip favourite. If you want to listen to a real band singing original songs, then give this collection a try and have fun rocking out with your kids!

Putumayo Kids Present: Sing Along with PutumayoPutumayo Kids Present: Sing Along with Putumayo
Good for: Folk and blues classics
Why it Made the List: The Putumayo collections are popular for a reason: high caliber songwriting. This impressive 12-track line-up includes catchy tunes from Dan Zanes, Eric Bibb and Arlo Guthrie. Taj Mahal’s reggae “Don’t You Push Me Down” reminds children to play nicely together and Bananaphone will get the whole family singing along. Playful and uplifting, the songs on this CD will stand the test of time.

imageSharon, Lois and Bram Sing A to Z
Good for: Recession-busting value
Why it Made the List: A huge hit with the under fives, this catchy smorgasbord of upbeat songs by the talented Canadian trio should be in every family’s music collection. You get your moneys worth with 34 tracks which include big band sounds, ballads and Spanish folk songs. The quality of the musical arrangement and production are top notch. Add this to the boredom-busting variety of musical styles and you have a kid’s music CD that’s easy on parents’ ears, too. Don’t be put off by the terrible cover art; this is a classic.

imageThe Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens
Good for: Introducing preschoolers to classical music
Why it Made the List: This 125-year-old piece of music was considered frivolous by its French composer which is probably why we love it so much! It’s a rousing suite of 14 animal-themed movements. It’s hard to listen and sit still. Preschoolers love to move gracefully like the swan, hop like the kangaroos or roar like the lion in time to the music. An accompanying book, such as the one by Barrie C. Turner and Sue Williams, is useful for explaining the different instruments in child-friendly terms.

imageUnder the Green Corn Moon (Native American Lullabies) Silver Wave Records, Inc.
Good for: Quiet time
Why it Made the List: If you want a change from classical music or the same old lullabies to get your toddler off to dreamland, try this relaxing hypnotic collection. Sung in the traditional dialects of the Navajo, Iroquois, Hopi, Salish and more, the soothing rhythmic vocals on this 16-track compilation have a calming effect while simultaneously lifting your spirits. It’s also an excellent choice for “me time” for mum: just add scented candles and a warm soak in the tub.

As if finding music the whole family can enjoy together wasn’t enough…now we can feel good about developing our brains at the same time.  Happy listening.

How to Find

Where to Find
www.amazon.ca

Tested by Kara Turner & family, Littletraveller.ca, Calgary
Tagged under travel, music, car
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First published 2009.06.23

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