B is for Beats…Kids Musical Beats

Voices raised, arms flying, feet stomping, heads rolling.  A scene from a typical sibling fight?  Could be, but the music’s blaring, so it must be…Family Dance Party!

In the car, around the house, here are our family’s favorite beats.  These albums are sure to set everyone in a good mood.

As the Imagination Movers say, “If you’re looking for some inspiration, Rock-o-matic saves the day.  Music helps in any situation, it’s a money back guarantee!”

Dan Zanes + Friends – Rocket Ship Beach.  We saw Dan Zanes at the New Victory Theater in NYC years ago.  I pull up this album during kids play time or when we feel happy and content at home.  What’s nice is it’s not just “kids music”, it’s great music for the whole family.  Several featured artists join Dan, such as Suzanne Vega and Sheryl Crow, as they sing fun, silly takes on classic songs and several originals.  Any of Dan Zane’s albums are fun, this one just happens to be our favorite.

Ziggy Marley – Family Time.  One of my favorite and classic “NYC moments” was listening to Ziggy Marley play acoustic guitar singing songs from his new album, Family Time, in the basement of a yoga studio on the Upper East Side of NYC with little b and the boy, a large gaggle of toddlers and their enthralled parents.  It was sooo New York.  I bought this album after the performance and have been playing it for years since on Saturday mornings making breakfast, playing a board game after school or during kids bath time.  It’s feel good music all the way with great melody, poetic lyrics and smooth vocals.

Imagination Movers – Rock-o-matic.

Imagination Movers, Rock-o-Matic Tour, Houston 2013

Imagination Movers, Rock-o-Matic Tour, Houston 2013

A fan of the TV series for years with little b and the boy, I took their younger sister to see this energetic band in Houston a few years ago.  Another band formed by playing for their kids at family gatherings, Imagination Movers sing fun, catchy songs filled with silly noises, hand clapping and energy flying from the sound waves.  This album gets played in the car around town or when any of the kids need their spirits lifted.  Not to mention their song “Good Morning Sunshine” played on repeat is a guarantee to get my little one to sleep.

Fuzzy Lemons – Fly to the Moon.

Fuzzy Lemons in NYC

Fuzzy Lemons in NYC

We were introduced to this lively band when we found them playing on our sidewalk in NYC (and then again at our neighborhood playground).  A variety of tempos, lyrics that make light of every day situations (such as smelly shoes, babies crying and work choices) and inspirational situations (never give up, girl power, big dreams), this album is a staple in our family.

As for “grown-up” music that’s also super fun for kids, these are our go-to artists.


Beach Boys

Katy Perry – Prism (Teenage Dream also has some good songs, but be careful, that album is marked explicit language!  Prism is much more PG.)

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Legend, B is for Bob


Johnny Cash

Anything you like, you should play for your kids.  (as long as it’s not explicit language!)

A few of our favorite satellite radio stations:

40’s on 4 – a friend recommended this, music meant to calm anxiety during the war, can also calm anxiety during rush hour with tired, hungry kids!

Channels 76-78 Classical music – soothing and good for calming anxiety in the car (mom’s and kids)

Channel 77 – Kidz Bop –  today’s pop hits without the inappropriate language

Channel 78 – Kids Place Live – traditional kids music with live DJ’s, silly questions for kids and other silly, fun programs for the kiddos to listen to.  Even my older kids still like this as a break from time to time in the car.

What do you listen to? Please share in the comments below.