What do you get when you put 20 kids — age 1 to 10 — in a room full of brand-new toys? Our curious and cute testers, all Minnesota kids, found...
Are you looking for some children’s music that won’t drive you crazy? Check out the latest albums from an array of children’s artists who all offer — in their own ways — silliness to attract and engage kids, but also enough wry humor and up-tempo beats to charm their parents.
Puns, jokes-so-bad-they’re-good, energetic rhythms and even inspiring messages of hope and kindness can all be found here.
But don’t take our word for it. You can stream most of this music for free before purchasing anything.
Known for her sparkly, catchy-yet-heartfelt, acoustic pop songs, England is back with her fifth album — Explorer of the World — to inspire children and adults to be curious and pay attention.
Her songs encourage kids especially to keep their heads up and hearts awake so they don’t miss the magic in the everyday experiences of their lives. She’s also created a gorgeous, 42-page art and observation activity e-book to accompany the album with beautifully illustrated lyrics, quotes, thought-provoking questions, photos of iconic travel destinations and exploratory missions for families.
$5.99 (e-book) $9.99 (album) francesengland.com
This Minneapolis-based “comedy/band/interactive dance duo” — yes, they do their own GoNoodle videos — is out with yet another album. The Triangle of Success: A Motivational, Inspirational Audio Guide to Achieving Your Dreams delivers fun and quirky songs that include rhythmic spelling lessons (B-E-L-I-E-V-E), growth-mindset discussions (Working Hard) as well as inspirational thoughts and advice, including how to pick yourself up after a bad day (Pancakes for Dinner).
If you enjoy the wry sense of humor of Parks and Rec, the musical stylings of They Might Be Giants and the electronic sounds of synthesizers, you’ll feel right at home with these bright, goofy guys, who offer name-your-price music sales on their website, kookookangaroo.com.
This compilation CD — Cool Music for Cool Families — comes from Mighty Mo Productions, a Kansas City-based independent record label that features independent “kindie” artists who create music families can enjoy together.
Smiles Ahead features songs by Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could, The Okee Dokee Brothers, Katydid, Frances England, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Verve Pipe, Rissi Palmer, Kira Willey, Johnny Bregar, Casper Babypants, Mista Cookie Jar and The Chocolate Chips, and Grenadilla.
$9.99 • mightymoproductions.com
New to the Okee Dokees? Check out the Grammy Award-winning duo’s new-this-year picture book and compilation CD — Can You Canoe? & Other Adventure Songs. The CD includes 12 hit songs taken from Justin and Joe’s three concept albums — Can You Canoe?, Through the Woods and Saddle Up. And the large-format picture book is filled with vivid illustrations and inspiring lyrics about enjoying the outdoors.
$17.95 • okeedokee.org
Andrew & Polly
These award-winning music makers — and hosts of Ear Snacks, “a radical podcast for kids and families” — recently released: Ear Snacks: Songs From the Podcast. This album includes the song Grapes, which was SIRIUS XM’s No. 1 kids song of 2015, plus many other goofy, catchy songs and conversations. If you buy a physical CD, it comes with a 20-page Snacktivity booklet. If you buy a digital download, you’ll get a PDF of the booklet.
$12 • andrewandpolly.com
Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four children in Northeastern Minnesota. Follow her on Instagram @megtdevine. Write her at email@example.com.
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