Music is such an important part of childhood, but some of the kid-friendly songs out there can drive parents insane. This post has over 100 kid friendly songs you won’t hate. From classic rock to today’s hits to rap, I’ve compiled, sorted through, read lyrics and made a list of the best dance music for kids out there. Grab some speakers, blast some music and get to having a kitchen dance party with these kid friendly pop songs or jam out to some kid friendly country songs. There is something for everyone here! These are even appropriate songs for school – nothing racy or inappropriate to have to worry about or censor.
This post was originally posted May 17 2017 and has since been updated.
Growing up, my parents always played music. My dad was/is a big classic rock fan while my mom was more of a top 40’s kind of a person. Because of this, music became ingrained in me, as I’m sure it has in so many of you. My teen years were spent going to concerts of lesser known bands and spending many Saturday nights in a tiny local venue where small local bands played. While I never learned an instrument, I was in choir for the better part of my grade school existence, and I learned to love singing (in the shower and car.)
When Ryan was born, I was so excited to share this part of my life with him. Sharing with him (and Owen later, obviously) my favorite artists and songs felt so special – until I realized that the vast majority of the songs I adored were so not appropriate for kids’ ears.
One of my favorite things to do is listen to the shuffle station on Pandora – I’ve had the same account since high school, so when it’s shuffled it plays everything from recent songs to classic rock to emo-centric songs that make me think of high school breaks ups. I blast it while I’m cleaning up or making dinner and the boys and I have a dance party, both educating them in great music and wearing them out for impending bedtimes.
And yeah, streaming your favorite Pandora channel is all fun and games until you’re taking a potty break and you hear the unmistakable first beats to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda and you’re rushing out of the bathroom with your pants around your ankles to hit next. And then inevitably you have no skips because that’s how life goes, right?
If you’re looking to just throw a random station on a let it go rather than go through the work that is creating a playlist, I suggest some kind of country station or classic rock station. On average, they’re fun to jump around to and are relatively kid-friendly songs, though obviously there are exceptions to every rule. (I’m looking at you, Thomas Rhett’s T-Shirt and AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long..) You can also put your parental settings on on Pandora and set it to no explicit content – like this:
Click the three lines in the top left-hand corner, then hit “Settings”
Next click “Account” and slide where it says, “Allow Explicit Content” to the left. (pppsssstttt, don’t judge my email that I’ve had since high school!)
But if you’re looking for something more reliable and specific, you’re going to have to go ahead and make a playlist (or seven.) full of kid-friendly songs. I haven’t used iTunes in a billion years and I’m not a huge fan of Spotify, so I was pretty pumped when Pandora came out with their new plan that allows for the creation of playlists. (PSST I was not paid, this is not sponsored, Pandora has no idea who I am. I just really love Pandora and think it’s the simplest option.) I like that you don’t have to go through as many hoops to make a playlist and some are curated off of liked songs from already created stations, which makes like easy.
Today, I’m sharing 5 playlists that you can create from 5 different genres that are full of kid-friendly songs. The songs are actually mostly pulled from my own liked songs on Pandora, so I’m sorry if your favorite artist is missing. I checked each song’s lyrics before adding them so you can listen without worrying about having to explain mature content to your kiddos or them going to preschool rapping about big booties or goodness knows what.
Before we get into the songs, I would like to note a few things – I am not perfect. While I think I did pretty decently at not including sex, drugs, and other bad things in this list, there is a chance that one of these songs could be about something indecent but the meaning went over my head. I will say, if it went over a 27-year old’s head, it should be safe to assume it will go over your kid’s heads.
100+ Kid-Friendly Songs You Won’t Hate
**I’ve been asked a few times if these are appropriate songs for school. Personally, I would believe so – I’ve screen out content and language, with any notes at the bottom. As with everything, I would look the lyrics up on a lyrics site or listen to them before playing theses songs for the classroom. Everyone’s opinion on what would be appropriate songs for school differs, though I feel confident about them being approved kid songs.
Kid Friendly Songs : Modern Alt-Rock
As a millennial who was a teen during the whole “emo” phase and grew up with a classic rock loving dad, alt rock is my favorite genre – everything from Fall Out Boy to the Killers to Portugal the Man can be heard blasting from my car at any given moment. If you want to help your kids hone their air guitar skills without the cursing, these are the best rock songs from the past decade or two to rock out to.
- No Roots – Alice Merton
- The Man – The Killers
- Feel It Still – Portugal, the Man
- Something to Believe In – Young the Giant
- Girlfriend – Anderson East
- I Bet My Life – Imagine Dragons
- Trouble – Cage the Elephant **
- Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
- The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
- Good Grief – Bastille
- Welcome to Your Life – Grouplove
- HandClap – Fitz and the Tantrums
- Take It All Back – Judah and the Lion
- You & I – Colony House
- Shake It Out – Florence + the Machine
- The Closest That I am to Living Life on the Edge – Valencia
- Cecilia and the Satellite – Andrew Macmahon and the Wilderness
- I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
- Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
- Grand Theft Autumn – Fall Out Boy
- Roll Up – Fitz and the Tantrums
Kid Friendly Songs : Hip Hop/R&B
** Make sure you grab radio edits of these to be safe.
Not gonna lie – most of the rap/hip hop I listen to are NOT kid-friendly songs, so I struggled here. I think your safest bet is just listening to the radio edits if you really want to listen to it or go old school. Old school rap isn’t necessarily kid-friendly, (obviously, go edited versions) but it’s WAY less raunchy and inappropriate than what’s being made today. Here are some of my favorite kid friendly rap songs
- These Days – Rudimental**
- Finesse – Bruno Mars (not the Cardi B. remix)
- God’s Plan – Drake
- Magic – B.O.B
- Hotline Bling – Drake **
- Hey Mama – Kanye West
- Now or Never – Kendrick Lamar
- All We Got – Chance the Rapper
- Crazy in Love – Beyonce + JayZ
- Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson
- Happy – Pharrell Williams
- Dynamite – Taio Cruz
- Kick, Push – Lupe Fiasco
- Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake
- Survivor – Destiny’s Child
- Parents Just Don’t Understand – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince <– CLASSIC.
Kid Friendly Songs : Pop
Pop music can get a bad rap – the boy bands and the catchy lines and ear worms that never end can get annoying, but in general pop music can be super kid friendly and super fun to dance around the kitchen to. Here are my favorite kid friendly pop songs!
- Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift
- Havana – Camila Cabello
- Cheap Thrills – Sia
- What Do I Know? – Ed Sheeran
- No Excuses – Megan Trainor
- The Middle – Maren Morris
- How Long – Charlie Puth
- Sit Still Look Pretty – Daya
- Wake Me Up – Avicii
- Irreplaceable – Beyonce
- Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
- I’m yours – Jason Mraz
- Count On Me – Bruno Mars
- Halo – Beyonce
- Firework – Katy Perry
- Hey, Soul Sister – Train
- Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
- Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
- We Are Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
- Who Says – Selena Gomez
- Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
- Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
- I Don’t Wanna Live Forever – Zayn
Kid Friendly Songs : Country:
Growing up I used to say I loved every genre of music except for country… no longer! I love jamming out to the country station, especially now that I have kids. It seems to me that country is the ‘safeest’ option on today’s radio- the least amount of questionable content. (though it definitely exists!) here are my favorite kid friendly country songs.
- Meant to Be – BeBe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line
- Top Down – Brown & Gray
- Singles You Up – Jordan Davis
- Queens Don’t – Raelynn
- I Was Jack – Jake Owen
- Most People Are Good – Luke Brian
- Take Back Home Girl – Chris Lane
- Cry Pretty – Carrie Underwood
- Get Along – Kenny Chesney
- No Such Thing as a Broken Heart – Old Dominion**
- All Your Life – The Band Perry
- Raised On it – Sam Hunt
- Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert
- A Woman Like You – Lee Brice
- Fast – Luke Bryan
- Wanna Be That Song – Brett Eldredge
- All-American Girl – Carrie Underwood
- Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw**
- Crazier – Taylor Swift
- Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? – Thompson Square
- Kick the Dust Up – Luke Bryan *
- Chainsaw – The Band Perry
- Dibs – Kelsea Ballerini
- Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band
- Honey Bee – Blake Shelton*
- Buy Me a Boat – Chris Janson
- Homegrown – Zac Brown Band*
Kid Friendly Songs : Classic Rock
My dad is a huuuge classic rock fan and he definitely passed it on to me – there is nothing more fun that jamming out to Bohemian Raphsody, head banging a la Wayne’s World. (not on this list because the first line is literally, “mama, I just killed a man,” so there’s that.) Here is a list of the best kid friendly classic rock songs.
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
- Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
- Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
- Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
- Come Sail Away – Styx
- Come Together – The Beatles
- Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
- Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater
- Dream On – Aerosmith
- I Wanna Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
- She’s Not There – the Zombies
- American Pie – Don McLean*
- Take It Easy – The Eagles**
- The Joker – Steve Miller Band **
- Another Brick in the Wall, Pt.2 – Pink Floyd **
Ready to rock more? Check out this post on the best rock and roll songs for kids.
Notes about these kid-friendly songs:
No song is perfect – some of the songs above are noted with **. Below you’ll find some of the lyrics that you might want to be prepared for.
- These Days – Rudimental** Cigarettes are mentioned once
- Hotline Bling – Drake ** mention of champagne. The whole song is about a booty call, but honestly it never says it right out so it will most likely go over kids heads.
- No Such Thing as a Broken Heart – Old Dominion** make sure you grab the radio version – it bleeps out ‘bulls***’. I included it because I seriously listen to this song with my boys daily because the message is everything.
- I Bet My Life – Imagine Dragons ** says “Hell” in one verse, but it’s a sweet mother-son song that I dig.
- Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw** Very vague reference to sex. “I love you ain’t no pick up line”
- Take It Easy – Jackson Browne** Pretty sure this is about wanting a casual relationship but it’s far from explicit or even very clear.
- The Joker – Steve Miller Band ** This song references smoking, “I’m a smoker, I’m a mid-night toker” but it’s such a fun song for kids to bop around to that I like to overlook it.
- Another Brick in the Wall, Pt.2 – Pink Floyd ** I mean, this one talks about not going to school but it’s a classic, so there’s that.
Also, some of these songs have one asterisk next to them – this is because of a noted slight mention of something. I am not super uptight with this kind of thing, so I let it go with my own kids, but if a song says something along the lines of, “grab a drink” or “go home with me” I let it slide. I tried to note them with a single asterisk. It’s a personal preference, but I did note it in case that’s not your speed.
I actually started to add songs for each decade and then it got REALLY long, so that’s coming soon – keep an eye out for that, because your kids need to know about the oldies too!
Okay, so tell me – do you worry about the songs your kids listen to, or do you think it’s all a part of growing up? What are your favorite songs to jam out to with your kiddos? Let me know in the comments!
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