Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Children's music is notoriously bad, but kids don't actually like bad music either. Here are my favorite children's albums from both my days as a Montessori teacher and to listen to with my own children.
Elizabeth Mitchell -- You Are My Little Bird
Ella Jenkins -- Get Moving. "Who Fed the Chickens" is a great way to get wiggles out and also learn about pronouns, which is important for littles to learn from the beginning of life. (he did, she did, we did, they did!)
Langley School Music Project. This album was recorded by a school music program from an elementary school in the 70's, and was later discovered when collecting records become more popular again. It's an album of classic rock songs with instrumentation by the kids, and the elementary school choir.
Laura Viers -- Tumble Bee, sings folk songs for children. This song is a Woody Guthrie songs from one of his children albums.
Malvina Reynolds: Little Boxes and Magic Pennies. Some of you may know this song from the show Weeds from many moons ago!
Peter Paul and Mary: Peter, Paul, and Mommy -- You know "Puff the Magic Dragon", but Going to the Zoo was one of my favorite finger play songs to do with my kids. Kids love animals, and it's a good way to learn and practice using American Sign Language signs for the animals mentioned.
Woody Guthrie: Songs to grow on for mother and child. Woody Guthrie is one of the original singer-songwriters to create children's music. He made two children's albums in the 1940's while his children (one of which was Arlo Guthrie) were very young and he was their primary caretaker.
Suni Paz and Elizabeth Mitchell -- Tu Eres Mi Flor. Suni Paz is a folk singer who sings children songs predominantly in Spanish. Suni Paz and Elizabeth Mitchell are both Smithsonian Folkways career musicians, and I love their joint release together.
Pete Seeger -- American Folk, Game & Activity Songs. "Jim Along Josie" is my ultimate favorite circle game song. Little ones love the excitement and thrill of going from fast and wild to slow and quiet.
Claude Debussy -- Children's Corner. Children's Corner is a six piece suite for solo piano by Claude Debussy dedicated to his daughter, Claude-Emma (known as "Chou-Chou"), who was three years old when he published the suite in 1908. Debussy is a good choice for calming piano music to have on in the background while you nurse or during quiet inside play.