Music is very important in this family, as both my husband and I come from very musical families. We want Olivia to develop a love for it as much as we do.
In little ones it can help to teach them to embrace quiet times and teaches focus. Sometimes music is just the ticket to wind-down a hyper or cranky toddler. It has a way of stopping everything sort of like a reset button, and can break up the day a little.
Sometimes I can tell Olivia is getting antsy or whiny, and I can usually pop in a CD — and there out of four times it works like a charm. I love them for car rides too. If I am able, I try to stop what I am doing and listen with her and sing-along together, but sometimes she will just play quietly and let the music carry her away, and it gives me a chance to catch up on 15-30 minutes of “me-time” or housework, without having to turn on the TV.
So then, here is my list of go-to favorites —->
For Bedtime, Naptime or Winding-Down Time:
Lullaby by Jewel
I adore Jewel and her lovely voice and beautiful storytelling songwriting. This is a fantastic album full of classic baby lullabies plus a bunch of her own original lullabies. This album is by far one of our favorites to put Olivia to bed with, and is one that us adults actually enjoy listening to.
Hidden In My Heart (A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture) by Scripture Lullabies
This album is another great one for putting little ones to bed. I love that the artists make scripture come alive in a series of deep and emotionally driven songs. The style is contemporary and sweet. I appreciated that there songs are split pretty well between the male and female vocalist, so it adds some nice variety to the album. There are a few newer albums in the collection now, as well — which I am looking forward to listening to. This is another one even us adults enjoy.
Blink by Plumb
Plumb is already one of my favorite artists and singers of all time. I LOVE her voice and her songwriting, so I was really excited when she came out with this album. She wrote most of this album when she was pregnant and the songs are so sweet, loving, and inspired, but she also has such a Seriously-Cool voice. I could listen to her all day. The songs’ dynamics work really well at bedtime or naptime. When my daughter hears this one she pretty much lays her head down and relaxes for sleep right away, she had been listening to it for so long.
Disney’s Fairytale Weddings
For Disney fanatics like me, this album is great because it is classical and works well for winding down little ones, but the music is recognizable for those of us who grew up on these classic Disney movies. It makes it fun for the little ones and grownups alike!
For Fun & Learning:
Sounds Like Fun by Sounds Like Fun
I don’t think I can say enough about this CD. This was an accidental find at a thrift store in Canada when we were visiting family (thank-you Grandma!), but you can find them in the US too. I can’t believe someone gave this gold-mine up, and we got this treasure for about $.50! They are harder to find online and can sometimes be a little pricey.
It teaches ABC’s, the alphabet sounds, counting by tens, the months of the year, opposites, counting 1-10 in Spanish & simple Spanish phrases, manners (please, thank you, how are you today, I’m fine thank you, no thank you, you’re welcome…), counting 1-30, adding things… as well as a mix of nursery classics just for fun. Its all done in a fun, non-pressured way that lets kids learn at their own pace, very casually, with the album’s adorable little songs. Its great for preschool age and even very young toddlers. My daughter started copying some of the alphabet sounds just after a year.
Some snippets of the parent tips from the dust cover:
1. Children enjoy mastering new skills when they are not pressured. They delight in their accomplishments, especially when they set their own pace. In the early years learning should be a casual and joyful experience.
2. Learning and retention increase when a child is relaxed and free from distraction.
3. Children enjoy music and repetition. How perfect is it to use this natural love to introduce skills they will need in school.
Plus, it has this awesome teaching chart unfolds out of the back of the dust cover to help toddler mimic the patterns and motion of reading when used along with the alphabet sounds song. SCORE!
Baby Signing Time! Songs by Rachel De Azevedo Coleman (Any of the 4 Volumes)
I love the entire Baby Signing Time series. The DVD’S are great for teaching simple signs to older babies or toddlers, and it helps dramatically reduce wining and frustration coming from not being able to communicate, by giving them a developmentally ready way to tell you what they want, need or feel. The DVD’s are great, but the CD’S are fun and you can teach the signs yourself without the videos on the DVD’s by just looking up the signs. They are fun to listen to in the car, kids love them because of some of the silly content and are easy for them to understand.
Current Favorite Soundtracks in our Home:
Tinker Bell – Songs from and Inspired By Disney Fairies
Disney Fairies: Faith, Dust and Pixie Dust
Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – favorites only
I hope you enjoy these fun music album ideas for little ones. We have really enjoyed all of them.
What are some of your favorite baby or kids albums or songs? I’d love to hear your ideas or suggestions of music to listen to with your kids!