Friday, August 24, 2012

Kids' Music We Love

I had a friend ask me recently for kids' music recommendations. After writing a long email to her, I figured my readers might appreciate the same tips. We love music, so here are a few favorites. Feel free to jump in the comments with your own recommendations...

Sovereign Grace Music
I can't recommend To Be Like Jesus highly enough. *I* need it more than my kiddos! Full review here.  I don't love Walking with the Wise as much, but it's still good. And bonus: Sovereign Grace is running a sale right now; both CDs are only $5! Pick up a few extras for Christmas gifts and shipping is even free--can't beat that deal.

Seeds Family Worship
Excellent stuff--all the songs are straight up Scripture lyrics. I love getting God's Word planted in my heart and my kids' hearts so easily! The first five albums or so use the NIV, but the most recent album switched to ESV (my preference). These CDs come in two-packs, so you can give one to a friend. Pair up with someone to trade and you get two for the price of one.

FREE! music:

The Village Church has a free five-song EP called Jesus Came to Save Sinners that I adore (scroll down the page; some albums have links to buy, but this one can be downloaded at no cost). Five basic songs teach the foundational truths taught in their children's ministry: "God Made Everything," "God is Always Good," "God Wants to Talk with Us," "Jesus Came to Save Sinners" and "God's in Charge of Everything." Really well done with fun, catchy tunes.

Covenant Life Church has two free albums that are also Scripture lyrics. One highlights the key verses from Galatians (No Other Gospel) and the other goes through Philippians (Jesus, Our Joy). Very simple production, and it's all little kids singing, so I find the music pretty irritating, but Elijah loved them a couple of years ago. And they're free. And there's the bonus of memorizing Scripture. (I can no longer read Galatians or Philippians without mentally singing the songs when I come to the key verses.)

For more low-key music (all of the above are pretty upbeat), we love:

Hidden in My Heart, a collection of soothing "Scripture lullabies" (I only have volume 1, but if volume two is like it, I'm sure it's excellent)

Sing Over Me, a compilation from some of my favorite female artists (Nichole Nordeman, Bethany Dillon)

I recently won a mellow CD called Big Stories for Little Ones--the lyrics are from Sally Lloyd-Jones (she of Jesus Storybook Bible fame) so I was super excited about it, but I don't care for the style of music (you might, though).

Finally, if you are looking for some kids' music that is not spiritual, just silly, I *highly* recommend Sandra Boynton, who I think is just brilliant. These CDs can be purchased with accompanying books--Elijah, as young as age two, would sit on the couch and listen to the whole album while looking at the book. These have filled our car on many a long road trip. The lyrics are funny and clever, the music is high-quality and NOT sung by children--entertaining for kiddos and adults alike. Rhinoceros Tap was our first exposure, so it holds a special place in my heart. Blue Moo is a super fun 50s-style album with songs performed by famous singers (Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys; Davy Jones of the Monkees, Sha Na Na). The other two albums are Philadelphia Chickens and Dog Train. (Fair warning, a couple of the albums have songs that are pretty funny, but--in my opinion--inappropriate for littles old enough to understand the lyrics: Rhinoceros Tap's "Bad Babies," Dog Train's "Tantrum" and "Broccoli.")

That's my list. What do you and your kiddos love to listen to?


Danielle said...

We like pretty much the same kids music. "To Be Like Jesus" is a fave as are Seeds of Faith. Sing Over Me and Hidden in My Heart we often us in the car or for bedtime. I personally LOVE Hidden in My Heart and need to order the second vol.

Another absolute FAVE is Slugs and Bugs. My boys absolutely adore it. It's very clever and unique and is produced by Andrew Peterson. We have the original and again, we need to get the second one.

My boys prefer "adult" music. Since we're huge music people they love U2 and Mumford and Sons. They seem to have a ear for more sophisticated music than usually produced, sadly, for kids. While I'm glad about that, I have to watch it. That's why I'm glad they like Slugs and Bugs because usually they don't seem drawn to kids-centric music.

One thing I've just started doing is making a song list of Sunday's music in itunes for them to listen to BEFORE Sunday. I can do that b/c Josh is a worship leader and we have access to the list prior to Sunday. But I'm hoping this will help them learn songs and be able to sing with us a little more since they can't read the lyrics yet.

Amy said...

I've heard great things about Slugs & Bugs - and we love AP - just haven't gotten that one yet.

We do listen to my music as much as theirs - Elijah has gone through various phases of loving the Beatles, Karmin, David Crowder Band, Brooke Fraser, Andrew Peterson, Coldplay, and the soundtrack from Annie Get Your Gun, among other things :)

Great idea on previewing Sunday worship songs! As much as Elijah loves music, he does not get into singing with us on Sundays, unfortunately.

Jess said...

Get your hands on some "Songs for Saplings" - great music teaching the Catechism questions! We love it!