kids tv with songs?
September 28, 2010 2:39 PM   Subscribe

What kids tv shows feature lots of songs?

Our toddler is sick. She normally gets almost zero screen time, but, she's sick. The one show she has watched over and over, courtesy of a family member, is a VHS tape from 1985 called "kidsongs - old mcdonald down on the farm". She also likes barney. And she loves, in a rather disburbing way, the introduction to BBCs "Andy Pandy".

Unfortunately, Andy Pandy is not available for Region 1 DVD as far as I can tell. I'm going to claw out my eyes if I have to watch Old McDonald one more time. What other kids shows have lots of songs? We know about (and generally dislike) the Wiggles; we don't mind the early barney stuff (before the other two brightly colored dinos showed up), and have checked out other kidsongs. Sesame Street does not hold her attention. Suggestions, especially for more contemporary stuff?
posted by dpx.mfx to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
yo gabba gabba! It's on Nick Jr.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:41 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Jack's Big Music Show
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:43 PM on September 28, 2010 [4 favorites]

posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:43 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

What you're describing is Yo Gabba Gabba - lots of songs, very contemporary. But it elicits strong reactions from both parents and kids. You either love it or hate it. (I used to hate it, but its grown on me. My son, at 4, loves it - at 2 1/2 he hated it and found the monsters scary.)

You will also want to check out the kids music by They Might Be Giants. Here Come The ABC's, Here Come The 123s, and Here Comes Science all have terrific DVDs that come with them.
posted by anastasiav at 2:44 PM on September 28, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Jack's Big Music Show is exactly what you want and need.
posted by k8t at 2:45 PM on September 28, 2010

Best answer: Check out Jack's Big Music Show and the Backyardigans on Nick Jr.

What about musicals? Our toddler loves "Singin' in the Rain" which isn't directed at kids but the song & dance numbers really grab him.
posted by ambrosia at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2010

Pancake Mountain
posted by chrisulonic at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2010

You can find these on YouTube:

Jack's Big Music Show features at least 3 songs during each show.
Yo Gabba Gabba (although it can be weird and kind of frenetic.)
Team Umizoomi
Fresh Beat Band

Dora and Ni Hao Kai Lan do have songs, but they're usually just short bits of songs, rather than full-length ones.

Just an FYI, Sesame Street does have some DVD's that are only songs, like Sing Yourself Silly. When our kids weren't interested in Sesame Street, they would watch those.
posted by zarq at 2:49 PM on September 28, 2010

Echoing what's above: My son (2.5) loves to sing. He lives for Yo Gabba Gabba and Backyardigans. He's just discovered Jack's Big Music Show and is love with it. He used to watch a lot of Hi-5, too, but seems to have moved on.

As far as tolerability goes, I can listen to back-to-back episodes of Yo Gabba and Jack. Backyardigans gets old really fast.

(One of his little friends has Kidsongs. They LOVE it but we only let the boys watch when we will NOT be in the room!)
posted by wallaby at 2:53 PM on September 28, 2010

Also, we just inherited a bunch of Disney VHS tapes in their "Sing Along Songs" series. They're available on DVD. It's songs from Disney movies and shows, like the Lion King, Snow White and The Little Mermaid. My kids are absolutely mesmerized by them.

My kids have never seen The Lion King, (and won't until they're older!) but they spent the entire "Circle of Life" song excitedly pointing out all the animals that they could identify. You can see the lyrics on screen, which allows you to sing along with the video.
posted by zarq at 2:53 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Basically, find Nick Jr. on your TV and leave it on. All of it is pretty decent for toddlers.
posted by k8t at 2:54 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Do we know if the OP has cable television? Nick Jr. may not be an option.
posted by zarq at 2:58 PM on September 28, 2010

My local library has Backyardigans and Jack's Big Music Show on DVD, in addition to a truckload of other kids' programming. Hopefully OP's local library does as well.
posted by ambrosia at 3:02 PM on September 28, 2010

Nthing Yo Gabba Gabba. My kids have extremely limited screen time, and I am extremely picky about what I let them watch. Yo Gabba Gabba is the first thing I allowed my now 3 year old to watch, and he loves it. I love it too, some of the music is great (Party in my Tummy!). Good messages, contemporary and fun, weird styling. If you don't have cable, you can buy episodes from iTunes.

Sesame Street has never been deemed to be very exciting by my elder son, and frankly I find it dull too. He does love Elmo though, so I can play random Elmo clips from youtube and he goes crazy for it, and we don't have to watch the rest of the show.

Don't underestimate the power of youtube for non-TV program screen time. My train-crazy elder son loves watching (rather dull) videos of trains passing crossings, which are presumably aimed at hardcore train spotters. We also watch amusing cat videos (search for Maru, he's unbelievably cute and funny for all age groups), and anything else in the cute animal video categories.

I also allow him to watch some of the Pixar movies (Toy Story, Cars, Wall-E) as a very special treat sometimes, although I don't really think he understands them fully.
posted by Joh at 3:09 PM on September 28, 2010

In the UK there is The Singing Kettle
posted by Biru at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2010

Ah, I didn't notice "more contemporary" at first -- but, just in case:

Really Rosie (a few clips here)
Free to Be... You and Me (video here)

(Looking at the Andy Pandy snippets on YouTube -- she might enjoy the recordings of "Teddy Bear's Picnic" on ditto)
posted by kmennie at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2010

Wonderpets is basically operetta (and damnably catchy, my kids are a couple years too old for it now but it still creeps into my earworm-hole sometimes), and I will nth Backyardigans, which is very song-y, and Yo Gabba Gabba, which is just rad.
posted by padraigin at 3:22 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wonder Pets! It's on netflix streaming or Nick Jr.
posted by zorrine at 3:24 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nthing Backyardigans. Despite not having kids, my husband and I watch it and love the soundtrack. It's a very well-put-together show.
posted by dogmom at 3:44 PM on September 28, 2010

Nthing Nick Jr. -- no commercials = wonderful. My two-year-olds like Yo Gabba Gabba, Fresh Beat Band, Backyardigans, Jack's Big Music Show. Also, there are short videos between shows.
posted by candyland at 3:50 PM on September 28, 2010

We love Wonder Pets too, but for more traditional songs, we prefer JBMS.
posted by k8t at 4:04 PM on September 28, 2010

How about the Imagination Movers?
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 4:13 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

At that age my son adored the Signing Time shows. We got a couple of the DVDs and it also aired on our local PBS station. Loads of songs, plus the added bonus of learning some sign language!
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:21 PM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Wee Sing movies presumably get old fast for adults, but my mother stoically watched Grandpa's Magical Toys, Wee Sing in Sillyville, and The Marvelous Musical Mansion every single weekend when I was three or four.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2010

Another recommendation for the Fresh Beat Band - the storylines are all about how fun it is to make music and express yourself. Genuinely charming show.
posted by jbickers at 3:49 AM on September 29, 2010

I came in to suggest Signing Time but I see I've been beaten to it, so I'll just second the nomination. It's educational but still good fun, and the music's melodic and won't make you want to bang your head against a wall. Enjoy!
posted by badmoonrising at 7:21 AM on September 29, 2010

Oh, also, Andy Pandy is apparently starting to come out of copyright. Here's a 16-minute episode on As far as I can tell it's the only one so far, but keep an eye out for more.
posted by badmoonrising at 7:32 AM on September 29, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We've been watching Jack's big music show on demand, and it's a hit. Backyardigans aren't on demand it seems? YoGabbaGabba isn't holding interest yet.

badmoonrising - thanks for that. There's a newer, claymation version that came out in 2002 that we get three episodes on demand. I actually really like it - short stories (no songs, except the intro) and no annoying kid voices (just a very british sounding narrator!). Hoping for a new set on October 1- but I can't for the life of me figure out why they don't sell region 1 DVDs, especially since we aren't the only ones looking.
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:39 PM on September 29, 2010

Best answer: Thanks everyone! We've been watching Jack's big music show on demand, and it's a hit. Backyardigans aren't on demand it seems? YoGabbaGabba isn't holding interest yet.

If by chance you're on Time Warner Cable...

Go to the Kids on Demand channel, not the Kids Preschool on Demand one. (On my system, Kids Preschool is channel 1048. Kids on Demand is Channel 1047.

Select 'Nickelodeon'. Select 'Preschool'. Backyardigans should be at the top of the list, abbreviated as "Backyard."
posted by zarq at 9:44 PM on September 29, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks zarq!! Had no idea there was a separate section there.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:23 AM on October 1, 2010

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