Get Your Groove On
September 6, 2019 8:32 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for dance music appropriate for kids.

I work at a daycare and we're going to have a dance party to celebrate National Dance Day.

I need ideas for *clean* music. All eras are fair game. All genres are fair game. Languages other than English are fair game too. I have a working record player and some records I can use. I guarantee you that will blow their little minds.

I am going to source music from the rest of the staff, but I'm the one responsible for this whole thing. The party is supposed to go from 3-7, but we won't be playing music the entire time.

YouTube links are fine. I'm thinking about getting the free month of their premium service so I can turn the screen off on my phone. That should eliminate ads, right?

Things I thought about:
New Kids on the Block
Some of those cheesy 80s songs like Walk Like an Egyptian or Walking on Sunshine.
The Beatles
The Beach Boys
Buddy Holley

I personally have a good country and classical collection. But, if there is something good, I'm all ears.

I also saw this and this, but they're old and I'm sure there's a ton of new stuff out there.

Help this preschool teacher turned DJ make it a blast.
posted by kathrynm to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (31 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My preschool-aged niece loves Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" because of the movie Sing, and I've heard that other kids around that age feel the same way.
posted by babelfish at 8:50 PM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair."
posted by mai at 8:57 PM on September 6, 2019

The Locomotion!
posted by MadamM at 9:27 PM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you're including songs made specifically for kids then I suggest Laura Freeman's "Color Wheel Cartwheel". The songs are adorable and very danceable.
posted by mezzanayne at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2019

We just watched Beetlejuuce so might I suggest Harry Belafonte? Very danceable.

You might look into songs like the Macarena or 50s songs that tell you how to do the dance.. the Twist, Mashed Potato and so on.
posted by emjaybee at 9:30 PM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

My kids like all genres of brass - The Meters, Klezmatics, Slavic Soul Party, etc.
posted by scyllary at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hot Cheetos and Takis
posted by mustard seeds at 9:45 PM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mike Park, formerly of Skankin' Pickle, has been putting out solid kids music for a few years. The album Smile has been popular with my pre-schooler, and is plenty dancy/wiggly.
posted by toxic at 10:03 PM on September 6, 2019

Can’t stop this feeling by Justin Timberlake from the Trolls movie
Happy by Pharrell
posted by MadMadam at 10:09 PM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Peanut Butter Jelly Time...
posted by Cris E at 12:04 AM on September 7, 2019

Deelite's Groove Is In The Heart is danceable as hell and pretty much nonsense lyrics anyway, and, besides, you should get the young-uns exposed to Bootsy Collins as early as possible.
posted by praemunire at 1:04 AM on September 7, 2019 [8 favorites]

Oh, and I just checked the lyrics to make sure, the Beastie Boys' Intergalactic actually has no inappropriate lines!
posted by praemunire at 1:15 AM on September 7, 2019

Anything by The Wiggles.
Crazy Frog remix of Axel F (the theme from Beverly Hills Cop)
Disney soundtracks
Anything from The Nutcracker
Saint-saens Carnival of the Animals and have the kids dance like the animals from each piece
posted by bfranklin at 5:08 AM on September 7, 2019

This is what Kidz Bop is for.
posted by gnutron at 5:22 AM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Move Your Feet by Junior Senior
posted by saladin at 5:36 AM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Casper Babypants is really, really good for this!
posted by Twicketface at 6:29 AM on September 7, 2019

D.A.N.C.E by Justice

I think basically all of Daft Punk would work - Harder Better Faster Stronger would be particularly good for robot dancing!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 6:34 AM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks all! Keep 'em coming. And I'm definitely looking into Kidz Bop.
posted by kathrynm at 6:40 AM on September 7, 2019

My jewish sleep-away camps would play Pata Pata and I didn't realize that it wasn't an Israeli song until Miriam Makeba died.
posted by brujita at 7:49 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

They Might Be Giants have a couple, I think, including one called "I Just Want To Dance."
posted by eirias at 11:06 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Double Dutch Bus. It’s my 3 year old’s favorite song.
posted by chuke at 11:52 AM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Happy (Pharrell) and Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars)?
posted by stillmoving at 1:03 PM on September 7, 2019

The Disco Mickey Mouse record was my favourite. It’s on YouTube and my kids dance with me to it.

“Splash splash I was taking a bath” is another house favourite . (I don’t know who sung it, but it’s on a greatest hits of the fifties mixtape my mom made, and my kids love tapes)
posted by Valancy Rachel at 1:40 PM on September 7, 2019

How about Kylie Minogue I should be so lucky
posted by EatMyHat at 8:10 PM on September 7, 2019

Oh, and lots of Queen! Kids love Queen. Bicycle Race, Thing Called Love, Somebody to Love...most of their well-known pop stuff, really! Also Paul Simon—Graceland, You Can Call Me Al.
posted by stillmoving at 10:33 PM on September 7, 2019

Check the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack for a whole class of high-energy oldies that might suit. Some are already ON a GotG soundtrack (Redbone's Come and get your love, Jackson 5's I want you back, Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky, Blue Swede's Escape (the pina colada song), Marvin Gaye's Aint No Mountain High Enough, etc).

Others will probably be in a future GotG movie as Disney consumes all our pop culture nostalgia and spits it back at us. (Joe Cocker's Feelin' alright, Frankie Valli's December 1963, Aint too Proud to Beg by the Temptations, Come Together by the Beatles, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel, My Generation by the Who, Escapade by Janet Jackson, Joy to the World by Three Dog Night, All Shook Up by Elvis)

Seconding Paul Simon, especially Kodachrome, You Can Call Me Al, and Me and Julio Down by the School Yard. You can slide Rusted Root's Send Me on My Way in with the Paul Simon stuff.

Nthing Queen. Is Sweet's Ballroom Blitz too suggestive of violence? It's a very fun song, and slips in well with Queen songs. Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash is great -- lots of songs by the Clash are short and high-energy. Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox is really danceable, and dramatic in a way kids like. Our Lips Are Sealed by the Go-Gos and Pat Benatar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot are great cheesy 80s songs. Love Shack by the B-52s and I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) by the Proclaimers are great cheesy 90s songs. And...if you're looking for nightmarishly catchy songs for children, Crazy Frog is your 21st century nightmare come true.

For modern-ish music that should fit okay with oldies: I Turn My Camera On by Spoon, High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco, the JXL edit of Elvis Presley's A Little Less Conversation, Valerie by Amy Winehouse)

If you're very nervous about lyrical content, be careful with 90s/00s/now music from streaming services. The first result for most songs will be the explicit/album version....even though you might be more familiar with a radio version and not realize that you'd missed anything. You should double-check that there's no explicit warning (or check to see if there's a clean/radio version available). Using Kidz Bop is the easiest way of dealing with this issue (though it might be unfriendly to adult sensibilities).
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:52 AM on September 8, 2019

Oh WOW!!!

I have a lot of listening to do. Even though this whole thing got a lot bigger than intended (I just wanted to do it for the preschool), I'm having a lot of fun. And discovering and rediscovering music I grew up with.

Best answers all around!

(And grandilogquiet, I hate you. I just listened to Crazy Frog. I thought Baby Shark was bad..... Of course, I'm adding it to my mix list to play in the classroom because I'm a masochist like that.)
posted by kathrynm at 11:41 AM on September 8, 2019

if you're signing up for aural trauma, might as well include the Baby Shark Jauz Remix and Baby Shark 2018 EDM Remix

honestly the jauz version isn't terrible? (the first fifty times you hear it, I mean)
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:44 PM on September 8, 2019

I have five hours of upbeat music that my five year old daughter has asked me to save from radio, music we've heard out and about, on TV shows, that kind of thing. There are a few kid's songs in there, but it's mostly pop and alternative. You can check out the playlist here if you have Spotify: If you're Spotify-less, give me a shout and I'll see about exporting it to a CSV or spreadsheet for you.
posted by sincarne at 1:57 AM on September 9, 2019

Thanks sincarne. I just downloaded Spotify for my phone. I'm trying to play it on my computer, but it's being stupid. Maybe because *Linux*... Or is that something I need premium for?

grandilopuiet, I hate you ;-) Added to my classroom playlist.
posted by kathrynm at 9:00 AM on September 9, 2019

I think you need premium to play other user's playlists. Do you use any other streaming service? If so, I have a license for Stamp, so I may be able to convert it for you.

In the meantime, here's the playlist as a Google Sheet:
posted by sincarne at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2019

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