Pop Music For Preschoolers

In follow-up to my recent post about how Alastair and I regularly model poor screen time behavior, I thought I’d write a bit about Elsa and Clio’s own computer addiction: YouTube. (Plus an awesome kid-friendly music discovery we just made, courtesy of YouTube, after the jump. No, it’s not Rebecca Black’s latest disaster video.)

OK, OK. They’re not actually addicted. And we obviously don’t let them troll YouTube unsupervised. But we occasionally watch videos there with them — sometimes for pure fun (when people sent that baby-twins-talking-to-each-other video around, I showed it to them and they loved it.)

But more typically, it’s in response to some question they ask, e.g. (How do they make cartoons?) or something I’m trying to explain, (e.g. What an ice sculpture is,  Why “manamana” is stuck in my head, How silent “E” works — cue the old song from Electric Company!)

Recently, Alastair and I were telling them about what an amazing jumper our now-geriatric cat used to be. Which prompted me to go onto YouTube to see if I could find some good videos of cats jumping. Of course, predictably, we found, like, ten thousand cat videos, and compilations of funny cat moments.

The girls were in video heaven. We watched like ten of the things — many made up of the same clips over and over again — and the girls were in stitches. Afterward, they told me they wanted to make their own cat video. I said that Ella (our cat) wasn’t doing that much funny stuff lately, unless you count projectile vomiting. No, no, they said; They wanted to dress up like cats and do funny stuff!

We still haven’t made that video, but I promise that if we ever do, I will share it with you.

Elsa still periodically asks to see funny cat videos, and a couple of times I’ve given in and let her. (Guess a cat falling off the TV never gets old). But now the girls have a new YouTube favorite: The other day, when Clio was talking (as she often does) about how she wants to be a musician when she grows up, I went online to find a clip of the scene in Moneyball, which we’d just seen, where the 12-year-old daughter of Brad Pitt’s character plays a song on her guitar. I thought Clio would dig it.

I suspected the song had been written for the movie, and that there was probably a pop recording of it. I didn’t realize that it actually came out back in 2008, on the debut album by Lenka — an Australian artist I’d never heard of. (Which isn’t surprising given that I am totally clueless about popular music.) For all I know, it’s flying up the charts right now, alongside some song by Taylor Dayne. I mean Swift. Whatever.

Anyway, after we watched the Moneyball clip of the kid singing, we watched the Lenka video, and it was so sweet and silly and kid-friendly you might think it was actually geared toward preschoolers. The girls loved it.

I’ve now played the video approximately 12 times for them, and although I really like the song, I’m getting a little sick of it. We’ve watched a bunch of other Lenka videos, too, and they’re all really fun and quirky with lots of cool animation, and totally kid-friendly / appropriate. (“Trouble is a Friend” is another good one – and a good song.)

So, in case, like me, you’re totally out of the new-ish, music loop, I give you Lenka: Indie-pop YouTube fun for the whole family. Enjoy!



DOUBLE TIME, my memoir of parenting twins and battling depression (among other things) is now available for pre-order!

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Article Posted 4 years Ago
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