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Beyond Dan Zanes: My Top 10 Folksy Kid Albums

Around the age of two and a half, my kids started singing along to the chorus of every Black Eyed Peas song that was playing on the radio.  I didn’t even think they were listening!  It was then that I started questioning my music choices.  I wanted my kids to be singing sweet folk songs with lyrics like, “Home, Home on the Range!” not “Shi!%in’ on y’all you with the boom boom!” Check out how I made up for years of Black Eyed Peas indoctrination after the jump! 

I decided to search my local library for albums that satisfy my new ridiculous goal: Teach my kids classic folk songs. We started off with the obvious choice: Dan Zanes. He’s so popular and has so many great albums, it was hard to resist. I quickly fell in love with his music. But after awhile, I started venturing out to other singers. Check out my Top 10 Folksy Kid Albums. Let’s get it started in here, yeah!

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  • Pete Seeger: Children’s Concert 1 of 10
    Pete Seeger: Children's Concert
    This is by far my favorite album on the list. It has the best songs. Nothing is more fun than belting out "Oh Shenandoah" with Pete Seeger backing my vocals. I shut my eyes and let it all out! I'm a horrible singer but during this song, I've got all the talent in the world!
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Lisa Loab: Camp Lisa 2 of 10
    Lisa Loab: Camp Lisa
    I love this album for teaching my daughter all the words to Home Home on the Range! It such an ironic song for a city child to love. After awhile, I found myself belting out the last three songs on the album (alone!). I'm always sad when it it's over.
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Miss Ella’s Playhouse 3 of 10
    Ella Fitzgerald: Miss Ella's Playhouse
    I love that Ella Fitzgerald takes old classic folk songs and puts her jazz twist on it. To this day, I've never heard anyone sing Old MacDonald better than she does on this album. My favorite song to hear my kids sing from this album is Chew Chew Chew Your Bubble Gum. Fitzgerald sings it so fast, that no matter how hard they try, my kids can't keep up with her lyrics. It makes me giggle every time.
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Elizabeth Mitchell: You Are My Sunshine 4 of 10
    Elizabeth Mitchell: You Are My Sunshine
    Elizabeth Mitchell makes you feel like you are listening to all her secrets. Her voice is so soft and beautiful. My favorite song she covers is 3 is the Magic Number. It brings me back to the days when my daughter was a baby and it was just the three of us. It was a magical time.
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Johnny Cash: The Johnny Cash Children’s Album 5 of 10
    Johnny Cash: The Johnny Cash Children's Album
    An unlikely favorite for the kids. I knew I was going to like it, because I love anything Johnny Cash sings. I was surprised that my kids favorite song off the album was Grandfather's Clock. I don't know why they love it so much. It might be because it's a repetitive song and easy to learn the words. The usually response from my kids after this song is over is, "Play it again! Again!" I like it enough that I usually say yes.
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Ella Jenkins: You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song 6 of 10
    Ella Jenkins: You'll Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song
    My daughter sang the title song from this album for her pre-k graduation two years ago. I thought it was a perfect choice and bought the album for sentimental reasons. The other songs are just as sweet and noteworthy!
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Jack Johnson and Friends: Curious George Soundtrack 7 of 10
    Jack Johnson and Friends: Curious George Soundtrack
    This album is on heavy rotation at my house and I'm not even a huge Jack Johnson fan! However, I think he nailed it with this album. Tip: This album makes a great Pandora Radio Station!
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Timmy Abell: Little Red Wagon 8 of 10
    Timmy Abell: Little Red Wagon
    This album was a surprise favorite. I wasn't familiar with Timmy Abell before I checked this album out from the library, but he was an instant hit with me and the kids. They especially like Track 2: Going to Grandmas. All the transportation sound effects won them over!
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Frances England: Fascinating Creatures 9 of 10
    Frances England: Fascinating Creatures
    This album is great from start to finish. It doesn't have a boring song! The songs are really easy to learn the words and has topics my kids can relate to like blueberry pancakes and tricycles. It makes me feel peaceful and happy!
    Buy this album at Amazon
  • Various Artist: Bright Spaces 2 10 of 10
    Various Artist: Bright Spaces 2
    I'm surprised to see that this album is so hard to find. I love it! I used the song When You're Smilin' in the background for one of my iMovies. I also used the song Soy del Pueblo for the back ground music for a different iMovie about our trip to Mexico. All the songs on this album would be the perfect background music for you home movies!
    Buy this album at Amazon

What is your favorite kids album?

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