iTunes Playlist for Kids

Ready for a major kids playlist makeover?  We hear you

I have good news and bad news.  First, the good news: all kids eventually grow out of kid music.  Now the bad: some contemporary pop music is almost as annoying.

When you get sick of Justin Bieber on your next road trip (see also: before you even leave the driveway),  just introduce your kids to the music of your own pleasantly misspent youth.

If you like this list, please support us.  Clicking our links takes you straight to the iTunes store and doesn’t cost you more.  Also, feel free to add anything we missed in the comments.

Kid-friendly rap and hip hop:

Walk This Way by Run DMC
Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang
Bust a Move by Young MC
It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
Word Up! by Cameo
Supersonic by J.J. Fad
Wild Thing by Tone-Loc
Parents Just Don’t Understand by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
Going Back to Cali by LL Cool J
Whoomp (There It Is) by Tag Team

Kid-friendly heavy metal:

We’re not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses
Bang Your Head by Quiet Riot
Back in Black by AC/DC (not available on iTunes, try the library)
Rock ‘N Roll All Nite by Kiss
Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming by Judas Priest
Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard (same story as AC/DC, sorry rockers)
Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
Mama Weer All Crazee Now by Quiet Riot

Kid-friendly punk:

Sheena is a Punk Rocker by Ramones
Basket Case by Green Day
Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash
Rush by Big Audio Dynamite
Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes (update: only if your kids don’t listen hard to lyrics)
When I Come Around by Green Day
All the Small Things by Blink-182
Come Out and Play by The Offspring
I Wanna Be Sedated by Ramones
This is Radio Clash by The Clash

Kid-friendly funk:

Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Brick House by The Commodores
Give Up the Funk by Parliament
Got to Give It Up by Marvin Gaye
You Dropped a Bomb on Me by The Gap Band
Get Down on It by Kool and the Gang
Let’s Groove by Earth Wind & Fire
It’s Your Thing by The Isley Brothers
Don’t Stop (‘Til You Get Enough) by Michael Jackson
I’ll Take You There by The Staple Singers

Kid-friendly dance music:

Cantaloop by US3
Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite
Love Shack by B-52s
Push It by Salt-n-Pepa
Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith
U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
Wannabe by Spice Girls
Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega
Jump by Kriss Kross

80s pop for kids:

Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol
I Love Rock ‘N Roll by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
It’s the End of the World As We Know it (and I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves by Eurythmics
Under Pressure by David Bowie & Queen
I Would Die 4 U by Prince
Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode
Rock this Town by Stray Cats
Chains of Love by Erasure
We Got the Beat by The Go-Gos

90s pop for kids:

Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
Black or White by Michael Jackson
I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys
Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones
The Impression that I Get by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Smooth by Santana and Rob Thomas
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Unbelievable by EMF
Epic by Faith No More
Jump Around by House of Pain

’00s Pop for kids:

Hey Ya! by Outkast
Crazy in Love by Beyonce
Yeah! by Usher
Toxic by Britney Spears
Let’s Get It Started by The Black Eyed Peas
Poker Face by Lady Gaga
Beverly Hills by Weezer
Get the Party Started by Pink
Viva la Vida by Coldplay
I’m Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado

Didn’t find exactly what you were looking for?  Try this:

A Children’s Playlist That Won’t Make You Want to Crash your Car

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  1. says

    Umm I don’t know how old your kids are but I really wouldn’t be listening to some of these songs with kids younger than 18 years. Expletive-free is not the same as kid-friendly.

    Blister in the Sun
    When I’m out walking
    I strut my stuff
    And I’m so strung out
    I’m high as a kite
    I just might
    Stop to check you out

    Walk this Way
    Backstroker lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
    ‘Til I talked to your daddy, he say
    He said you ain’t seen nothin’ ’til you’re down on a muffin
    Then you’re sure to be a changin’ your ways

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when your kids ask you to explain the meaning of being “down on a muffin”.

  2. says

    Hard to make out, snort!

    Most of the fun of a shared playlist for me would be belting out the lyrics at full volume. That’s why I’d be extra careful of what we listen to. But maybe that’s because I’m hard-pressed to come up with many songs from my playlist, (described by one friend as “music to kill puppies to”) that are appropriate for my kids. Definitely some foot-tappers in your eclectic list!

  3. CMV says

    I was happy to find this. I’m looking to create a kid-friendly playlist for dance parties in my 2nd grade classroom and you’ve got some good tracks that I’d forgotten about.

    I have to agree with kaztx, though. A great many of these songs are really inappropriate for younger listeners.

    Going Back to Cali? Wild Thing? Push It? Hey Ya? Poker Face?

    I’d lose my job!

  4. says

    Can I make you laugh?
    Soon after my kids started playing Guitar Hero, they would walk around the house singing the lyrics to the songs they had been playing. Bon Jovi’s Living On a Prayer + Gloria Gaynor I will Survive were favs. While making dinner one day, they forgot the words to whatever song they were singing – which was burned into my DNA at too many teen discos in my misspent youth. I kept on singing (while stirring my pot literally) to their dumbfounded shock.
    “But how do you know the words? You never play Guitar Hero?”
    Kids these days :)

  5. says

    One more thing: in answer to the comments about inappropriate lyrics mentioned above, with a 10 + 14-yr-old I’ve seen the impact of such on real kids + y’know what? they sing along + don’t even notice what they’re singing. Honestly.
    And if all else fails, grab some U2.

  6. says

    Yeah, agree that some of these are definitely not appropriate for kids. I sure don’t want to explain what “Pour some sugar on me” or “down on a muffin” is supposed to mean either…

  7. says

    Ok, so the ‘playlists for kids that won’t make you want to crash your car’ made me chuckle but I have to ask, is PokerFace, or anything Gaga appropriate for kids? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to explain what ‘bluffin’ with my muffin’ means to my eight year old.

  8. Mom says

    Is “Another One Bites The Dust” PG13? I always really liked that song……….andanotheronedownandanotheronedown…….

  9. Jamie says

    Relax, I think these are suggestions. You decide what’s appropriate for your kids. Not mine, not any others. Yes, there are a few on the list that I love from my teen years but don’t feel my kids are quite ready for them. I still found the list to be useful as there were some songs that I had forgotten about. I’m thankful for the suggestions.

    Pick what you like and skip the others. Stop telling the rest of us that you don’t approve.

  10. really? says

    This is one sweet playlist. Don’t worry about the myopic prudes Jamie P.

    For the record, I have listened to “Walk This Way” well over 100 times since it was released and I never thought anything about the muffin line… let alone scanned the interwebz for the lyrics to look for innuendo. Don’t make a big deal about it and it won’t be an issue. Remember the introduction of the explicit content stickers??? The rappers and metal-heads loved Tipper and the PMRC gang for that one. There was a sure-fire way to get kids to want to listen to questionable material. Worked for me.

    P.S. Isn’t it strange what we as a society think is and isn’t appropriate for kids? My kids can’t see a naked breast on basic cable but they can see real, actual dead bodies on basic cable with no prior warning. WTF

  11. MamaMadeleine says

    …If my 7-year old asked me about Bluffin’ with mu Muffin’ I’d say maybe she wants to have it all to herself and not share it (bluffin’ – keeping it a secret/to herself). It is no doubt a white lie but in 10 years’ time – when she might understand it – I’m sure she’ll forgive me and have a good giggle about it!

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