Pandora is one of my most powerful childcare tools. Music can reach children in ways I can’t. It boosts their moods. It soothes them to sleep. Additionally, music improves language development, and the limitless musical styles provide a wealth of sensory stimuli for toddlers and babies.
However, finding radio stations that both the kids and I can enjoy proves a challenging task. While I do suffer through some genres I don’t love for the sake of the kids, I refuse to listen to children singing “Mary had a Little Lamb” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider” all day. Here are my 10 go-to Pandora stations for when I’m with the kids.
- Children’s Indie Radio combines classics like Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and The Vespers’ “All I Want Is You” with contemporary songs like Jack Johnson’s “We’re Going to Be Friends.” Children’s Indie Radio helps cultivate a fun and mellow mood for playtime.
- Baby Mozart (For Deep Sleep) Radio is based on a track by Steven Snow and plays instrumental arrangements of familiar songs like “A Whole New World,” “Canon in D” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It’s perfect for preparing babies and toddlers for nap time.
- Coffee Shop Soundtrack Radio offers laid back, relaxing background music for anytime of the day. Personally, I love how it offers new renditions of popular songs from bands like Boyce Avenue. Some songs featured on this station include Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” and Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know.”
- Italian Cooking Music Radio sets a positive mood while preparing lunch and snacks throughout the day. Enjoy the smooth, rich tones of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” and Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.”
- Radio for Kids Radio plays songs from movie soundtracks including “Frozen.” This station also includes children-friendly songs such as Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” Lyle Lovett’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and Ylvis’ “The Fox” (What does the fox say?). Overall, it’s a great mix of songs kids enjoy and songs I enjoy, but it will occasionally play an obnoxious song. Thank goodness for Pandora’s thumbs down button.
- Acoustic New Age Radio features acoustic guitar and piano sounds. This station often features instrumental versions of mainstream songs such as The Piano Guys’ “A Thousand Years,” Yiruma’s “River Flows in You,” and Antoine Dufour’s “You and I.” Overall, this station provides a wonderful backdrop to craft or quiet time.
- Family Country Radio adds fun Americana to car rides and impromptu dance-offs with a mix of well-known country hits from artists like George Straight, Faith Hill, and Brad Paisley. Songs featured include Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” Don Williams’ “Louisiana Saturday Night,” and Phil Vassar’s “Just Another Day in Paradise.”
- String Quartets Radio plays classical music. Although classical music doesn’t necessarily make babies or their caregivers smarter, classical music has been linked to memory, cognition, and problem solving. This station features songs like Louis Spohr’s “String Quartet No. 21 in B Flat Major” and Alexander Borodin’s “String Quartet No. 1 in A Major.”
- Hipster Cocktail Party Radio showcases light, classy music that’s great for tummy time or coloring. Sample tracks include Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good,” Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” Marvin Gaye’s “Got it Give it Up,” and Vance Joy’s “Riptide.” Although some songs do have more adult themes, this station works well with babies and toddlers.
- Boy Bands Radio provides an instant mood booster. Relive the days when Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, New Kids on the Block, and Hansen topped the charts. Honestly, the kids should thank you for letting them experience these great artists or at least for the fun mood these songs generate. Songs include “Bye Bye Bye,” “As Long As You Love Me,” and “MMMBop.”
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This post was written by Michelle Philips exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.