Tired of cloyingly sweet or frenetically hyper children's songs in English? Want to expand your child's musical library with new artists and groups? But you don't want to spend a ton of money on CDs and downloads and then discover that you can't stomach the songs a dozen times in a row while an enthusiastic toddler sings off-key and bangs on things that were never intended to be used as drums?
Griffin likes to climb into people's laps while they're working on their computers and ask to listen to music. As a result, he's totally hooked on the video for Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me," which my husband, Ed, bought off i-Tunes. This means that the staid, traditional children's songs that I have saved on my computer (after burning them from CDs borrowed from the library) just don't measure up.
Fortunately, we have found Jitterbug, a free website that streams interesting children's songs (with the slogan "Music for Hip Kids." You can search by artist or category (such as "kindie," independent music for kids), through your "favorites" file, by format (song or video), or simply browse by clicking on pictures or the names of songs that catch your eye. The videos which accompany many of the tunes range from old-school Sesame Street to whimsical animated line drawings to live performances. Jitterbug also offers music from other countries (mostly Spanish-speaking from what I can tell, though I haven't explored the site extensively). The founders even invite us listeners to suggest other music-makers to include on their site.
I would LOVE to find a site like this with French songs for kids! (Can anyone offer any leads? Or if you know of similar sites in other languages, please share them via a comment.) But in the meantime, Griffin will continue to enjoy these fun ones in English, and I hope that those of you whose children or students are learning English in faraway countries can take advantage of this delightful resource.
(To read about another tremendous resource with engaging English, French, and Spanish materials for kids, check out this post about Tumblebooks.)