Just in case our name hasn’t given it away, music is a pretty significant part of our outdoor adventures. Our kids are young and it is important to us that they not only enjoy music, but that they also know there is more out there than the latest KidzBop release or animated movie soundtrack. I’m pretty sure every parent can relate to hearing the same Disney movie song on repeat until the lyrics are engraved on their brain. I still hear “Let the storm rage ooooonnnnn….” in my dreams.
Don’t get me wrong; many of these songs are super fun. I mean, I can rock out to “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled with the best of them and have a pretty great time doing it. Face it dads, we all have that song no matter how tough we try to be. I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for these songs in our regular listening rotation, however that doesn’t mean we can’t expand our horizons and allow for music that may be a little easier for us parents enjoy while still being fun for the kiddos.
With Father’s Day Weekend nearly here, we’ve just updated our Camping Playlist to include a few of our favorites:
Walter Martin – We’re all young together
One of our favorite bands of recent years is The Walkmen. Their last album, Heaven, is great from beginning to end. When Mommy List and I discovered they were taking a long-term hiatus back in 2013 we were pretty bummed, but when their bass player Walter Martin announced he was recording an album for children, it got our attention. Songs like “Sing to Me” featuring Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or my personal favorite, “The Beatles (When Ringo Shook His Mop)” are great examples of songs that don’t have to be watered down for kids to enjoy. Check out the latter below.
Yo Gabba Gabba!
Some of you may question my selection of Yo Gabba Gabba, but let me explain. I’ll be the first to admit that I may be little biased when it comes to this crazy crew. Every time I think of them, I remember waking up at 6:30 in the morning with my daughter when she two years-old to watch the latest episode together. I recall being shocked to see that Biz Markie had a segment where he taught kids to beat box, or that Mark Mothersbaugh (from Devo) had a segment where he drew for kids. I was also surprised to learn that so many of the bands I listen to also performed songs specifically written for kids. Chromeo sang about washing your hands, while Of Montreal sang about Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. I found myself enjoying this music as much as my kid, and may have “accidentally” forgotten to turn it off in the car when the kids weren’t with me. But just once, I swear. While Gabba might not be for everyone, I would venture to guess that most would find a song or two that might make the cut. In keeping with our theme of camping and music, check out one of our favorites, Hot Hot Heat, sing their song “Time to Go Outdoors”:
Okay…I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t he say he wanted to avoid kid movie soundtracks?” Well this one is a little different. Unlike your typical movie soundtracks, Sing has a great mix of classics and original music. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about a bunch of anthropomorphic animals who are contestants in a singing competition. I’ll admit, I was surprised at how charming I found a mouse singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, or a gorilla singing Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”. Other classics featured in the film include Queen’s “Under Pressure” and Cat Steven’s “The Wind”, both of which are playlist-worthy. We’ve also rocked out on occasion to one of the original songs from the film, performed by an angsty rock-star porcupine who was dumped by her boyfriend. It may sound silly, but trust me, it is worth giving a chance! Whether you play the covers from the movie (which in my opinion are well done) or the original songs, you’ll expose your kids to some of the greats like Ol’ Blue Eyes, and you might even find yourself singing along too.
So, whether you’re preparing to head out of town this weekend to celebrate your favorite dad, or you’re a full-timer en route to your next destination, we hope you and your little ones enjoy some of our favorites together. We won’t judge if you end up singing at the top of your lungs.
Happy Father’s Day –
P.S. What is your favorite song or album to share with your kids? Tell us in the comments!