I’ve just discovered that 50s and 60s music is great for kids! It’s fun, melodic, and rarely do you need to worry about swearing or inappropriate themes. My daughter is nearly two and is developing a passion for music (and noise!). She never showed any interest in the CDs I played, or the music on the radio, and wasn’t much interested in the songs I sang unless they were kids’ songs. Then one evening, my partner burst into a spontaneous and hearty rendition of ‘Sherry’ by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; you know the one: ‘Sherry, Sherry baby, Sheeeeeryyy won’t you come out tonight…’
Maybe it was the falsetto from her dad, or the repeated word of a familiar and much loved word (‘baby’), but our little one laughed and clapped and then said, ‘More.’ That was it. He’d created a ‘Golden Oldies’ loving kid, and she couldn’t get enough. She began demanding ‘Sherry!’ in the shopping centre, in the car, in the bath, at childcare, at Grandma’s house. If nobody started singing it, the demands grew louder.
Needless to say, her dad and I (and our vocal cords) got a little tired of singing that one song over and over again, so we tried to diversify. It seemed she liked the vintage classics, so we trawled YouTube, testing her out on some fun songs we thought she might like. From our hours of research we discovered that she likes songs that have humour or novelty sounds in them, familiar words, barbershop singers, danceable rhythm, and/or choruses that are easy for her to sing herself.
Here her list of her favourites with a couple of clips to get you started. Many of them can be heard at least once a day in our house, but it sure beats endless encores of ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’! I hope some of these inspire fun times in your home, too! Enjoy.
1. ‘Sherry’, by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
2. ‘Lollipop’, by The Chordettes
3. ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, Frankie Valli
4. ‘My Little Runaway’, by Del Shannon
5. ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, by Nancy Sinatra
6. ‘Da Doo Run Run’, by The Crystals
7. ‘Great Balls of Fire’, by Jerry Lee Lewis
8. ‘I’m a Believer’, by The Monkees
9. ‘Daddy’s Home’, by Shep & The Limelites
10. ‘Mr Sandman’, by The Chordettes