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10 Songs That Will Get You And The Kids Singing And Dancing In The Living Room

Apr 27, 2020

This piece is in partnership with ByBlacks.com

I know you’re worried about the kids. So am I.

I worry about how they're ever going to get back to a normal routine and how to ensure they keep up with the curriculum. But I need to remind to myself that I have to take a breath here.

The experts I’ve spoken to say, right now, kids especially need social emotional learning, which means making sure our kids are happy and not anxious. In our house, music is the remedy.

Here are 10 songs from our happy-making kids playlist (that won't drive you nuts) — from our quarantine to yours!


  1. Hello by Kes: Any song with a repetitive refrain gets the young ones in a good mood, but this one is great for all ages. It’s also one of those songs you can insert randomly into conversations. Our favourite time to crank this one up is first thing in the morning, giving everyone a fun way to say hello to each other.
  2. Don’t You Worry 'Bout a Thing from the movie Sing: The original is by Stevie Wonder, and that’s on our playlist too, but the movie version has extra special meaning because the kids have probably watched Sing about 24,000 times and know all the words by heart.
  3. Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder: Speaking of Stevie... The horns on this tune are an immediate mood changer. The kids always drop whatever they’re doing to sing and dance to it.
  4. I’m Still Standing from the movie Sing: Yup, this kid’s flick is full of great tunes. And talk about a great song to encourage resilience during these tough times! Get into warrior pose and sing this one from the rooftops! Well, maybe from your couch.
  5. Happier by Marshmello ft. Bastille: This song is actually about a guy admitting he’s not the right one for his girl and he should leave so she can be happier — but that meaning is thankfully totally lost on our eight- and four-year-old. They really just focus on the “I want you to be happier” part of the chorus.
  6. You Need To Calm Down by Taylor Swift: I think we could all use a little Swifty in our lives. And if I could call anyone to get my kid to calm down, it would be Taylor. Plus you’ve got the added bonus of this song touching on LGBTQ issues, a great conversation starter if you need one.
  7. Drogba (Joanna) by Afro B: Try to not dance to any afrobeats song — ya can’t! This song provides instant hype. As soon as it comes on, my four-year-old is on her feet and dancing up a storm. The lyrics are really about a guy complimenting a woman’s physical appearance and asking for a dance, but there are enough euphemisms in there that make it pass the kid ear test. When singing out loud It’s really fun to replace the name in the chorus with your own name! Also, afrobeats has exploded as a genre, so this song is a great intro to the UK’s afrowave culture.
  8. Mi Gente by J. Balvin, Willy William ft. Beyoncé: Keep the party vibes going with this multicultural dance anthem recorded by Colombian singer J Balvin and French singer/producer Willy William, featuring the queen B herself. And I promise if your kid gets curious and googles the translation of Beyoncé’s Spanish lyrics, they’re totally benign.
  9. Ducking by Fadda Fox: We’re a Caribbean household so our kids are well versed in both reggae and soca. Soca is the ultimate island dance soundtrack and this particular tune provides both hilarity and melody. It’s about a guy “ducking” from his boss because he’s skipped work to dance at Carnival. It’s accompanied by an equally hilarious dance move that my kids LOVE.
  10. Is This Love by Bob Marley: My four-year-old is named after Bob Marley, so she’s absolutely obsessed with all of his music. But this one is a whole family favourite. It just makes all of us feel warm and fuzzy. You might wanna keep it on repeat, because we all need to love each other a little stronger right now to get through this thing.

It’s tough times, and the weeks ahead have never looked so uncertain. But if we can somehow manage to weather this storm with a bit of grace, laughter and dance — I think the kids will be OK.

Click here to download this playlist from Spotify.

Article Author Camille Dundas
Camille Dundas

Camille Dundas is the co-founder and editor in chief of Canada’s leading black Canadian online magazine, ByBlacks.com. She has won two national ethnic media press awards and a commendation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Prior to that, Camille spent 10 years as a TV news reporter and producer, working on national shows for both CTV and CBC. You can find her on Twitter @byblacks.

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