Sometimes it seems like kids' music comes in only two varieties: bad and worse. But not all kids' music is created equal. Here are 14 picks for the pre-K set that Mom and Dad can actually enjoy, too.
Various Artists, For the Kids
Tom Waits, Billy Bragg, Cake, and other awesome artists contribute to this well-rounded charity album for kids.
They Might Be Giants, Here Comes Science
These brilliant Brooklyn mainstays have been delighting listeners for 30 years. They even make dry scientific concepts explode with fun and humor.
Various Artists, Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome! Vol. 4
This standout features artists like the Roots and Peter Bjorn and John singing to kids about cleaning up, teamwork, and being a good friend.
Dan Zanes, Night Time
Zanes (of 1980s punk band the Del Fuegos) includes a mini-book of sweet, night-themed drawings in this collection of American folk classics for kids.
Imagination Movers, In a Big Warehouse
When it comes to preschool tunes, Disney's New Orleans-based band gives parents what they want to hear: solid music, quick wit, and kid-friendly topics.
Laurie Berkner, We Are… the Laurie Berkner Band
No circus theatrics here -- Berkner relies solely on her voice and guitar to deliver bouncy tunes for toddlers.
The Pop Ups, Radio Jungle
This well-crafted blend of Caribbean and funky pop is so good that you'll forget it's a kids' album (until you catch yourself singing about a traveling banana).
Charity Khan and the JAM Band, Peanut Butter and JAM
Parents can crash their kids' dance party with this high-energy record of rock 'n' roll, funk, and blues.
Ziggy Marley, Family Time
Wholesome tunes and guest appearances by Paul Simon and Willie Nelson make this kids' reggae record a hit for all ages.
Pete Seeger, Tomorrow's Children
This Grammy-winning record showcases a group of children -- and a few iconic folkies -- singing about the environment and social issues.
Mister G, Bugs
Tired of saccharine-sweet kids' tunes? Try these playful and diverse sounds that inspire.
Various Artists, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best Day Ever
The ingenious fictitious radio-station format and cameos by rock icons like Brian Wilson and Tommy Ramone make this a win for any age.
Various Artists, The Muppets Soundtrack
Timeless Muppets' music meets songs by Cee-Lo Green, Nirvana, Simon and Garfunkel, and Jefferson Starship. What's not to love?
Jack Johnson, Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
And when the kids -- and parents -- need a nap? Johnson's mellow soundtrack to Curious George will do the trick.
What kids' music does your family love? Share your favorites in the comments field below!