Looking for something to keep your wee ankle-biters amused on long journeys? There’s plenty on Spotify to keep the pre-schoolers entertained, and with the help of, say, a SONOS system or an appropriate in-car head unit, it’s easy to send Spotify to your little tyke’s bedroom or car seat.
Here’s five American and five British TV shows for young kids that have soundtrack albums on Spotify, as well as some suggested “classics” to keep the sprogs diverted while you fix yourself a gin & tonic.
Yo Gabba Gabba – Music Is Awesome! Volume 2
From the popular Nick Jr. TV show (so Wikipedia tells me). While I have never been to Gabba Land myself, I agree that music is indeed awesome (but note this album is currently only available in the US).
Dora The Explorer – Dora The Explorer
Another massive Nick Jr. show, I’ve watched a bit of Dora The Explorer with my niece. I quite liked the little monkey fella in the disco boots and the fact that characters spoke in both English and Spanish was very cool and modern. I’ve lived abroad so bilingualism is something I’ll always approve of. There’s plenty more Dora albums on Spotify too!
Sesame Street – Cookie’s Favorite Songs
I was always more of a Muppets boy myself, but for a fun pre-school learning aid this show is Number One. Hard to believe it’s being running since 1969! On Spotify you’ll find loads of loads of Sesame Street albums, including “greatest hits” from Bert & Ernie, Elmo, Big Bird, The Count, and that angry green hobo one.
SpongeBob SquarePants – SpongeBob’s Greatest Hits
Nickelodeon’s most famous porifera has several albums on Spotify, in both English and Spanish. I’ve seen a bit of SpongeBob but it mostly made me sea sick. My friend’s boys love it though!
LazyTown – Sing-A-Long
Not strictly American (actually it’s from Iceland) but very popular on both sides of the Atlantic, in LazyTown “citizens learn the importance of eating right and exercising.” Personally I think Sporticus is a bit of a slave driver, and Robbie Rotten reminds me of that Dick Tracy movie from the 90s. Still, there are several LazyTown albums on Spotify to help your kids get fit.
Rastamouse – Rastamouse the Album (makin’ a bad ting good)
This righteous album accompanies the CBeebies’ stop-motion show Rastamouse. The cool reggae tunes, cheese fixation and Jamaican Patois has made this show a hit not only with British youngsters, but also with students and grown-ups alike. I must admit, I think this crime-fighting rodent is irie: give it up for da Easy Crew!
Balamory – Strike Up The Band!
If you ever wondered what my hometown of Edinburgh is like, look no further than BBC Scotland’s Balamory. Shocking events are at the heart of this controversial Scottish television programme, and its uncompromising view of Scottish life can make for difficult viewing. Oh, no wait, that’s The Scheme. I always get those two mixed up.
Bob The Builder – Never Mind The Breeze Blocks
I don’t know if this show is still airing, but I had to include this here if only for that fantastic album name. There’s also one called “Appetite for Construction” – hilarious!
Say Eh-Oh! The BBC’s Teletubbies conquered the pre-school viewing audience around the world back in the late 1990s. They stopped making new episodes a while ago, but this album is still sure to mezmerize your kids into a blissful trance. Or whatever it is they do in Teletubbyland. If not, try the Tweenies instead!
Paddington Bear’s First Concert
Here’s a bit of a gem: with music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and narration by Stephen Fry and Brooke Shields, these three musical stories are top quality. They’ll delight your kids and may even bring a nostalgic tear to your eye too.
It’s not all just TV tie-ins for the kids on Spotify. You’ll also find lots of nursery rhymes, fables, folk tales and fairy stories. Here’s a few to get you started:
- Songs For Children – 40 Children’s Stories For Bedtime
- Hans-Christian Andersen: Five Great Fairy Stories
- Tom Thumb by The Brothers Grimm
- Dr. Seuss Songs & Sing Alongs
- Come & Play Favorite Songs & Silly Songs