10 Child-Appropriate Pop Songs for Kids to Sing

Selena Gomez & the Scene performing Naturally during soundcheck on Good Morning America in June., by dephisticate, under CC BY 2.0

Anyone who’s worked with me knows that I don’t endorse a lot of restriction on what kids are allowed to sing. Children’s love of a song often has nothing to do with how they relate to the lyrics and much to do with how a certain melodic hook, chord progression, or beat moves them. Exposure, of course, also plays a large role, so children gravitate toward what you play for them in the car and what their older siblings play in their room. But while I don’t like dictating what kids have to sing, it’s important to at least sometimes encourage them to sing lyrics that they can relate to so that they can get practice understanding the emotional crux of a song. It can be challenging to find pop songs like this, so today I’m giving you 10 child-appropriate pop songs for kids to sing.

1. Brave, by Sara Bareilles

“Brave” is about having the courage to speak up instead of bottling up all the hurt and anger. It’s a wonderful, empowering message for all ages.

2. Beautiful, by Christina Aguilera

Since the official music video isn’t as G rated as the song, I used the lyric video instead. Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” is about maintaining your sense of self-worth even when others are trying to tear you down.

3. Breakaway, by Kelly Clarkson<h/2>

“Breakaway” is perfect for every age. By preschool, we all enter a variety of situations where we begin to break away from the comfort of our home life and explore the world independently.

4. Mean, by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has several child-appropriate songs, but “Mean” is my favorite message. When a child is being bullied, it’s very difficult to keep perspective and realize that this is a temporary phase. Singing along with “Mean” is both empowering and cathartic.

5. Firework, by Katy Perry

One of the quintessential child-appropriate pop songs, “Firework” is about feeling good about yourself and shining bright for the world.

6. Fight Song, by Rachel Platten

“Fight Song” deals with the theme of fighting through the times in your life you feel lost and small. It’s very easy to relate to no matter how young or old you are.

7. Happy, by Pharrell Williams

I hope that “Happy” is a song you’ve all related to at some point and that you’ve felt like clapping along because happiness is the truth.

8. Count on Me, by Bruno Mars

While Bruno Mars may not have a huge selection of child-appropriate material, “Count on Me” is a pretty strong exception. It’s explicitly about friendship and about counting on the people in your life you’re closest to.

9. Fireflies, by Owl City

No empowerment theme, no overcoming obstacles or being there for your friends: “Fireflies” is just an all-around fun song full of dream-like images.

10. Who Says, by Selena Gomez

Another song for the empowerment list, “Who Says” discusses loving who you are, flaws and all.

14 Comments

  1. Hazel

    Thank you! Just put this list together as a playlist for my daughter who was looking for some songs to sing – and it’s really hit the spot!

    Reply
    • Molly

      Thanks, Hazel! I’m so glad it helped.

      Reply
    • Natasha Sullivan

      I hate this music (no offense

      Reply
      • Molly

        It’s not for everyone, Natasha. What do you like to listen to?

        Reply
  2. Megan

    Fireflies is a meme…

    Reply
    • Molly

      Thanks, Naomi!

      Reply
  3. Sarah Negri

    Would, I feel like a monster, Skillet be age appropriate for a 10 year old boy?

    Reply
    • Molly

      Sarah, I think it just depends on the context. I’d honestly have no issues with a student of mine singing that at one of our recitals if he liked it a lot, since there aren’t any bad words or anything in it. That said, if it’s for a school performance or something like that people might get fussier over the darker content.

      Reply
  4. micky macy

    good songs but why is selena gomez on here…

    Reply
    • Molly

      Thanks for the comment! Her later songs might be more adult, but “Who Says” has a good message for kids.

      Reply
  5. Aaliyah

    Great way to teach kids how to sing.

    Reply
  6. Emma Gonyer

    These are good songs but you need more popular songs.

    Reply
    • Molly

      Thanks, Emma! Some of these were a little more popular and current when I wrote the blog a few years ago. 🙂 But I agree that I should post a more current one.

      Reply

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