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Voice

10 Child-Appropriate Pop Songs for Kids to Sing

Written by Molly Webb

Taylor Swift performs and turns on the Christmas Lights at Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, London. 06/11/2012 Picture by: Steve Vas Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

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

“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.

Molly Webb

Molly is the founder of Molly’s Music. She is a dedicated singer and pianist whose musical journey spans 2.5 decades, with stops along the way to sing for the pope, pass Certificate of Merit at the highest level, study with Gwen Verdon and Ben Vereen, and record an original album.

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73 Comments

  1. 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
    • Thanks, Hazel! I’m so glad it helped.

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    • I hate this music (no offense

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

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      • Fight song by Rachel Platten is totes the best cause I said so

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        • I’ve always liked that one too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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          • Cool

      • me too not like the music the I like

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      • if you dont want them to be offened then dont say anything, i think all these songs are great thought!

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      • Then why did you click here??? Sob sob sob

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  2. Fireflies is a meme…

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    • Never seen that

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    • i hate fireflies

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      • We all have our own unique musical taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks, Naomi!

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      • Molly, what a wonnderful list! It is always a battle to find age appropriate songs. I am from South Africa an a new vocal coach.

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        • Thanks, Shani! Glad it’s helpful!!

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

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    • 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. good songs but why is selena gomez on here…

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

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  5. Great way to teach kids how to sing.

    Reply
  6. These are good songs but you need more popular songs.

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    • Thanks, Emma! Some of these were a little more popular and current when I wrote the blog a few years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I agree that I should post a more current one.

      Reply
  7. HI Molly, Thanks for this great list. am a guitar teacher for young girls and woman and it’s hard to find the right songs which are simple for them to play. Some of these are perfect but I would love an updated list to add onto the songs my students love.

    You’ve really helped. Awesome.

    Lily

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Lily! Here are a few others. But even that blog is a couple years old now, so it’s definitely time for me to update it!

      Reply
    • Hi Molly, Thanks for this great list. am a guitar teacher for young girls and woman and itโ€™s hard to find the right songs which are simple for them to play. Some of these are perfect but I would love an updated list to add to the songs my students love.

      Youโ€™ve really helped. Awesome.

      Ally

      Reply
      • I’m so glad, Ally! I know, I REALLY need to update this!

        Reply
  8. Hi just looked and love 3 or 4 of these songs I donโ€™t know the rest and listen to them every day

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    • So glad to hear, Eloise!! Thanks for commenting!

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  9. I’m learning how to sing and I love it

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    • That’s great to hear, Tyleigh! Keep it up!

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  10. You should put the song โ€œHave it Allโ€ on there

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    • Thanks, Johnny! That looks perfect. I have a few collections, and I’ll put that into the next one.

      Reply
  11. This was so helpful!
    Thank you, I’m trying to find a song for my school talent show!
    If you have more any ideas plz tell me!
    Thank you

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    • Thanks so much for the comment, Isabelle! Happy to give ideas. Anything in particular you’re looking for, like lower songs, higher songs, etc.? Either way, good luck with the talent show!

      Reply
  12. Thanks, from a father who’s always looking for good stuff for my 8 year old!

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Thanks, David! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad it helped!!

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  13. Thank you so much for the list. I am an ESL teacher and love ALL OF THEM!!
    They are all age appropriate for elementary school kids for sure and my students who are learning English love to sing along since the lyrics are simple, the song is not too fast, and the melodies are all easy to follow.
    Again, thank you so much!

    Reply
  14. Thank you so much for the list. I am an ESL teacher and love ALL OF THEM!!
    They are all age appropriate for elementary school kids for sure and my students who are learning English love to sing along since the lyrics are simple, the song is not too fast, and the melodies are all easy to follow.
    Again, thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment, Nicky! I’m so glad it helped!

      Reply
  15. i love the songs my favourite are brave mean count on me and firflies but all songs aew really nice

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    • Thanks for the comment, Rosie! I like those three too.

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  16. I love most of these songs especially breakaway it reminds me of memories that I have made. thanks for this list the songs are so inspirational

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    • I love that one too! I used to listen to it on repeat before studying abroad for a year. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. Hi Molly! This is a great list. I have a Kindergartner who wants to sing in her upcoming talent show. I love that she is showing a love for music and want to continue to encourage that. Would you mind sharing other Taylor Swift appropriate songs? Right now, my daughter wants to sing โ€˜You Belong to meโ€™ and that might be pushing it so trying to give her other suggestions! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • That’s so great that she wants to perform! Out of the Taylor Swift ones I found, “Mean” is probably the most relatable to kids, but maybe take a look at “Safe and Sound,” “Change,” and “The Lucky one.” “Safe and Sound” is from Hunger Games and is less up. “The Lucky One” is just about the price of fame. Hope she has a blast!

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    • Thanks, Olivia! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • I like all of these songs!! The only thing is that I like country music better.

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        • I like country, too! Maybe I’ll write a country list at some point.

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  18. I am doing a project for math where i have to make a parody of a popular song into area and perimeter. Division can’t bring me down! lmao

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    • Haha, good luck on your project, Molly! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. in clude some billie eilish thiugh

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    • I wrote the list a few years ago, but I’ll put her on my next one. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  20. I love love love Who says, thank you molly!๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • So glad you liked the list, Kaylee! Thanks for the comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  21. Hi! This list was very helpful because I teach a very advanced kids hip hop dance class. However, even though we dance very advanced we love to use songs like these to dance to. Again thank you!

    Reply
  22. Hi! This list was very helpful because I teach a very advanced kids hip hop dance class. However, even though we dance very advanced we love to use songs like these to dance to. Again thank you!

    Reply
  23. I love like love Brave, by Sara Bareilles, Thank you molly!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜ธ

    Reply
  24. This a pretty great list.

    Reply
  25. This an amazing list.

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    • Thanks so much!

      Reply
  26. HI Molly Just wanted I am a kid and I saw this and helped me so much so thanks

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    • I’m so glad, Romy!

      Reply
  27. I love this so much, that I listen to it secretly every day!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much!

      Reply
  28. Wow, I am a teacher and was inspired listening to the songs. Looking forward to sharing them. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much! I’m glad that was helpful.

      Reply
  29. Thank you so much for recommending these songs, these are songs that actually somewhat help me get through with my life, i guess i can be called depressed and abused but these are when i didn’t know how to bottle up my emotions. And so ever since i was 5 i taught myself how to bottle up my emotions. And so ever since then my friends have called me emotionless. The only feeling i ever showed was happiness, all the other feelings were gone, i forgot about them. Anyway like i said, thank you for recommending these songs.
    Hannah

    Reply
    • Hi Hannah! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been dealing with and am glad music is an outlet for you. Please take care!

      Reply

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