I have struggled with my conscience for some time about making recommendations for music for toddlers. The truth is that tiny children adore catchy simple tunes they can sing along to, and classical music is not the first music to which I would introduce a lively toddler. But if you love classical music you may need a bridge to it for these little people. When I looked around for music to play to the children, particularly in the car, I faced a major problem. Many companies have produced CDs of nursery rhymes which cannot be listened to more than once without feeling carsick oneself. And with little children, if they do like what they hear, you are going to have to listen to it over and over again so finding a decent music CD is vital to one's sanity!

My recommendations are loosely based on folk music. These have the advantage of containing a tune of more than four bars long, have a good singer, and nowadays can have catchy, funny lyrics to go with. All these aspects will help you cope with the endless repitition.

My first prize goes to the Canadian singer Raffi whose funny songs, and light tuneful voice have made us laugh and sing together endlessly over the years. He has produced lots of CDs, but favourite song has to be “Willoughby, Wallaby Woo” followed by “Down By the Bay” and a world song “Tingalayo.” The variety of his work makes him, in my opinion, unique. In addition he has a voice you can happily listen to even when you haven't had any sleep, a condition I remember only too clearly!

My other recommendation is for a Scottish team, Artie and Cilla Trezise who make up “The Singing Kettle.” With a strong background in folk music, their repertoire is full of musicality, while containing all the colour and fun that will appeal to a young child. I particularly recommend their DVDs since they illustrate all their songs using the hand movements that children find so compelling. Each DVD is made up of a selection of songs based around one theme such as “Pirates.” This is perfect for both boys and girls, can be watched endlessly by children as they learn new songs and co-ordinated hand movements which are said to be so important to their musical development.

Singable Songs for the very young:
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One Light One Sun:
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Singing Kettle Pirate Island (if you're in the UK):
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If you're in the US, this is the best collection of Singing Kettle stuff we found on Amazon:
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