Best Toddler Songs List
Young ones have lots of energy. As they grow from babies into toddlers, they need to learn new things. The best toddler songs satisfy these needs.
From classic children’s tunes to new hits, these songs can help out with the "wiggles" and teach concepts such as addition or how objects work.
The best part? The whole family can enjoy them.
30. Good Morning To All
Song is good for: A polite greeting and preparing for the day.
Bottom line for toddlers: The melody to "Good Morning to You" or "Good Morning to All" should be familiar. It is also sung to the tune of the "Happy Birthday" song.
The tune is credited to sisters Patty and Mildred Hill of Louisville, Kentucky. Patty was a school principal, while Mildred was a pianist and composer.
Together, the siblings developed "Good Morning to All" as a simple song that young children could sing daily to politely greet their teachers and start the morning.
29. I’m a Little Tea Pot
Song is good for: An easy way to learn dance.
Bottom line for toddlers: This delightful children's classic has existed since 1939, when it was released by George Harold Sanders and Clarence Kelley.
The dance movements for "I'm a Little Tea Pot" exist thanks in large part to how difficult it was to teach children the Waltz Clog. Though grown-ups might have found the simple dance routine a cinch, very young children didn't necessarily have the same level of coordination.
With "I'm a Little Tea Pot," your toddler can more easily follow along to and repeat movements.
28. The Hokey Pokey
Song is good for: Getting some exercise.
Bottom line for toddlers: Another favorite for removing the wiggles is the "Hokey Pokey" song and dance, which originated from a 17th-century folk dance in England.
Today, it's a great way to help your toddler and the rest of the family have fun while getting in some exercise.
27. Ring Around the Rosy
Song is good for: Socializing and playing a singing game.
Bottom line for toddlers: Some people associate the cute song and dance with children interpreting the horrors of England's Great Plague in the 1600s, but many folklorists determined that this probably wasn't the case.
And so, what you have is a fun little game that children can play together. It's simple and easy to learn.
No dark folklore necessary.
26. This Old Man
Song is good for: Learning to count.
Bottom line for toddlers: Knick-knacking and paddy-whacking aside, "This Old Man" is great for teaching toddlers to count, using simple rhyming schemes to help them remember numbers.
The origins of the song are obscure because the tune wasn't put to paper until 1937. Song collector Anne Gilchrist learned the song from her Welsh nurse as a child during the 1870s, when it was called "Jack Jintle."
A very slowed-down version was popularized by Barney the Purple Dinosaur as his famous "I Love You" song.
25. Pop Goes The Weasel
Song is good for: A fun sing-a-long.
Bottom line for toddlers: Believed to have been popularized by a social dance in the 1800s, "Pop Goes the Weasel" is a tune that could also be referred to as "baby's first jump scare," since it is associated with many jack-in-the-box toys.
That aside, the song works well as a fun little sing-along activity. Just as long as nobody asks why the weasel went "pop" in the first place.
24. There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Song is good for: Memorization skills.
Bottom line for toddlers: Credit goes to lyricist Sylvia Fine and arranger Vic Schoen for "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," one of the more popular cumulative songs enjoyed by children.
This tune starts off with very simple lyrics that get built upon with each passing verse. As a result, it's a good toddler song for aiding memorization skills.
Youngsters have to remember what lines came before while adding new concepts as the music progresses.
Song is good for: Helping toddlers to learn music.
Bottom line for toddlers: The brilliance of "Do-Re-Mi" from Roger and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," is that it perfectly lays out the major music scale using the solfège method in a way that almost anyone can understand, but especially very young children.
And so this famous tune is not only fun to sing along with, but it could start as an easy and fun introduction to the world of music for your toddlers.
Song is good for: A clapping game.
Bottom line for toddlers: The "Pat-a-Cake" or "Patty Cake" song tends to go hand in hand with a clapping game where a pair of people touch hands to the beat of the nursery rhyme.
Although children often play it together, one of the first experiences involves gentle play with their mother or father.
It's a simple game, but one that can help to improve hand-eye coordination in babies and toddlers.
21. Super Tuna
Song is good for: Getting out the wiggles.
Bottom line for toddlers: A rather new entry into the world of toddler songs and dance, this tune was released by BTS member Seokjin "Jin" Kim on his birthday to his fans. He didn't think much of it, but a lot of toddlers did.
The dance is easy to learn and imitate. Non-Korean toddlers might not know the words, but that won't stop them from having as much fun as possible.
It could even serve as the gateway to language learning activities.
20. The Muffin Man
Song is good for: Sing-a-long and learning how to play games.
Bottom line for toddlers: Do you know the "Muffin Man"? Well, even if you don't, there's a good chance you've heard this popular tune about a baker who lives on Drury Lane, a real place that exists in London.
The song, which originated in England, works as part of a series of games, including a dancing game and a guessing game.
The title may have been taken from "ragamuffin," a term for beggars dressed in ragged clothes.
19. Five Little Monkeys (Jumping on the Bed)
Song is good for: Learning to count and teaching subtraction.
Bottom line for toddlers: It's a cute little song with a lesson — jumping on the bed, while fun, can be dangerous for youngsters.
But more than just being fun to sing, "Five Little Monkeys" works similarly to "Five Little Ducks" (also on this list) in helping toddlers count backward from five to zero. It's a song that can teach subtraction, taking away one from five, one from four and so on.
Through this song, toddlers can become familiar with the concept of "subtraction," and that you get a new total every time you remove an item or person from a group.
18. Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
Song is good for: Language learning and sing-a-long.
Bottom line for toddlers: While known as "Are You Sleeping (Brother John)?" in English, the tune comes from an old French nursery rhyme called "Frère Jacques." Both versions ask if the titular character is still asleep, noting that the morning bells are ringing, and it's time to start the day.
While the original works well enough as a cute little sing-a-long, the original version can over time be used as a potential language learning tool.
17. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Song is good for: round-style sing-a-long
Bottom line for toddlers: One part easy to learn nursery rhyme, one part unforgiving earworm, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" is a well-known children's tune, thought to have originated in the mid-1800s. It can sometimes be played as a kid's game, where participants join hands and "row."
Otherwise, it's sung as a "round," where up to four participants take part as each new person joins the song after the one before them sings the first line of the verse.
16. Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Song is good for: Learning parts of the body.
Bottom line for toddlers: As toddlers begin to say words and explore their environment, it's also a great time to begin to help them understand more about themselves and their bodies.
"Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" allows children to touch these body parts and associate them with the words.
Also, it's good for providing your youngsters with a fun means of exercise.
15. Hickory Dickory Dock
Song is good for: Counting and telling time
Bottom line for toddlers: The earliest version of "Hickory Dickory Dock" was found in a songbook in the mid-1700s. It's believed the rhyme is based on the Exeter Cathedral Astronomical Clock, which featured a small door that cats would use for hunting mice.
Although the traditional version focuses on mice, newer versions add other animals with each passing verse, such as cats and dogs.
14. London Bridge
Song is good for: Playing a singing game.
Bottom line for toddlers: "London Bridge" is a popular game song known to children throughout the world, and despite directly referencing the Thames-spanning bridge in London, there's no clear indication as to the child song's origin. It's believed to either be a reference to the bridge's poor quality at one point in history or the Viking invasions.
In either case, you'll be hard-pressed to find a child that doesn't enjoy singing and dancing along to this fun little tune.
Song is good for: Preparing for a nap or bedtime
Bottom line for toddlers: When it's time to put your toddler down for a nap or bedtime at the end of the day, this is one of the songs many turn to when cueing your little one that it's time for sleep. It's one of those songs you sing very gently without really thinking about the lyrics, or why any mother would put their baby in a tree in the first place.
It's entirely possible that while we recognize the song as a nursery rhyme, it might have actually been meant as a sarcastic political statement about political unrest, and the fear of the ruling party eventually getting toppled.
12. Mary Had a Little Lamb
Song is good for: A cute sing-a-long.
Bottom line for toddlers: Based on a poem by school teacher Sarah Josepha Hale, it's thought that "Mary Had a Little Lamb" was based on a real little girl named Mary who showed up at school one day with an adorable little lamb.
Naturally, the animal caused a commotion among the other children and was forced to wait outside, which it did, until Mary's school day ended.
Poor little lamb.
11. The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Song is good for: Fingerplay and a sing-a-long.
Bottom line for toddlers: The "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song is probably the only known context in which anyone is worried about the fate of a spider, at least in a way that doesn't involve a book, shoe, or rolled up newspaper.
The tune famously features finger play, where you can teach your toddler the gestures associated with each lyric of the song. Learning this song and the movements is a fun way to help improve your toddler's hand-eye coordination.
It might also help them avoid a phobia of spiders, but we're not making any promises.
10. Five Little Ducks
Song is good for: Fingerplay and easy subtraction.
Bottom line for toddlers: As with "Five Little Monkeys," this song is great for helping toddlers begin to learn the concept of "take away" where removing one item from a group results in a new total. Instead of naughty monkeys, we have naughty ducks who don't come when their mother calls.
They do come back in the end, thankfully, as this toddler song would be among the most depressing to exist were it not the case.
9. Let It Go
Song is good for: A fun sing-a-long.
Bottom line for toddlers: We honestly thought that children would tire of this tune sometime in 2014, but thanks to so many parents naming their children after "Frozen" characters, there is no way that anyone will be letting go of "Let It Go," for some time.
Even now, some toddlers continue to be fans of the films and so enjoy singing along to this modern Disney classic.
Song is good for: Playing a clapping game.
Bottom line for toddlers: Is there a more famous dog in music than Bingo? Although no one is quite sure of the origins, we do know that it is one of the most beloved childhood song and clapping games around, where each verse has a letter of the name replaced with a clap.
Bizarrely, a conspiracy theory emerged at one point claiming that because the first verse doesn't clarify, Bingo could be the farmer and not the dog. However, it's pretty clear based on the nature of the song, and it's interpretation in popular culture, that Bingo is, in fact, the dog.
Don't be sad, farmers. There is another song on this list that is all for you.
7. If You’re Happy and You Know It
Song is good for: Getting exercise and getting rid of the wiggles.
Bottom line for toddlers: Another great song to get children up and active while helping them to express positive emotions.
Not only does it get out the wiggles, but it can also aid with developing coordination skills and a good memory.
6. Old MacDonald (Had A Farm)
Song is good for: Learning about animals.
Bottom line for toddlers: Perhaps one of the most adorable songs around about animals, "Old MacDonald" or "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" is a traditional nursery rhyme and toddler song that teaches youngsters about animals and the sounds they make.
It is a great way to help them identify common animals such as cows, pigs, chickens and more.
The "E-I-E-I-O" is fun for them to sing along to.
5. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Song is good for: Sing-a-long that can segue into learning about the stars.
Bottom line for toddlers: This is the first of three songs on this list that share the same melody, the others being "Baa-Baa-Black Sleep" and the "ABC Song." It's very easy to remember, and perhaps that's why this tune works so well for toddler songs.
In this case, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" has a youngster wondering about a twinkling star and not quite understanding what it is. This is no doubt a common feeling for toddlers who are still trying to make sense of the world and their surroundings.
And so, this song could help segue parents into teaching children what stars are. You can also blow their little minds by explaining that the sun is also a star, and why it's so much brighter than the rest.
4. The Wheels on the Bus
Song is good for: Learning about the school bus.
Bottom line for toddlers: Toddlers soon can be taking the bus to daycare or kindergarten, so the "Wheels on the Bus" song is a great way to help them learn a bit about this vehicle and how it works.
They will get more familiar with this form of transportation and perhaps a little less afraid of getting on them at some point.
3. The ABC Song
Song is good for: Learning the alphabet.
Bottom line for toddlers: You will be hard-pressed to find any American adult who doesn't know the exact melody of the "ABC Song," or "Alphabet Song." Even after learning it at a very young age, it stays with you forever.
The tune is similar to a couple of other toddler songs, and as we theorized earlier, it was probably a popular and enduring choice for the "ABC Song" because of how easy it is to memorize.
You want your toddler to begin grasping the alphabet, so this is most definitely going to be a helpful staple.
2. Baa Baa Black Sheep
Song is good for: Sing-a-long, some geography.
Bottom line for toddlers: It turns out that "Baa Baa Black Sheep," the "ABC Song" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" all get their melodies from the same place: a French children's song called ""Ah! vous dirai-je, maman."
In the case of "Baa Baa Black Sheep," attempts were made throughout the years to determine where it came, but there wasn't much success. All we know is it's a cute little nursery rhyme that came into being in England a few centuries ago.
1. Baby Shark
Song is good for: Getting out the wiggles.
Bottom line for toddlers: When Pinkfong created "Baby Shark," it's possible that they had no idea they were developing a massive force of nature. This tune earned over 10 billion views on YouTube and is quite possibly the most popular toddler song of the 21st century.
Its popularity is so massive that we are confident that toddlers 100 years from now will be dancing along to some version of "Baby Shark."