You've spent years cultivating a music collection you can be proud of, honing your taste in tunes, and then it happens: parenthood. Suddenly you find your ears assaulted by singing dinosaurs, grown men in unitards and generic kids crooning canned versions of radio pop. It's enough to make a music lover's ears bleed.
Fortunately, it is possible to find kids' music that won't lower your IQ with each listen. In fact, many artists known for their grown-up compositions have lent their sizeable talents -- and rock and pop sensibilities -- to the genre. The result is smart, funny music that children will clamor for and parents will adore, created by everyone from Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan to Cake, Matt Nathanson and The Verve Pipe.
Compilations and soundtracks are great places to find one-off kids' tracks: We have movies to thank for juvenile songs by No Doubt, Jack Johnson and Sting. Other artists, like Barenaked Ladies, They Might Be Giants and Harry Connick, Jr., have created entire albums devoted to entertaining the 10-and-under crowd, while The White Stripes worked such tracks into an otherwise adult-oriented live set.
No matter where this music comes from, we're just glad it's here. And while we make no guarantees, swapping out Barney for Butterfly Boucher may even help influence your offspring's future music choices, resulting in more Bowie and less Bieber during their tween years. So kick off those music-appreciation lessons with this parent-friendly playlist.