In our family, the person who makes it home first from work or school on a Friday afternoon has an important responsibility: Set everything up for our official Friday night family dance party.
Here’s how it works:
- Clear the living room floor of LEGOs and baby teethers,
- Queue up our playlist of the best kids’ dance songs, and
- Crank the volume.
And if you’re the last person home?
Nothing beats that feeling of walking in the door, hearing the notes of happiness reverberate through the house, and stepping into the living room to see your whole family dancing and giggling.
A family dance party is one of the best ways to spend quality time with your kids after a day apart – or if you’re just feeling cooped up indoors because of cold/rainy/sweltering weather. Plus, dancing is good for your health in lots of ways, from heart health to stress levels and more.1Yeager, S. (2012, August 6). Get into the Groove: The Benefits of Dance. Women’s Health.
But Here’s the Problem
When you search for kids’ dance music, you’ll find grating kids’ music that sets your teeth on edge or classic dance songs you’ve heard so many times you can no longer stand them.
For example, I don’t mind listening to a 90’s hit like “Macarena” or “Dancing Queen” by ABBA once in a while, but I certainly don’t need it in my regular playlist rotation once a day (or more). Because just like with children’s books your kid loves and wants you to read over and over, you can expect them to ask for your family dance party playlist again and again.
So you might as well pick kids’ dance music you can both enjoy.
20 Happy Kids’ Dance Songs That Parents Love, Too
Here’s a clean playlist of dance music for kids that’s fun for the whole family to shake their booties to. These contemporary, upbeat tunes have clean lyrics with no swear words, but unlike most dance music for kids, they’re not so kiddish that you’ll lock yourself in the bathroom til they’re over. Yo Gabba GAG ME.
Next time you and/or the kids have a bad case of the crankies, fire up a few of these songs and dance away the bad mojo. Research shows that babies and toddlers especially get a big dose of happy when moving their bodies to a rhythmic beat,2LiveScience. (2010, March 15). Babies are born to boogie, study shows. NBC News. and that mood boost goes for adults too.3Zajenkowski, M., Jankowski, K. S., & Kolata, D. (2015). Let’s dance–feel better! Mood changes following dancing in different situations. European journal of sport science, 15(7), 640–646.
You’ll tire the kids out before bedtime, plus you’ll burn a few calories yourself. Which means you can skip working out, or at least skip feeling guilty for not working out. (You’re welcome!)
And if you’re a teacher, this collection of the best dance songs for kids also works great for freeze dance, holiday celebrations, or brain breaks. For even more kid-friendly songs that adults love too, check out the Want More? section at the end of this article.
1. When Can I See You Again? by Owl City
You might recognize this one from the soundtrack of the Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph†, but it’s not sickeningly sweet like some kids’ dance music. Just good clean fun!
Switch on the sky and the stars glow for youSee full lyrics
Go see the world ’cause it’s all so brand new
Don’t close your eyes ’cause your future’s ready to shine
It’s just a matter of time, before we learn how to fly
2. Let’s Be Young by Evan McHugh
This upbeat song perfectly captures the essence of childhood:
We could count the shooting starsSee full lyrics
We could radio to Mars
Secrets in the dark
Whisper la, la, la, la
We could find a place to hide
Staying up all night
Waiting for the sunrise
Just you and I
3. Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
This song is a great fit for those days your child is coping with big emotions, plus it’s a fun song to dance to as you sing along to the catchy chorus:
I just want to know today, know today, know todaySee full lyrics
Know that maybe I will be okay
4. More of This by Vetiver
I randomly stumbled on this little gem of a song, and my kids loved it so much it became a staple on our family dance party playlist.
I wish I had…See full lyrics
More of this, Less to miss
Now is the right time
Our love is more than enough to calm my troubled mind
5. Girl by Jukebox the Ghost
My family has listened to this song at least three times a day since we first discovered it, and we never get sick of it. I’m convinced it’s impossible not to move your body along with this song. When you want to jam out with your fam, this song’s a must for your dance party playlist. My teen even said this is one of her all-time favorite songs.
And as time goes on and on I can feel my heart growing colder and colderSee full lyrics
But then I see your face in the crowd, I think
How could I be starting over?
Cause when you meet someone new
It all just takes over you
And you think that you never really tried
6. Brand New Day by Lindsey Ray with Tim Myers
Queue up this song when you or your child need a reset button or when you want to start the day off right.
Wake up, open your sleepy eyesSee full lyrics
Stretch out, make up the bed nice
Sunlight, kissing your face again
Breakfast, coffee is waiting
7. Sleepy Tigers by Her Space Holiday
This song always makes me smile and bop my head. And how perfectly does this capture the mindset of a child waking you up early on a weekend morning?!
Oh I like you so very much so much in fact I gotta wake you upSee full lyrics
It’s not that I have words to speak
I just wanna see you looking at me
8. A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Nobody seems to know what this song is actually about, but the absurdity of the lyrics is kind of perfect a kids’ dance playlist.
Look outside at the raincoats coming, say ohSee full lyrics
Look outside at the raincoats coming, say oh
9. Riptide by Vance Joy
This one part always hits me squarely in the chest because it reminds me of my kids when they sing along at full volume:
I love you when you’re singing that songSee full lyrics
And I got a lump in my throat
‘Cause you’re gonna sing the words wrong
10. The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Michael Franti has a few tracks that work well as clean songs for kids, and this is my family’s current favorite:
Here I am,See full lyrics
Just waiting for this storm to pass me by
And that’s the sound of sunshine
11. Kids by MGMT
This one has a great beat and also gets props for this surprising rhyme:
You pick the insects off plantsSee full lyrics
No time to think of consequences
12. Black Horse and The Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall
The talking horse in this song is what won my kids over.
Well, my heart knows me better than I know myselfSee full lyrics
So I’m gonna let it do all the talking
13. Happy by Pharrell Williams
No playlist of kids’ dance songs would be complete without this song, featured on the Despicable Me 2 movie soundtrack. Preschoolers especially love this one!
Because I’m happySee full lyrics
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
14. Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake
This song’s featured on the soundtrack of Trolls, and for good reason. I dare you not to groove along with this one!
I got this feeling inside my bonesSee full lyrics
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flying up, no ceiling, when we’re in our zone
15. Try Everything by Shakira
Not only is this a fun dance song for kids, it also packs a powerful message about perseverance:
Birds don’t just flySee full lyrics
They fall down and get up
Nobody learns without getting it wrong
16. Safe and Sound by Capital Cities
Even though this isn’t a kids’ song, it always makes me think of my kiddos:
I could lift you upSee full lyrics
I could show you what you want to see
And take you where you want to beYou could be my luck
Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we’ll be safe and sound
We’re safe and sound
17. On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons
I love this one because of the reminder to us to stay connected, even when we’re feeling upset:
If you love somebodySee full lyrics
Better tell them while they’re here ’cause
They just may run away from you
18. I Like to Move It by will.i.am
You might remember this song from the Madagascar 2 soundtrack. Kids love busting out their best dance moves to this one!
Do my little, do my little, do my little danceSee full lyrics
Ants in my pants, got ants in my pants
19. Roar by Katy Perry
This is a fun song to dance to, plus the lyrics deliver a great message for kids about standing up for yourself. If your kid loves this Katy Perry song, be sure to check out Firework as well.
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighterSee full lyrics
Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar
20. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Kids love dancing to this song, and they’ll probably recognize it from the movie Sing.
Fair warning that this song does mention dating briefly a couple times, but the lines go right over most kids’ heads, and they’re pretty tame to boot. One line is “I go on too many dates,” and the other is “My ex-man brought his new girlfriend.”
I never miss a beat
I’m lightnin’ on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see, mmm-mmm
That’s what they don’t see, mmm-mmm
I’m dancin’ on my own (Dancin’ on my own)See full lyrics
I make the moves up as I go (Moves up as I go)
And that’s what they don’t know, mmm-mmm
That’s what they don’t know, mmm-mmm
Get the Spotify Playlist: Clean Songs for Kids
If you use Spotify, head over to this Family Dance Party playlist and click the heart button to add it to your own Spotify library. As an added bonus, you’ll get extra clean dance songs not yet featured in this post!
For more family-friendly playlists of clean songs for kids, check out:
- Funny Songs: 30 Funny Songs for Kids That Make Parents Giggle, Too
- Love Songs: The Best 20 Love Songs for Kids
- Girl Power Songs: 11 Best Girl Power Songs to Inspire Your Daughter (And You)
- Summer Playlist: 12 Songs for a Carefree Summer
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
What are your favorite kids’ dance songs for getting the sillies out? Share in a comment below!