29 classic kids’ songs great for development that you need to play

Kinderling News & Features

There’s a reason these songs have stood the test of time. Each one has an easy tune, simple words and teaches your kid something or other around the world. Plus, you know them and can sing along with them too!

Studies have shown how important it is for parents to sing to and with their children. So what are you waiting for?! If you’re stuck for a tune, here’s a bunch that can kick start this beautiful musical activity (plus we play them all and more on Kinderling Kids Radio!).

These are the nursery rhymes you all know and can sing, plus the favourites littlies will sing at daycare and see on television.

1. Inanay
A beautiful lullaby in the Yorta Yorta language. Watch Ngaiire’s stunning cover below.

2. Baby Shark 
Believe it or not, 'Baby Shark' is a classic in some parts of the world! Particularly in the US, where it’s a common summer camp singalong song. Read our history of the song we all love to hate.

3. Johny Johny Yes Papa
This one’s a new one but is quite popular already! Watch the video on Youtube

4. Jingle Bells
Yep, Christmas songs count! They’re very easy to adapt.

5. Fruit Salad by The Wiggles
A few Wiggles songs have to slip in there! If you’re a child of the ‘90s, you would have grown up listening to these guys too.

6. Hot Potato by The Wiggles
You know the actions!

7. The Hokey Pokey
A fun way to learn about bodies, develop balance, coordination, gross motor skills and of course a bit of laughter!

8. Wheels on the Bus
Lots of fun to be had here with change up the words to suit what you’re doing! On the way to daycare, the park, swimming lessons, or the shops.

9. Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed
We love the Benny Time version of this!

10. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / ABC 
Since these have the same tune – it’s easy to teach them both!

11. If You’re Happy And You Know It
Clap your hands. Perfect for bubs.

12. Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Another fab one for learning about the body.

13. Row Row Row Your Boat 
You’ll probably be well-versed in the original version, but if you’d like to mix it up, children’s book author Matt Shanks has written a version about a bandicoot, koala, platypus, kookaburra and crocodile.

And here's a bunch more classic nursery rhymes and kids' songs that need no explanation!

14. Humpty Dumpty

15. Incy Wincy Spider

16. It’s a Small World

17. Old McDonald Had A Farm

18. Galumph Went the Little Green Frog

19. Hey Diddle Diddle I’m a Little Teapot

20. Hickory Dickory Dock

21. Dr Knickerbocker

22. Miss Polly Had a Dolly

23. Puff the Magic Dragon

24. Baa Baa Black Sheep

25. Home Among the Gumtrees

26. Johnnie Works With One Hammer

27. Alice the Camel

28. Never Smile at a Crocodile

29. The Ants Go Marching