Best bands to get families dancing (and ones to avoid)

The four singers of Swedish pop group Abba in 1977. They are from left to right: Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha (known as Anna) ...
The four singers of Swedish pop group Abba in 1977. They are from left to right: Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha (known as Anna) Faltskog, Annifrid (known as Frida) Lyngstad and Benny Anderson. (AP Photo) 

There are some sure fire ways to get toddlers dancing and babies grooving and squirming happily and that's to break out the music of particular singers and bands.

There's nothing cuter than watching them enjoy music so seek out some old bands and let the music blast - it's what memories are made of.

These are bands I enjoyed long ago and none of them are one-hit wonders. They all have a whole catalogue of music to choose from.

Now this list isn't for everyone - if you like to chill with your kids to Mariah Carey then I'm all for that. It's whatever works for you. But if you are the kind of family that likes something to really get down to in your living room, then this is the list for you.

You will have your own bands and singers you enjoy with your children, so please do tell us which ones in the comments below.

1. Abba

I'm a Gen Xer born in 1975 so Abba (above) was THE BOMB when I was 2. 

Highly recommended songs for little ones: Dancing Queen, Mama Mia, Waterloo.

Listen to Abba

2. The Rolling Stones

Yes Mick is a little saucy but I didn't know that and nor will they. 


Highly recommended songs for little ones: Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar.

Listen to the Rolling Stones

3. AC/DC

​Best rock on the planet; arguably, but still, almost no-one can deny the appeal of stellar riffs, a tight beat and vocals to air-mike to while your kiddies rock it out.

Highly recommended songs for little ones: Back In Black, You Shook Me All Night Long, TNT, It's a Long Way to the Top.

Listen to AC/DC.

4. Gorillaz

Highly infectious and dynamic music that will have you pondering sci-fi scenarios and toddlers totally dig.

Highly recommended songs for little ones: Dare, Feel Good Inc., Clint Eastwood.

Important: You need to know that some Gorillaz songs have swear words in them - we edited them out so that our babies could still enjoy them for many years and it was well worth the effort. There aren't many so it's an easy job.

Listen to Gorillaz

​5. Beastie Boys

Word to the wise here folks; this is my all-time favourite band. And my kids very nearly wrecked it for me such is their obsession. I have rationed any playing of Beastie Boys songs now, but my kids aren't babies any more. When they were toddlers they just loved letting loose to their fantastic tracks.

Highly recommended songs for little ones: Intergalactic, Sabotage, Body Movin'.

Listen to Beastie Boys

6. Ramones

​It was with some delight that we watched our toddlers rocking out to Sheena is a Punk Rocker. We promise you will feel this same delight and the best part is that the Ramones don't swear and aren't sexist. It's all about love and broken hearts ... and punk rock, and that's cool with us.

Highly recommended songs for little ones: Rockaway Beach, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Blitzkreig Bop, Pinhead, I Wanna Be Sedated.

Listen to Ramones

Bands and singers to avoid if you want to be a sane parent


Disclaimer disclaimer; these are the bands which drive me crackers. They may not drive you crackers - you may even love them - and that's totally, completely ok. I'm not dissing anyone's music taste here. Well, not much.

After the hundredth time of your toddler screaming "BLUE SONG BLUE SONG BLUE SONG," on a five hour trip to Port Maquarie or other assorted beach destination, you're going to want to arrive and walk into the water fully clothed just to try to drown out the ensuing ear worm.

Avoid as mush as you can (you have been warned):

Eiffel 65 (the lyrics will melt your brain - never ever seek to read them)

Boys 2 Men (crooning is not my thing)

Tecnotronic (they can't come down from this - melt down potential is high)

​Hootie and the Blowfish (no, just no)

​Snow (a lifetime of not being able to work out what he's saying)

Ace of Base (PLEASE not another baby)

Spin Doctors (go away now)

LMFAO (they may be recent but they are truly in the past)