Summer Songs for Kids

Family at a campfire
Ty Allison / Getty Images

Ahh, summer! A time to kick back and relax, read a few books and play in the pool, splash in the ocean and enjoy the sun. Here's the perfect soundtrack for the season, a list of great summer songs for kids.

"Kickboard, Baby, Yeah" - Justin Roberts

Kids Music
Courtesy Carpet Square Records

If The Beach Boys made music for kids (well, they kinda did, right?), it would sound like this harmony-filled pop gem from Justin Roberts' 2008 album Pop Fly. The sounds of summer come ringin' through on Chicago native Roberts' tribute to his favorite pool accessory.

Listen to a sample of "Kickboard, Baby, Yeah"

"Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!" - Adam and The Couch Potatoes

Kids Music
Courtesy Adam Selzer

This joyous acoustic tune proclaims the awesomeness of spending the entire day in the pool, complete with a bubbly "Yellow Submarine"-like an instrumental break. Adam Selzer and the rest of his Nashville-based Couch Potatoes recorded "Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!" for their kids' music debut album, One Size Fits All...!

Listen to a sample of "Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!"

"Green Grass of Summer" - Dog On Fleas

Kids Music
Courtesy Dog On Fleas

The superb pastoral pop and cosmic lyrics of "Green Grass of Summer" could only have come from Dog On Fleas, a collective of musicians based in New York's Hudson Valley. This tune from When I Get Little sees a woodland creature eagerly awaiting the warmer months.

Listen to a sample of "Green Grass of Summer"

"Ridin' the Big Waves" - Charity and The JAMband

Kids Music
Courtesy Charity Kahn

Whatcha got here is basically a follow-the-leader activity song set to some twangy surf rock. Charity Kahn and her San Francisco-based band are paddlin', chillin' out, and droppin' in on this tune from Peanut Butter and JAM.

Listen to a sample of "Ridin' the Big Waves"

"Her Sound is Sunshine" - The Dreamtree Shakers

Kids Music
Courtesy Dreamtree Shakers

Falling somewhere between the groovy pop of The Cowsills and the lo-fi indie rock of Lou Barlow, "Her Sound is Sunshine" evokes the laid-back feel of summertime. Chicago's Dreamtree Shakers recorded this tune, from their Dream and You Will See album, about a mole who likes to cook. Sure, why not!

Listen to a sample of "Her Sound is Sunshine"

"Surfer Shake" - The Baby Grands

Kids Music
Courtesy Backspace Records

If you could imagine an acoustic version of The Ramones with Jack Johnson as their lead singer, you got "Surfer Shake," an energetic ode to all things gnarly. The Atlanta-based Baby Grands released "Surfer Shake" on their self-titled kids' music debut.

Listen to a sample of "Surfer Shake"

"Summer/Sunshine" - Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck

Kids Music
Courtesy Big Truck Music

The drone of mandolins and acoustic guitars, along with the stream of consciousness lyrics, evoke the feeling of a lazy summer day. "Summer/Sunshine" can be found on Special Kind of Day, the fourth kids' album by New Jersey's Rebecca Frezza.

Listen to a sample of "Summer/Sunshine"

"Mary Ann" - Father Goose

Kids Music
Courtesy Festival Five Records

This popular calypso tune has been recorded by Xavier Cugat, Burl Ives, and Terry Gilkyson & The Easy Riders. Ansel Cridland from The Meditations joins fellow Jamaican Father Goose on this version of "Mary Ann" from It's a Bam Bam Diddly!

Listen to a sample of "Mary Ann"

"Sunny Day" - Ernie & Neal

Kids Music
Courtesy Ernie & Neal

"Sunny Day" is from Ernie & Neal's fourth CD, Rock & Roll Band, and sounds as if Grand Funk Railroad went the kids' music route, complete with horn break and guitar solo. The crunchy, loping rocker by Philly/west New Jersey's head bangin' duo explores the endless possibilities of a sunny summer day.

Listen to a sample of "Sunny Day"

"A Day at the Beach" - Bari Koral

Kids Music
Courtesy Loopytunes

Bari and her band spend "A Day at the Beach" diggin' the kites, surfers, waves, and sand. This twangy rocker can be found on NYC-based Bari's 6-song EP Family Rock Band.

Listen to a sample of "A Day at the Beach"

"Shine On Me" - D. Jay

Kids Music
Courtesy Dennis King

New Jersey's D. Jay (Dennis King) celebrates the wonderfulness of a summer day with his self-described "Folk-stomp" musical style. Buggy Baloo features the tune "Shine On Me," highlighted by D. Jay's strident acoustic guitar and warm vocals.

Listen to a sample of "Shine On Me"

"Say Hello to the Sun" - Cathy Heller

Kids Music
Courtesy Canopy Tree Records

A great mantra for everyone's summer: take notice of everything around you, slow down and make memories, "Say Hello to the Sun." This breezy pop tune is the title track from southern California-based Cathy Heller's kids' music debut.

Listen to a sample of "Say Hello to the Sun"