29 classic kids’ songs that are great for development

two girls playing instruments

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 about the world around them. Plus, you know them and can sing along too!

Studies have shown how important it is for parents to sing 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, you can also hear them played 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.

29 classic kids’ songs and rhymes

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! Particular 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, changing 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. Galumph Went the Little Green Frog

Galumph, galumph, galumph …

11. Hickory Dickory Dock

Accompany this with the cute little hand actions.

12. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / ABC

Since these have the same tune – it’s easy to teach them both!

13. If You’re Happy And You Know It

Clap your hands. Perfect bubs.

14. Humpty Dumpty

Though the lyrics are slightly disturbing, this rhyme is still a favourite among kids. 

15. Incy Wincy Spider

A fun song complete with cute had actions, perfect for developing fine motor skills. 

16. It’s a Small World

A song about the importance of international unity.

17. Old McDonald Had A Farm

Perfect for practising animal sounds. 

18. Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Another fab one for learning about the body.

19. I’m a Little Teapot

This one HAS to be sung while performing the actions. No exceptions, we’re looking at you, mum and dad.

20. 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.

21. Dr Knickerbocker

If you’re after something a little more upbeat, this will be your jam. 

22. Miss Polly Had a Dolly

A repetitive rhyme that will be easy for everyone to sing along to.

23. Puff the Magic Dragon

Who lived by the sea … 

24. Baa Baa Black Sheep

Another nursery rhyme with a sinister origin but kids don’t need to know that. 

25. Home Among the Gumtrees

An Australian classic.

26. Johnnie Works With One Hammer

This little tune is a great place to start for basic counting. 

27. Alice the Camel

Another fun counting song for kids.

28. Never Smile at a Crocodile

It’s true!

29. The Ants Go Marching

A classic song following the story of ants as they march to get out of the rain. 

This post was originally published on Kinderling Kids Radio. Download the Kinderling app for more great stories. 

Subscribe to Babyology

Our email newsletters keep you up to date with what’s happening on Babyology.

We also have special newsletter-only offers and competitions that are exclusive to Babyology subscribers.

Sign up below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Send this to a friend