I’ve always found music really does tame the savage beast — and there’s nothing more savage than a hangry kindergartener at 5 pm when dinner is still in the works. I’ve been using Pandora for ages, but wanted to check out other free streaming apps that have dedicated channels for kiddos with less commercials.
Amazon Music With Amazon Music, you’ve got access to a library of 2 million songs. (You can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for a monthly fee — and access to 50 million songs.) For the kiddos, I especially liked the chill vibe of the Frances England Station, which also included songs from Okee Dokee Brothers and Elizabeth Mitchell. Expect more upbeat tunes on the preset station Toddler Time with hits like Baby Shark, Kidz Bop and Pixar soundtracks. Amazon also gives you the option to block explicit lyrics. Free with Prime membership with no commercials and no limit on skips!
iheart Radio Family This whole app is specifically for kids, with pre-programmed channels featuring music, stories and podcasts. The downside is you don’t have the ability to choose a specific artist’s station, or even see which artist is currently playing. But there is a wide variety of commercial-free stations — I especially liked Rock the Cradle, which played Bowie’s version of The Man Who Sold the World. And I loved that the app featured Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.
Spotify This app offers a very wide selection of artists to create stations based on your preferences. I found lots of kindie choices, including Lucky Diaz, Jazzy Ash and our very own Red Yarn. The free version gives you the option of watching a 30-second video to get 30 minutes of ad-free music. It’s easy to block explicit content, too. Check out the PDX Kids Music Spotify playlist of all Portland kindie performers.