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25 best bands for kids

The children's music scene sure has come a long way in recent years. We've compiled a list of the best bands for kids—we guarantee you'll want to expose your children to all 25 of these performers.

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Pop Ups

    The Pop Ups

  • Photograph: Brian Kasnyik

    Caspar Babypants

  • The Imagination Movers

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Deedle Deedle Dees

    The Deedle Deedle Dees

  • The Laurie Berkner Band

Photograph: Courtesy The Pop Ups

The Pop Ups

The Pop Ups

The Pop Ups

Having performed their uproarious puppet musical Pasta! to packed houses on both coasts, the electrifying Brooklyn duo most recently dropped its sophomore album, Radio Jungle. Its danceable single "Connect the Stars," featuring the soulful voice of Shawana Kemp of Shine & the Moonbeams, seems poised to make backyard astronomy the It hobby of 2012. thepopups.com

Caspar Babypants

Caspar Babypants

Chris Ballew, the former Presidents of the United States of America frontman and MTV video star, often uses just voice, acoustic guitar and simple percussion on his fresh interpretations of childhood classics ("Ring Around the Rosie," "Ba Ba Black Sheep") and quirky originals. The best part: Ballew's stripped-down tunes are still palatable to adults—even after two dozen listens. babypantsmusic.com

Imagination Movers

Imagination Movers

The Imagination Movers are on quite a roll: After having one of the most well-attended family concerts of 2011, the blue-jumpsuit-clad boys are currently riding out a wave of success from their latest CD/DVD, Rock-O-Matic, containing dance-hall-ready songs like the ska-inspired "Everybody Sing" and "Dear Old Dad." Superfans can also expect a rather sizable spring 2012 tour, plus new episodes of the group's popular Disney Junior series. imaginationmovers.com

The Deedle Deedle Dees at The Knitting Factory

The Deedle Deedle Dees

Don't let their quirky pop-rock persona fool you: The Brooklyn-based troupe sneakily slips in educational lyrics about the characters in American history that elementary-school textbooks gloss over or omit entirely. Listen while underrated luminaries like Marie Curie, Henry Hudson and John James Audubon—all of whom appear on the band's latest record, Strange Dees, Indeed—are reborn through frontman Lloyd Miller's raspy growl. thedeedledeedledees.com

Photograph: Steve Vaccariello

The Laurie Berkner Band

Often hailed as the Queen Bee of toddler rock, Berkner's sunshine-and-smile motif has wooed millions of youngsters since the release of her first album, Whaddaya Think of That?, in 1997. Having conquered the kindie-rock scene, the multiplatinum city mom is now turning to animated television—she recently partnered with Little Airplane Productions (The Wonder Pets!) to develop a new preschool TV series called Sing It, Laurie! laurieberkner.com

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