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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: Michelle Fiordaliso

    Randy Kaplan

  • Photograph: Laura Levine

    Elizabeth Mitchell

  • Photograph: Mike Belleme

    Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

  • Photograph: Jeremy Gordon

    Brady Rymer

  • Photograph: Courtesy Richland County Public Library

    Lunch Money

Photograph: Michelle Fiordaliso

Randy Kaplan

Randy Kaplan

Randy Kaplan

A true kindie troubadour, Kaplan regularly fills his albums with hilarious, spoken-sung original stories and reimagined favorites from the stage and screen (Porgy & Bess, The Wizard of Oz). This summer, the Long Island native and current Los Angeles resident will release Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, a Randy-ized batch of ragtime and Delta blues standards by the likes of Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. randykaplan.com

Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower

Carrying a torch for a Pete Seeger brand of traditional family folk, Mitchell and her family (daughter Story and husband Daniel Littleton) offer 21st-century clans a pastiche of yesteryear tunes via gentle, hand-spun originals ("1 Day, 2 Days, 3 Days Old") and familiar classics ("This Little Light of Mine," "Shoo-Fly"). youaremyflower.org

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Staying true to his Asheville, North Carolina, roots, the undisputed king of kid-hop spins tales of friendship infused with bluegrass flair by sharing the mike with family members (including daughter Saki, a.k.a MC Fireworks). Their newest DVD release, titled Spelunk the Funk: The Underground Playground, features a live concert and high-quality music videos, while their upcoming CD Make Believers (out May 22) showcases the dance-ridden, self-confident single "Gotta Be You." secretagent23skidoo.com

Brady Rymer

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could

Rymer's exuberant smile is what captures kids' attention first, and you can hear it in every word he sings. The musician's stock-in-trade is down-home middle-America rock songs, and his friendly style has never been more transparent than on "Love Me for Who I Am," a tribute to children with alternative learning styles. bradyrymer.com

Lunch Money

Lunch Money

With sweet-sounding songs framed around lead singer Molly Ledford's voice, the South Carolina kindie trio pivots between punchy power pop ("Original Friend") and tender ballads ("You and Me and a Bottle of Bubbles") with ease, making it feel as though Ledford is actually singing for your child and your child alone. lunchmoneymusic.com

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