Posted: Nov 06, 2013 6:00 AM
From breakfast routines to pajama time, music inspires our home life, keeps us motivated and often helps set moods for our family. This list of songs provides go-to accompaniment for all of our daily activities from sweet lullabies to get-up-and-shake-it anthems.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arrive

Music can transform the ordinary into something more — more fun, more feeling.

The first measure alone of this song brings to mind countless hours logged of swaying babies to sleep, whispering the lyrics — into the light of the dark black night — while I wait for the familiar slump in my arms that signals my babies are sleeping deeply enough, they won’t be disturbed from the arms-to-crib transfer. This isn’t the only song that immediately stirs up memories; I have a catalogued mental repertoire of tunes that bring with them memories and feelings of specific events. After all, I speak fluent music, and our home relies on a growing soundtrack of tunes that provides accompaniment for our activities from morning routines to "Blackbird" before bed. I want my kids to have memories of music — to remember the background sounds of Nat King Cole on Christmas morning or the way cleaning the house was made far more fun with a broom microphone and a little Jay Z. Music can transform the ordinary into something more — more fun, more feeling. Consequently, I’ve slowly built a soundtrack for parenting — a playlist that gets us through the day, draws out feeling to what might otherwise be considered mundane and works magic on kids who need a change of pace.

Behold, our day-in-the-life-of-mom playlist for every parenting need. Turn up the volume.

Morning routine

Making lunches, brushing teeth, hustling to get out the door? Start your day off on the right foot with these happy wake-up songs.

"Here Comes the Sun" — The Beatles
"There She Goes" — The La’s
"Sunshine" — Matt Costa
"Wildflowers" — Tom Petty
"Good Life" — One Republic
"Whole Wide World" — Mindy Gledhill
"Sunny Day" — Elizabeth Mitchell


While your child plays at home, set the mood with these easy-going cheerful tunes.

"Keep Your Heart Young" — Brandi Carlile
"Everybody" — Ingrid Michaelson
"Three Little Birds" — Elizabeth Mitchell
"Red Balloon" — Frances England
"We’re Going To Be Friends" — Jack Johnson
"A, You're Adorable" — Emilie Mover

markersCraft/art time

Tap into your child's creativity by stimulating more senses. Add music to the visual experience of coloring, painting and crafting with these colorful songs that evoke good imagery.

"Paint a Picture" — Frances England
"The Littlest Birds" — The Be Good Tanyas
"Brandenburg Concerto No.5" — Johann Sebastian Bach
"Symphony No. 94 in G — Surprise Symphony" — Joseph Haydn

Family night

Whether you're huddled around the table playing Chutes and Ladders or sitting in the driveway watching your kids ride trikes, this little soundtrack may help you enjoy those bonding moments even more.

"Have You Ever" — Brandi Carlile
"Home" — Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
"More Than Life" — Whitley
"A Wink and a Smile" — Harry Connick Jr.
"Follow the Arrow" — Rosi Golan
"1,000 Ships" — Rachel Platten
"Lovely Love My Family" — The Roots
"Crazy Love" — Van Morrison

Pep talk

If your child has had a bad day, is anxious about a new experience or needs a little self-esteem boost, these songs will definitely help brighten things up. And if Mom breaks out some new dance moves to them... even better.

"Roar" — Katy Perry
"Brave" — Sara Bareilles
"Be Okay" — Ingrid Michaelson
"Feeling Good" — Nina Simone
"Wash Away" — Joe Purdy
"Amazing" — Seal
"Don't Stop Believing" — Journey
"Lovely" — Sara Haze

Get up and shake it!

Need to get off the couch and get moving? These songs will instantly transform laziness to motivation.

"Loud Pipes" — Ratatat
"Lollipop" — Mika
"I'll Fly With You" — Gigi d'Agostino
"Love Today" — Mika

Quiet/homework time

Need help creating a relaxing environment for your family after a hectic day? These peaceful songs are great for homework and quiet time.

"We Bought a Zoo" — Jonsi
"Pictures" — Benjamin Francis Leftwich
"The Gloaming" — Jonae
"Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1" — Yo Yo Ma
"Nocturne No. 2 in E flat Major Op. 9,2" — Frederic Chopin

stack of pots and pansIn the kitchen

Time for dinner — make it fun. Light candles in your kitchen, turn down the lights, put on some good dinner music and let your kids help you cook. Feel the music!

"The Girl from Ipanema" Stan Getz
"La Musica Cubana" — Ibrahim Ferrer
"The Way You Look Tonight" Frank Sinatra
"'S Wonderful" Diana Krall
"Come Away With Me" Norah Jones


Baby Footie Jammies + Mama Slow Dance + These Songs = Recipe for a Sweet Memory

"Sleep" — Azure Ray
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" — Ingrid Michaelson
"Blackbird" — The Beatles
"Colors" — Amos Lee
"Butterfly" — Miley Cyrus
"Me" — Plumb
"Smile" — Nat King Cole

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