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14 Best Raffi Songs To Sing With Your Child

Raffi Songs To Sing With Kids

Bringing Back Raffi And His Classic Songs

The generation that grew up singing along with Raffi, now have children of their own, and they're trying to bring back the hits.

Raffi began his children's music career in the late 70's and pretty soon after that he became a household name.

Most kids' songs today either stimulate children to get involved or settle them down for rest. Few do both.

Raffi's songs strike the almost-miraculous balance of exciting children enough to sing along, while still having a calming aura and influence.

But Raffi was prolific, so to help sift through all of his songs, we've listed our fourteen favorites, along with observations about and ideas on how to engage and educate your kids even more.

1. Down By The Bay

Although Raffi never took credit for this classic song, he definitely popularized it. It deploys a fun rhyming scheme that teaches nouns, verbs and, well, rhyming! 

Don't just stick to the rhymes that Raffi sings! Pause the song and try to create some funny sequences of your own.

2. Baby Beluga

It's astonishing to consider the amount of songs that most would consider to be classics that were written and composed by Raffi. Baby Beluga is his as well.

The Baby Beluga song endears a young whale to all of us listeners. This Beluga swims the open waters with only "heaven above and the sea below."

Raffi was said to have been inspired to write this song after a tender moment with a young whale named Kavna.

3. The More We Get Together

Raffi's rendition of this classic American children's song is positively therapeutic.

Although children often make fast-friends, there are occasions where some education on the importance of friendship is in order. For example, when starting a new school (or school-year) or after a pandemic.

This song emphasizes how spending time with others will make us all happier.

4. Peanut Butter Sandwich

Raffi added his words to an old song to make this rambling song.

Although there isn't much education or inspiration for this one, it still is a blast to sing, especially around lunch time.

Oh! And by the way, it appears that David Amram is a real person. Raffi chose him because his name rhymes with jam. Don't get too cocky David A.!

5. Old MacDonald Had A Band

The Old MacDonald Had A farm song is extremely old. Over 300 years old. Everyone knows it and (that's why) everyone loves it.

The song is so well-known that when Raffi mixes is it up, we can almost sing along.

A jolly song that will help teach children about various instruments and their noise.

6. Five Little Ducks

Five Little Ducks is a sweet song that hints at independent adventure which feeds little imaginations.

There is obviously the concern for the wellbeing of the momentarily lost ducks, but all is well when Mother-Duck brings back all of the five little duckies.

This song teaches of independence, the importance of listening to parents and numbers!

7. Biscuits In The Oven

Only listen to this song if you want to get it stuck in your head as you dance around the kitchen with your little one.

Biscuits In The Oven conveys the excitement of watching biscuits get baked. Just watch! Don't touch!

Oh, and don't be too surprised at the song's pause as you look both ways before crossing the street.

8. Oats And Beans And Barley

Oats And Beans And Barley Grow is a compelling, catchy song that can be happily sung for a while in car rides.

The song enumerates all of the steps a farmer undertakes in the growing of produce.

9. This Little Light of Mine

Raffi's rendition of the widespread This Little Light Of Mine song is extremely empowering.

The song teaches powerful concepts of being yourself, everyone's uniqueness and leaving a positive effect on earth.

This would be a great song to listen to on a tough day.

10. Apples And Bananas

The Apples And Bananas song is such a classic, it's almost easy to forget this is one of Raffi's.

The song is sung saying "apples and bananas" in various vowels, including "A", "E", "I", "O", and "U".

It's an exciting way to learn the concept of vowels and general word-play.

11. Bananaphone

Another Raffi classic of the banana-variety is the Bananaphone song. 

The song mimics the steps of speaking on a real phone, instead you're using a banana. Theoretically.

"Don’t need computer or TV,
To have a real good time!
I’ll call for pizza. I’ll call my cat.
I’ll call the white house, have a chat!"

12. Shake A Toe

Get your whole body into this shake! From your head to your feet...

The groovy Shake A Toe song will increase the dancing vocabulary for your little, not to mention the fabulous exercise.

Join the party and howl!

13. The Corner Grocery Store

Not unlike Down By The Bay, this song is a combination rhyming practice, silly storytelling and a basic knowledge of nouns vs. verbs.

Raffi offers some hilarious rhymes in The Corner Grocery Store, but you, together with your child, must create some of your own!

14. Going On A Picnic

Singing this song with littles almost makes you feel like you're going to a park for a picnic. The sun is warming your features and you're kinda getting hungry.

Going On A Picnic lists the many components needed for a picnic.

If it doesn't rain, we'll stay all day!

Best Raffi Songs

1 comment

  • I love love love that you shared Raffi!! For me to be able to pick a favorite song would make me feel like I’m cheating on my lover but here goes! “Baby Beluga!” Second is “This little light of mine!” I use to sing Baby a Beluga to my to put my kids down to sleep. I would sing This little light of mine whenever they were feeling sad or disappointed. Thank you for sharing this and Thank you for listening to Raffi! I owned every record and CD he ever made! ❤️

    Debra Spratt

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