Introducing Your Child to Motown

“Motown was about music for all people – white and black, blue and green, cops and the robbers.” – Berry Gordy

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Introducing your little one to classic music can be challenging if it’s not done the right way. You can never force your kid to like all of your favorite music, no matter how hard you try. And there’s no tried-and-true method for making them fans of your faves. But Motown is a great place to start.

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Motown music is essentially the foundation of today’s pop and hip-hop music. Just like it’s important for your youngster to know about classic rock and how it influenced today’s punk and rock scene, it’s just as equally important to know where hip-hop, R&B, and pop come from. Besides, you shouldn’t go through life without knowing some of the greatest artists in music history. Do you really want to be the reason that your child doesn’t know who the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Contours, and other Motown giants were? I didn’t think so.

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🎵 What Songs To Start With

It’s never too early to have your little one listen to Motown for the simple fact that there are so many types of songs — from funky jump-on-your-feet-and-dance tunes to deep, soulful songs. You can play some upbeat Motown during playtime, then a slow soul number in the background while you lull your newborn to sleep. One song that comes to mind is “Stay Gold” by Stevie Wonder (you get brownie points if you know what movie this song was in). A perfect way to end the day is by telling your child to stay gold despite everything that goes on in this crazy, mixed-up world.

“Baby Love” by Diana Ross and the Supremes is another great song to play in the background while your baby naps. Ross’ cooing vocals will be sure to soothe your bundle of “baby love.”

For those energized toddler years, there’s an endless supply of Motown music that will get them up and jumping. Let’s start with this one …

“Rockin Robin” was originally released in 1958 by Bobby Day and became a No. 2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Jackson 5 then did a cover in 1972 and it was an instant hit again, peaking at #2 on the Hot 100. I like both versions of the song honestly, but the MJ cover might just be a better fit for your little one. Either way, this song will get you and your kid up and dancing.

And since we’re talking about the Jackson 5, we have to highly recommend you play “ABC”. Young Michael Jackson really shines on this track.

“Shake Me, Wake Me” by the Four Tops has such a catchy groove that your toddler will be shaking his or her whole body to the beat.

“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” is an example of a perfect song. The swinging rhythm in this song makes it hard to stand still. The vocals are absolutely on point with that rawness often found in classic Motown. Released in 1966, it’s hard to not include this in the list.

There’s another epic track that should get your little one dancing now. “Dancing in the Street” has a very primitive beat that easy for your little to dance too. Released in 1967, Martha and the Vandellas belted out a song that will for sure live for ever that captures everything Motown.

We could go on and on listing songs, but hopefully, you’ve got an idea of where to start. So what’s next? Well, Netflix has one of the best shows on TV for young children called Motown Magic.

🎙️ Motown Starter Kit for Kids

karaoke microphone songs netflix

Motown Magic Microphone

This karaoke Bluetooth microphone includes 30 Motown magic songs, plus it can connect to allow your child to sing any song played via Bluetooth. Perfect for any kid that loves to sing and dance and is just starting their journey into Motown.

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Vinyl Portable Record Player

If you want your child to properly listen to Motown then you’ll need a record player. This Wockoder portable record player is perfect for letting your child play albums in their room or outside. It does require that the included power adapter be plugged into an outlet. Adult supervision for little ones is strongly recommended, but even my 5-year-old could be taught proper vinyl handling etiquette.

motown chartbusters record vinyl

Motown Greatest Hits

If you purchase one album then make it this one. For the money, it’s a cheap variety of awesome Motown.
Includes artists like Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Supremes, and Temptations. For a full tracklisting click here.

rainbow jackson 5 ultimate collection

Jackson 5 Ultimate Collection

This is it. All the big hits from the Jackson 5 on two vinyl. For the price, you just can’t beat it. Seriously, this album is sure to be a thriller. I don’t think anyone in your house is going to be feeling bad when your little one spins this.

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The Supremes Number 1’s

Every most popular song by Diana Ross and The Supremes is featured on this record. A couple of the songs are perfect for a Friday evening dance party, including “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “You Keep Me Hanging On”.

motown magic guitar plush toy netflix

Motown Magic Guitar

This plush guitar plays 10 Motown hits like “ABC”, “Superstitious”, and “My Girl”. When your little one strums the toy they’ll be delighted by the colorful LED lights. Perfect for any little kid’s dance party.

claudette's miraculous motown adventure blue african american girl

Claudette’s Miraculous Motown Adventure Book

This little book follows Claudette who lives in the kingdom of Motown. Everything is great until an evil witch casts a spell and curses the town with silence. Fortunately, Claudette discovers the Miracles and they begin to sing together in an attempt to save the kingdom.