There’s a lot of music out there, but it always feels like a challenge to find songs that your kids will actually sing along with. Lots of people have different purposes when selecting music. My purpose is simple. I want kids to worship Jesus. Worship can be fast and jumpy or worship can be soft and slow, but I just want kids to worship. Heres the criteria I use when selecting songs:
1. Simple words: if your songs have too many words your kids won’t sing. And generally when they are not singing they are not worshipping. Pick songs that will make sense to kids and don’t have too many words. Repetitive songs are great because kids can really learn them. Of course, the older the kids, the more complex songs they can handle. However, we have found even with the older kids they respond best to songs that are simple.
2. Meaningful words: there are a lot of great kids songs out there that don’t have a whole lot of meaning. Fun and silly songs have their place. But I really want to put songs in our kids hearts that are praising God. I want songs that are scriptural. A song can sound really cool but if it doesn’t mean a whole lot we will probably skip it or save it for a non-worship event
3. Relevant music: kids respond best to music that sounds somewhat similar to music that they listen to in “real” life. Songs that you and I worshipped to ten years ago probably won’t be as attractive to kids today. I remember a couple of years ago hearing our preschool choir teacher play a kiddie version of “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin. Remember back in the day when that was the coolest song ever? Now it’s a preschool song! Music changes. Your kids want songs relevant to today. Try the fifth grade test. If you can find songs a fifth grade boy likes, everyone else will like it too.
Bonus: Songs that are also sung in big church. I love when we are singing the same songs throughout the church. I’m love when kids can go to big church and know the words. I think there’s some great value in parents and kids being able to worship together. You can also find kids worship songs on YouTube that families can share together at home.
Here are my favorites that we use a lot in our kids ministry. Please leave a comment below to share your ideas too.