With no definitive end in sight for the U.S. quarantine, most of us are clocking more face time with our families than ever before. I’ve compiled a cheeky corona-themed family friendly playlist to a) introduce your littles to some classics and b) give you a break from “Baby Shark” and The Wiggles. Let loose and move your bodies with a good ol’ fashioned dance party. This fun activity keeps the whole family active and is also a great stress reliever, which in turn helps to maintain healthy immune systems.
Music therapy has long been utilized as a stress management tool and also as a method to improve children’s coping and communication skills. Music therapists specialize in working with populations such as autism and special needs children and adults, patients who have suffered from strokes or traumatic brain injury, and people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or cerebral palsy.
If you’re looking for another way to pass the time, you can also compile a custom playlist of the songs that make up the soundtrack of your life to share with older kids* or loved ones outside of your immediate household.
*Not only is this a great way to bond, you’ll put in a valiant attempt to expand their musical taste beyond the ubiquitous Tik Tok hits.
“Hold On” — Wilson Phillips
We didn’t necessarily lock ourselves up in these chains; and we’ve gotta hold on for a lot longer than one more day, but this is a great anthem for powering through. For bonus points, play the iconic Bridesmaids ending scene where Wilson Phillips performs their hit.
“O-o-h Child” — Five Stairsteps
Things are gonna get easier. Eventually.
“You Gotta Be” — Des’ree
This 90s staple sagely gives us all the tried and true life advice that’s always applicable, but even more so now.
“Don’t Stand So Close To Me” — The Police
Enough said. I used to mumble the title under my breath when someone was a little too in my space in the post office or grocery store queue, but in the age of social distancing this anthem has never been more pertinent.
“Hang On Little Tomato” — Pink Martini
This one’s a down tempo favorite of mine from hometown heroes Pink Martini. The large ensemble, and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale in particular, have been known to host sing-a-longs which at times feature guest appearances by the Von Trapp grandchildren of Sound of Music fame and NPR’s Ari Shapiro.
“Stayin’ Alive” — Bee Gees
This might be the crown jewel in the Bee Gees’ catalog of hits. The Gibb brothers were spot on here, life’s goin’ nowhere—at least for the time being.
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Various artists
I love the Crowded House and Sixpence None the Richer versions equally. No matter which one you favor, the message of hope rings loud and clear.
“Smile” – Vitamin C
This bop will put a smile on your face, guaranteed.
“Hold On, I’m Comin’” – Sam & Dave
They don’t call it soul music for nothin’! This classic tune has been covered numerous times and is not only uplifting, it’s super danceable.
Bonus: check out this hilarious coronavirus Adele parody by The Voice season 2 finalist Chris Mann. Keeping a sense of humor (when appropriate) always helps in getting through tough times.
I hope these selections bring a little joy to your day. We’ll get through this #alonetogether with some determination and a little help from our friends.
Janey Wong is an East Portland native and a freelance writer/social media manager. Her work ranges from copywriting to essays on food, culture, and identity. In her free time, she runs a food Instagram—@foodbbpdx, is an avid traveler, and a doting godmother to the best two year old ever.