50 Great School Appropriate Songs For Kids (2023)

school appropriate songs for kids

There’s nothing wrong with using popular songs in class. 

These kids will love hearing their favorite songs as long as they’re kid-friendly songs and safe for school. 

Finding such songs isn’t difficult if you know where to look, and you found the place to look! 

We’ve compiled this list of 50 school appropriate songs for kids to use in your classrooms right now. 

In the rest of the article, we’ll link to a YouTube video of the song and give a brief description of what we liked about the fun song. 

Note: Some are upbeat songs (like a friendly rap song), but not all are. These also aren’t all educational songs. 

These age-appropriate songs are simply for students to enjoy. 

Warning! Use your own professional judgment on whether your students should listen to these songs. 

Table of Contents

#1 Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers

This song is among the most popular Bob Marley songs and is ideal for listening to when in a low mood or feeling discouraged. While the inspiration is still heavily disputed, it is believed Bob Marley wrote it because of some birds that used to fly around his house.

#2 Better When I’m Dancing by Meghan Trainor

High school is one of the most challenging stages for many kids because they deal with self-esteem and confidence issues. This confidence booster, however, will get anybody on the dance floor without caring how they look but how they feel.

#3 Happy by Pharrell Williams

Like the Three Little Birds by Bob Marley, this song will help lift all the children’s moods with its happy lyrics and fun dance moves. This is a good song that teachers can use to make the class lively at any point.

#4 What Do I Know by Ed Sheeran

While there is a part in the song about how Ed Sheeran did not go to college, it carries a vital message for everyone about how to change the world peacefully. He advises people to look past superficial judgment and focus on making the world better for everyone.

#5 The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead

This song is inspired by a health scare Michael Franti experienced during a tour. He sings about his gratitude for his life and how he learned to appreciate his existence and loved ones more. It will help brighten students’ moods while teaching them how to look at the brighter side in any situation.

#6 Save Your Tears by The Weekend and Ariana Grande

As students struggle to create romantic relationships, this is an excellent song to listen to. The Weekend regrets the pain he caused his ex-partner in a broken relationship, and while he wishes for another chance, he knows he cannot get it.

#7 Born this way by Lady Gaga

This definitive self-love anthem will do wonders to boost students’ confidence as it demonstrates to students that it is okay to be themselves. The different musical styles in the song make it enjoyable to listen to for all ages.

#8 Riptide by Vance Boy

This love song is about Vance Joy meeting the love of his life and describing to listeners how wonderful he finds her. He titled the song after a hotel he stayed in during family trips.

#9 Treat People with Kindness by Harry Styles

This song on the singer’s second solo album reminds students and other people of all ages how nice it feels for both parties to make someone else feel better. This is an excellent song to help spread kindness and love, especially with the rising cases of bullying.

#10 Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

This is the lead song in ‘Trolls’ an animated movie where Justin Timberlake voices the character Brunch. It describes how nice he feels when close to his special person and is a perfect song to dance to in school events and dances.

#11 Counting Stars by One Republic

The disco beats in this song are hard to resist on the dance floor and teach students that money is not and should not be the most important thing. It helps them understand how important it is to focus on happiness and dreams instead.

#12 Permission To Dance by BTS

This song will help emphasize the importance of students being themselves and enjoying every day. The uplifting sound makes the message more meaningful, and students can also listen to the instrumental version.

#13 Levitating by Dua Lipa

With a style similar to ‘Rapture’ by Blondie from 1981, this song is perfect for teaching students what romance can do. Dua Lipa sings about escaping to outer space with her special person, reflecting the strong feelings evoked by romance and true love.

#14 Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon wrote this song about a woman he encountered on a night out and how you might realize you met the perfect person who helps you dance and have fun.

#15 Count on Me by Bruno Mars

This 2010 hit emphasizes the benefits of being present and helping friends through thick and thin. This is key when teaching students how to create strong friendship bonds, and its country vibes make it better to listen to.

#16 Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus

This was one of the earliest songs to become famous due to TikTok. Lil Nas X expresses how tired he is of possessions and love that he would give it all up to become a cowboy. It is an excellent way to teach students there is more to life than what is lost.

#17 Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

Growing up has never been easy on anybody, but this song can help students embrace the chance. Kelly Clarkson expresses her excitement and fear of growing up and the new experiences.

#18 Mean by Tylor Swift

While Taylor Swift’s haters inspire this song, it is a good song for students who are dealing with or have dealt with bullies and critics. It serves as a reminder that there is still hope amidst the mean things people say and that the bullies are the problem, not the victim.

#19 Firework by Katty Perry

This motivational and inspirational track is a good reminder for students to believe in themselves. Its beat is also good for the dance floor during school events.

#20 Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Rachel Platten wrote this song after being in the music industry for a decade without significant success. Becoming her first primary hit song, it reminds students never to give up regardless of the situation.

#21 Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara

The beauty industry has experienced drastic changes, with many opting for cosmetic surgeries. This leaves other people feeling like they don’t meet the beauty mark, but this song reminds everyone they are beautiful in their skin.

#22 Victoria’s Secret by Jax

Jax wrote this song about her struggles with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia, something many people deal with today. She explains how she wishes someone would have told her earlier that everybody is different and the current beauty standards don’t mean much.

#23 Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

This is a good song for teachers looking for a dance routine for school events or to cheer up students. The funny lyrics and unique dance styles make this song irresistible for anybody.

#24 I Like to Move it by Will.I.Am

Featured in the movie ‘Madagascar,’ this is a dance-focused family-friendly song that students of all ages will enjoy for a choreographed dance or free dancing.

#25 Fireflies by Owl City

Adam Young got the inspiration for this song during a camping trip where he thought of stars as ten million fireflies in a swarm. Besides its fun beats, it presents an idea for students to broaden their imagination.

#26 Brand New Day by Lindsey Ray and Tim Myers

Lindsey focuses on the happiness of living and enjoying simple everyday things. It helps students and teachers to focus on the present and soak in every moment while appreciating the little things and remaining positive.

#27 Heat Waves by Glass Animals

This song is inspired by the band leader’s experience of losing an important person he can’t have back but still misses. It’s an excellent song to help students connect and recognize their emotions, making it easy to open up.

#28 Pompeii by Bastille

Teachers looking to make a history class more fun should use this song. It was Bastille’s debut release, and it talks about Roman City’s downfall after a volcano in 79 AD.

#29 Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson sings this song as she waits to feel okay. The easy lyrics plus energetic sound make it a good song for students to understand it’s okay not to be okay but hope for better days.

#30 My Universe by Coldplay and BTS

In this song, BTS and Coldplay sing about their love interest they consider their universe. Available in English and Korean, it is an ideal way to introduce students to multiculturalism in a way they can relate to.

#31 Africa by Toto

Inspired by an African documentary, the narrator in this song must choose the girl or continent he loves. It is an adventurous and atmospheric song that could encourage students to try love regardless of where they are from.

#32 A-Punk by Vampire Weekend

This song about the losses Johanna faced early in life was the first time United States audiences experienced the Vampire Weekends. Not only is it a good one to dance along to, but it also serves as a safe way to introduce students to different music genres.

#33 Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

Chris Martin expresses how he wishes he was like a mythical superhero for his partner. However, the partner says they don’t see that as perfect but love him for who he is. This reminds students not to set high standards for themselves and that the right people will love them for who they are.

#34 Try Everything by Shakira

This motivational song was ‘Zootopia’s’ theme song, a 2016 Disney film. It encourages students to keep trying new things and never stop until they have it right.

#35 Canned Heat by Jamiroquai

Canned Heat in the song describes a substance that makes people dance once applied to their heels. It was the singer’s second chart hit and they returned to the limelight in 2014 following a viral video clip.

#36 MMMBop by Hanson

Written by the Hanson brothers, this song emphasizes how inevitable change is in all stages of life, encouraging people to hold on to important people and things.

#37 Good Feeling by Flo Rida

Inspired by ‘Levels’ by Avicii, this is a dance-worthy and feel-good song that will make any day enjoyable in school. It emphasizes how important it is to feel good and have confidence.

#38 Take On Me by A-ha

The narrator in this song asks their love interest for a chance before it is too late. Its animation-infused music video plus enjoyable beats made it a quick hit across the United States, making A-ha the number one Norwegian band to emerge top in the US.

Further Reading: Best meme songs of all time

#39 On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons

Since its release in 2012, this song has become a favorite among many music lovers. It will help students understand the good feeling after working hard and seeing the results.

#40 Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

This is a fantastic song for teachers who want to introduce classic rock to their students in a fun manner. It is about feeling joyous and unstoppable, something students need to feel daily.

#41 Cha Cha Slide by DJ Casper

Created by Bally Fitness as a fitness track, it is a fun dance song that is easy for all students to learn. It is an excellent way to break the everyday gym routine for students and makes a perfect group dance song.

#42 I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston

This romantic yet enjoyable song is one of the best to add to the list of songs for prom, homecoming, and other school dances.

#43 Colors by Black Pumas

This is a good song for all students to help them understand the diversity around the world. Black Pumas’ unique voice and the song’s beats make it enjoyable to listen to.

#44 Weightless by Marconi Union

Some scientists claim that listening to this song can help reduce stress and regulate heart rate. This makes it perfect for teachers to play when the class feels tense, like during exams.

#45 Unstoppable by Sia


Students can never get enough lessons about how important it is never to give up, which makes this song a great one to listen to.

#46 Ok Ok by Hoko

The narrator in this song does not want to wait anymore and wants their love interest to know how he feels and that he wants to start a relationship.

#47 Meant To Be by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line

This song is about two people who are worried about their future, but one tells the other not to worry about the future because it will come to be if it is fate.

#48 Fall in Line by Christina Aguilera and Demi Lavato

This song focuses on women’s empowerment, emphasizing that women are more than their looks. It also mentions that sometimes it is okay to break some societal rules.

#49 Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson sings this song about broken relationships, but instead of breaking her, she will use the pain to become a better and stronger person.

#50 Roar by Katy Perry

Katy Perry wrote this song after separating from her former husband to help her cope. It shows that people should continue fighting regardless of the pain or challenge.

Zach VanderGraaff

Zach VanderGraaff is a K-5 music teacher in Michigan with 12 years of experience. He's the President of the Michigan Kodaly Educators and founder of the Dynamic Music Room.

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