30 Songs You Loved in the ’90s that Your Kids will Love Today

I’m gearing up for a big summer road trip with my kiddos. With 20 hours each way to fill with all my favorite tunes, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce my kids to some of my kid-friendly ’90s favorites. Some are quirky, some are silly, and all have me cruising down memory lane to my high school and college days. So, add these 30 songs to your playlist, roll the windows down, and sing loud and proud along with me!

'90s songs your kids will love

’90s Songs Your Kids Will Love

Play them here on this youtube playlist or buy them here on Amazon: 

  1. All Star – Smash Mouth
    What kid wouldn’t want to sing along with this feel-good tune? 
  2. Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band
    Anybody have a little one who loves bugs? My four-year-old loves her six-legged friends.  
  3. Cannonball – The Breeders
    Are your kids ready for cannonballs in the pool this summer? 
  4. Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos
    Make breakfast cereal fun with a little debate about Corn Flakes vs. Raisin Bran as Tori sings about how she didn’t fit in with the Cornflake Girls and has gone to the other side, hanging with the Raisin Girls.
  5. The Distance – Cake
    I love the driving beat and my kids love the racing theme. 
  6. Friday I’m In Love – The Cure
    It’s lighthearted and fun (especially for a Cure song)- and it’s even a good way to teach the days of the week!
  7. Gettin Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
    What kind of ’90s list would this be if the Fresh Prince didn’t make an appearance? 
  8. Groove is in the Heart – DeeLite
    I dare you to not dance when you hear this song. Go ahead and try it; I don’t think it’s possible. 
  9. If I Had a Million Dollars – Barenaked Ladies
    Ask your kids what silly things they’d buy if they had a million dollars. Would they still buy “Kraft dinner”? Would they buy you a green dress (but not a real green dress, that’s cruel)? 
  10. The Impression That I Get (Knock on Wood) – Mighty Mighty Bosstones
    Every ’90s list should have a little ska, and this is a great, high energy tune!
  11. Intergalactic – Beastie Boys
    I’ll admit, I had to work a little to find a Beastie Boys song that was entirely kid friendly, but this one fits the bill. 
  12. Istanbul – They Might Be Giants
    My kids LOVE this. I apologize in advance if yours do, too! Their whole 1990 album called Flood is filled with fun music that kids love. Birdhouse in Your Soul, Particle Man, and lots more are sure to entertain!
  13. Lump – Presidents of the USA
    I love the energy of this song and it makes me think of bouncing around at festival concerts. While my kids don’t have those fun memories, I think this song’s lyrics are just goofy enough to make them love it. 
  14. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies
    This song has interesting story telling that the kids will find fascinating, just like we did back in the day. 
  15. Mr. Wendel – Arrested Development
    My kids always notice and want to help, every single time they see a homeless person. This song’s message encourages them to keep their hearts open and keep helping and respecting every single person. 
  16. No Rain – Blind Melon
    A fun song for a hot summer day when maybe you are wishing for some rain to break the heat. Kids will like lyrics like, “I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain.”
  17. One Week – Barenaked Ladies
    So many silly lyrics in this one, but I bet your kids will like this part:
    “Hold it now and watch the hoodwink; As I make you stop, think, You’ll think you’re looking at Aquaman; I summon fish to the dish, Although I like the Chalet Swiss, I like the sushi, Cause it’s never touched a frying pan.”
  18. Peaches – Presidents of the USA
    Having some fresh peaches this summer? Maybe your kids will be singing, “Millions of peaches, peaches for me!” 
  19. Power of Two – Indigo Girls
    “Multiply life by the power of two” – these are fun lyrics that might remind kids that math is a concept we shouldn’t forget all about this summer. 
  20. Proudest Monkey – Dave Matthews Band
    Animal-loving kiddos will enjoy the lyrics about the proudest monkey bouncing around from branch to branch. 
  21. Ruby Soho – Rancid
    As one of my friends said, “What kid wouldn’t want to thrash around to Ruby Soho?”
  22. Run Around – Blues Traveler
    A 90’s classic–maybe your kid will want a harmonica after this. Sorry, not sorry! 😉 
  23. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
    Great for the beginning of any summer road trip.
  24. Shiny Happy People – REM
    It’s a little silly and it’s fun to sing along to. If you’re willing to cheat a little and go back to 1988, add Stand to your playlist, too!
  25. Spiderwebs – No Doubt
    It’s fun to imagine walking in the spiderwebs and Gwen Stefani’s high energy voice makes this a fun one, even if it is about stalking (a not so fun topic from my teens that I discussed here). 
  26. Steal My Sunshine – Len
    If I imagine my ’90s summer soundtrack, this is on the top of the list and always puts me in a good mood to listen to.
  27. To Be With You – Mr. Big
    I can’t help but sing along to this song whenever it chances onto the radio. Whether you admit it or not, I bet you sing along, too!
  28. Tubthumping – Chumbawumba
    There’s a lot of talk these days about helping kids build grit and resilience. And we all try to teach our kids that it’s important to keep trying, even when things are hard.  With lyrics like “I get knocked down, but I get up again, and they’re never gonna keep me down,” it’s got a good message for kids to hear.   
  29. Two Princes – Spin Doctors
    Little kids love fairy tales, and this one tells kids that relationships should be about more than the superficial things. 
  30. Undone – The Sweater Song – Weezer
    Quirky lyrics are something that kids just love and this certainly has them – “if you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away.”  

Though I feel like I could keep going and going, I cut myself off at 30. But now that we’ve gotten that ’90s nostalgia started, add your favorites to the comments and maybe we can make it 90 songs from the ’90s!


Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


  1. Didn’t Brittany spears hit it off in the 90.oops I did it again or slave. Nsync, Hanson, and backstreet boys were hot little numbers too. I could go on and on myself.barbie girl by aqua, dont forget gangstas paradise. I personally went wild over Alan is morsett. Cher, and here it comes….the news boys

    • The Proclaimers 500 miles is an 80s hit… But deserves an honorary mention.

      This is a great list, but I’m shocked a 90s list wouldn’t have a single boy band or diva hit.

  2. Thanks Laura for the list! I actually have the tapes and CDs of some of the songs you listed. I always experience the LSS whenever I listen to 90’s song. ‘Killing me softly’, ‘I swear’, ‘I’ll make love to you’ and Britney’s songs. I love them too!


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