Valentine's Day

Prince Charming and Cinderella dance to "So This Is Love," a good Valentine's Day song for kids.
20 Songs About Love, Friendship, & Family To Listen To With Your Kids On Valentine's Day

From preschool favorites to kid-friendly classics

Originally Published: 

So, you’re already gearing up for Valentine’s Day celebrations with your little one with a cute playlist. But... what Valentine’s Day songs for kids can you include? Are there Valentine’s Day songs for kids? Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with this family-friendly list of songs about love, friendship, family, and, of course, Valentine’s Day itself!

People have feelings about Valentine’s Day. Either they really, really love it and go all out, or they hate it because it’s superficial and commercial. If you’re in the first category, go ahead and skip down to the songs. But if you’re a V-Day hater, hear me out: couldn’t having kids be a great way to reshape the holiday in our image? Like, instead of perpetuating a holiday all about smoochy-smoochy card company romance, why not teach your kid “Valentine’s Day is about feeling loving towards not just romantic partners, but everyone! Because who couldn’t use more love in their life?!” A thought, people! Do with it what you will!

For our list of songs, we tried to get a good mix of messages (romantic love, family love, friendship, hearts!) and genres — jazz, rock, Broadway, and, of course, children’s music. Hopefully this will keep your kiddo entertained (and serve as an introduction to different types of music) but also keep you from being driven slowly mad by an endless barrage of overly-saccharine, repetitive ballads.

“Elmo and Abby’s Valentine’s Day Song” from Sesame Street

A general rule in life is that you’re looking for a quality song for kids for any occasion, you need look no further than Sesame Street! Abby and Elmo sing this sweet little duet all about how they’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day together. Even if it weren’t sung by your child’s favorite fairy and furry red monster, they’d still dig the poppy, family friendly tune.

It’s also a great way to let kids know that Valentine’s Day isn’t all about all about romantic love: it can be able loving friendship, thinking about others, and thoughtfully coming up with ways to make others feel seen and loved.

“You’re My Best Friend” by Queen

One can never go wrong with Queen and this sweet, incredibly wholesome song is perfect for fans of all ages with lyrics like...

“Oh, you're the best friend that I ever had/ I've been with you such a long time/ You're my sunshine and I want you to know/ That my feelings are true/ I really love you.”

That can be read either romantically or platonically.

Bassist John Deacon wrote this poppy single for his wife, Veronica Tetzlaff. Deacon also wrote “Another One Bites the Dust,” “I Want To Break Free,” and “Under Pressure.” Tetzlaff and Deacon have been married since 1975 and have six children together.

“We’re Going To Be Friends” by The White Stripes

This isn’t the roses and romance kind of Valentine’s Day song we probably think of at first, but it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day song for kids. This sweet, airy tune about making a new friend is the perfect distillation of a particular stage of childhood, when things like finding bugs and singing have the power to bring people together in a deep, meaningful way. So, really, it’s kind of a perfect Valentine’s Day song!

It’s the kind of song that immediately brings a lot of adults back to grade school, which might explain why it’s been used in a variety of movies and TV shows and has been covered by a variety of well-known artists, including Jack Johnson, Bright Eyes, and First Aid Kit. A portion of the song serves as the introduction to Conan O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.

“You’re My Honeybunch” by Buddy Castle

If this country-esque earworm sounds familiar, it’s because it went viral back in the early days of the internet when an adorably round-faced boy named Sam mouthed the words so perfectly that many people thought he was the singer. But the actual adorable voice you hear is that of Amy Castle, whose mother, Judianna, wrote for the girl as a Valentine's Day present daughter. Amy recorded it at 3 years old, her parents put the file up on their website to promote Balloons, the children’s album it was on, and, well, the internet did what the internet does!

On her personal YouTube channel, under a video of her singing the song, she recently wrote, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind and thoughtful comments. It means the world to me to know that the song is so loved worldwide, and I never in a million years imagined this many people would get to hear it.”

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman

Is there a better ode to loving friendship than this 1995 classic? The song serves as the opening and closing songs for Toy Story and is featured in all subsequent films, highlighting the ways all the different characters, human and toy, are there for one another no matter what. Perfect Valentine’s Day song for the kiddo who wants to celebrate friendships or just really, really loves Buzz Lightyear! (And who among us doesn’t, am I right?)

“You’ve Got A Friend in Me” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, but lost to “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.

“Love Is An Open Door” from Frozen

First, let’s address the elephant in the room shall we? Those of us who have seen the movie (likely a million and seven times with a child who insists we call them “Elsa” rather than their given name), we know that Hans doesn’t mean any of the things he’s telling Anna. Hans is the bad guy! But the song in and of itself is pretty cute. And your kiddo definitely knows it.

And, honestly, what’s not to love? The sweet lyrics of suddenly stumbled upon romance? The brilliance of the line “We finish each other’s–” “Sandwiches!”? It’s all good... outside of the context of one of the characters being a manipulative liar.

“All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles

The lyrics and concept behind this song are so pure and simple and that is very much by design. John Lennon, who wrote the song, likened the its simple lyrics to a marketing slogan, but as a means to effect positive social change. While the song was later criticized for perhaps being a little too naive, George Harrison defended the simplicity, telling Q magazine “They all said ‘all you need is love, but you also need such-and-such else.’ But … love is complete knowledge. If we all had total knowledge, then we would have complete love and, on that basis, everything is taken care of. It's a law of nature.”

Your little one might not get that philosophical about it, but it’s a sweet song about love and an excellent introduction to The Beatles.

“Tony Chestnut” by The Learning Station

This song comes from The Learning Station aka Don Monopoli, Laurie Monopoli, and Jan Hrkach, who have backgrounds and degrees in early childhood education, child development and music who strive to make “healthy music for a child’s heart, body, and mind.” Tony Chestnut is more than just a whimsical song character, it’s a song complete with it’s own little dance that encourages kids to point to their “toe,” “knee,” “chest,” and head (which, I suppose for these purposes is a nut) as they sing along. And what does Tony do? He “knows I love you,” at which part kids point to their nose and eyes. (Get it?!) It’s super cute and we promise your kids will get into it!

“Getting To Know You” from The King and I

This song is a favorite of grade school recitals everywhere and with good reason. The sweet, simple tune is all about the joys of getting to know new friends, and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than that.

Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, the song is sung by Anna, a British school teacher to her students, the children of the king of Siam (now Thailand) in the classic (and controversial) musical The King and I. Originally, however, the song was intended for South Pacific but was ultimately cut. Fortunately for musical theater lovers (and your musical Valentine’s Day plans) it got recycled!

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole

This song is the perfect Valentine’s Day song for kids for two reasons. For one, any song where you spell out a word seems to be something kids dig. (Considering they’re still or just learning the alphabet, letters are basically like celebrities to them.) For another, it’s never to early to introduce your kiddo to Nat King Cole, who’s lively jazz stylings are a perfect introduction to the genre in general.

Incidentally, if you want to go multilingual this February 14, you can do that with this song: Cole also recorded versions of "L-O-V-E" and other songs, in Japanese, Italian, German, Spanish, and French (in which the song was renamed “Je Ne Repartirai Pas”).

“Valentine’s Day Song” by The Kiboomers

You almost certainly don’t technically know this song, but you absolutely know this song. Sung to the tune of “B-I-N-G-O,” this song follows the same pattern of clapping out letters of a word (in this case “H-E-A-R-T” instead of the name of the farmer’s dog). The refrain is “I made a Valentine for you/ The heart shape says ‘I Love You’.”

It’s a great way to get babies, toddlers, and preschoolers into the Valentine’s Day spirit. They know the tune and, let’s be honest: have those little guys ever encountered a clapping song they didn’t want to clap along to?

“A Bushel and a Peck” from Guys and Dolls

Another great Valentine’s Day song for kids from the Great White Way, “A Bushel and a Peck” was first introduced in Guys and Dolls and is sung by nightclub performer (and perpetually engaged) Miss Adelaide. Even before the show officially premiered in November of 1950, however, the song (which is an absolute earworm) was recorded by a variety of popular artist, three of which simultaneously appeared on the Billboard charts starting in September.

The song is great for a sing and a giggle this Valentine’s Day, and is a wonderful way to explain to children why America really needs to move from Imperial to the metric system. (Because memorizing that a bush is equal to 32 quarts while a peck is 8 quarts/a quarter of a bushel, or that a bushel is eight gallons and a peck is 2 is absolutely absurd.

“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

This heartwarming, optimistic view of humanity as being connected on a loving, emotional level is a beautiful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids. Though Louis Armstrong’s gorgeous original version song is part of what makes it so special, it was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. The song was recorded in Las Vegas after Armstrong’s midnight show at the Tropicana and the session went until 6 in the morning. Armstrong only accepted $250 for the recording and redirected what he would otherwise be paid to the orchestra to make sure they were compensated for the overtime hours.

“Skinnamarink” by Sharon, Lois & Bram

We all know this one right? While it is perhaps most popular for its use on The Elephant Show back in the ‘80s (OG Millennial moms remember), it actually goes back even farther. The song was originally composed for the Broadway show The Echo. Never heard of that one? Probably because it was written in 1910!

The song has changed a bit from its original version, and if you think “Skinnamarink-a-dink-a-dink” was weird, know that the original song included a whole plot about the Chief Crocodile of Boola Boola Isle who loved a sea nymph, who was also pursued by King Fish Kokomo.

“Quiero Ser Tu Amigo” from Sesame Street

It can be hard for a lot of kids to make new friends at school or the playground... but sometimes the best way is the most direct! Romeo Santos and Elmo team up for this song with some great advice for your little one this Valentine’s Day: “When you see somebody you’d like to get to know/ Just walk up to them and say ‘hola,’ or ‘hello, quiero ser tu amigo! I want to be your friend!’”

And that’s it! It seems simple because it is simple – no need to overcomplicate it! It’s a lovely song for Valentine’s Day and a valuable lesson all year long.

“My Girl” by The Temptations

The opening bass line of this song is enough to get people excited, and with good reason. This sweet but powerful ode to love is a top pick for both first wedding dances and “father-of-the-bride” dances because the lyrics are so innocent and pure they could be applied to pretty much any loving relationship (at least any loving relationship that involves a woman or girl). The song was named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (#88) and we agree. It's also a perfect Valentine's Day song for kids to get them to feel the love and introduce them to classic Motown!

“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder

If you want to look at your daughter and cry on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and listen to this classic. Steve Wonder recorded this song to celebrate the birth of his own daughter, Aisha. On the album, the track opens with her first cry (literally: they recorded in the hospital!) and ends with sounds of her as a toddler. The lyrics are specific to the little girl, naming Aisha and her mother, Yolanda aka “Londie,” but the outpouring of joy and awe feel universal to all parents of little ones everywhere. It's a perfect song to sing with your kiddo to let her know how adored she is.

“So This Is Love” from Cinderella

This absolute banger of a love song comes to us from 1950’s Cinderella, but has been made famous lately for being included in millions and millions of TikToks. Kids will like the familiarity of one of their favorite Disney princesses (people sleep on Cinderella: she’s fesity and fun), and appreciate the song that takes a starry-eyed view of love and romance which, OK, isn’t all that there is to love, but it’s not not true, you know? They might even want to dance with you and who doesn't love a Disney-inspired Valentine's Day slow dance? (Get the camera ready: you'll want to share the footage when they get older...)

“Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon

Also titled “Darling Boy,” this song was written for Sean, Lennon’s son with Yoko Ono. It’s a sweet ode to having the privilege of raising a child – opening with comforting a child from a nightmare and sprinkled with sweet life lessons and messages of joy and love – so it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day song for kids. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even take inspiration from Mr. Holland’s Opus and learn the song in American Sign Language.

Warning: lyrics include this absolute tearjerker so be prepared...

Out on the ocean sailing away/ I can hardly wait/ To see you come of age/ But I guess we'll both just have to be patient/ 'Cause it's a long way to go/ A hard row to hoe/ Yes, it's a long way to go/ But in the meantime/ Before you cross the street/ Take my hand...

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys

Some love songs are just so wholesome that they’re a good fit for introducing to young children and this ode of longing by The Beach Boys fits the bill. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is all about wanting to grow up so that you can get married and be with your person forever. It's a Valentine's Day song for kids who feel like everything cool is such a long way off (which feels like everything for kids, who are not known for their patience) and lyrics like "You know it seems the more we talk about it/ It only makes it worse to live without it/ But let's talk about it/ Oh, wouldn't it be nice?" will surely resonate.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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