My son and I listen to the Sesame Street Pandora station almost every day. I love all the old school Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse songs and he does, too. But why do kids love the "Hot Dog Dance" so much? Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog... that song comes on all the time, and while it definitely gets stuck in my head, I have to admit I sorta like it.
“Children enjoy songs that are geared toward their developmental level," Linda Nelson, Program Developer for KinderCare Education and creator of KinderCare’s Music Explorers Learning Adventures program, tells Romper.
"That means simple, repetitive songs with a pleasant mid-range vocal tone, slow to moderate tempo, steady beat and movements that go along with the lyrics," she adds. "If a song is easy to follow, has repetitive and upbeat lyrics, and has lyrics that inspire kids to get up and move — like the 'Hot Dog Dance' does — it’s bound to be a favorite with young children.”
Even Nelson admits to loving this song, as it brings back memories from when her boys were younger (so I’m not alone, y’all). “I mean, it’s Mickey Mouse and the gang, let’s just start there,” she says. “And they’re singing the phrase, ‘hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog’... how fun is that?”
“Plus, the end of the song is connected to the cool, dramatic ending of the show when the clubhouse magically disappears (until next time) and the music and lyrics slow down, making them easy to sing along with. And the characters each dance differently to the music giving children an opportunity to imitate their favorite character, as well as permission to make up their own unique moves,” Nelson says.
"The Mickey Mouse 'Hot Dog' song connects with the kid listener through an emotion and evokes a reaction," Donny Gruendler, vice president of education at Guitar Center tells Romper.
"Such reactions can include dancing, smiling, crying, or singing. And by it repeating on top of predictable chord progressions and simple rhythms, the song's hook becomes easier to remember and more enticing/catchy to the young listener."
As for why kids love kid songs in particular so much — "Baby Shark," anyone?
"Since children are exposed to a wide variety of music on a daily basis, it can be difficult for them to distinguish between a TV, movie, or YouTube jingle versus more formal musical designations and genres," Gruendler explains. "However, these jingles can be an important first introduction to music and inspiration as weekly practice fodder if the child makes a decision to play an instrument. Regardless of the type of music, these compositions still require quality intonation, rhythmic understanding, musical phrasing, and proper technique, and can serve as a vehicle for learning and fun."
Bottom line? Kids love the "Hot Dog Dance" because it's repetitive, catchy, invokes an emotion in them, and there's an easy dance to go along with the song. Now, as for why I love it? Perhaps I'm just a kid at heart. Let's go with that.
Linda Nelson, Program Developer for KinderCare Education and creator of KinderCare’s Music Explorers Learning Adventures program .
Donny Gruendler, vice president of music education at Guitar Center.