When the little ones want to get up and move, there's nothing better than putting on a positive, uptempo song for an impromptu dance session. Whether it's a kid's birthday party or just a lazy Sunday afternoon at home, these hits are perfect for an energetic boogie session.
Down by the Bay
Perhaps the most famous version of this folk song was first performed by Raffi in the mid-1970s. This version by The Learning Station comes with some fun, kid-friendly animations for the music video. Feel free to ad lib some rhymes of your own for the "my mother will say" sections!
Woo hoo! This iconic song by English rock band Blur was meant as a grunge parody, resulting in a much more upbeat and positive tempo than what you'd normally expect from bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. It's high energy, and it's super easy for anyone to scream out the "woo hoo" portion along with everyone else.
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
When it comes to clean rap songs, few artists do them better than the "Fresh Prince" Will Smith. With a song that is literally about dancing, kids and adults of all ages will feel compelled to get jiggy with it, especially with the signature dance during the chorus. Na na na na na na na!
This track by the former Fifth Harmony member is a real earworm. Camila Cabello offers a catchy melody to go along with the even catchier hook. Preschoolers and tweens alike will be singing and dancing along to this Latin-infused number in no time. Havana, ooh na-nah!
For a song that helps to empower young girls and encourage them to stand up for themselves, Roar by Katy Perry is a major hit. All the kids will love roaring "louder than a lion" as they boost their confidence and bust a move too.
Wake Me Up
Swedish musician and DJ Avicii offers this powerfully addictive song. The chorus in particular has such a prominent beat that you can't help but clap your hands and stomp your feet in rhythm with the track. It's almost like a country song that can be played at a top dance club.
Something Just Like This
This is the kind of song that feels like it was custom tailored for top 40 radio and for good reason! The Chainsmokers and Coldplay team up to produce a terrific dance track that combines their best talents in a truly magical way.
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)
Waka Waka by Shakira was the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song strives to represent the vibrant energy of Africa in line with the world's passionate relationship with soccer. As such, Waka Waka is perfect for a soccer-themed birthday party or any outdoor sporting event.
Sit Still, Look Pretty
Similar to Katy Perry's Roar, this synthpop song by Daya is equally empowering for young girls who aren't as interested to "make up and play dumb." Instead, the positive lyrics in this modern, electronic-laden single assert that "this gal right here's gonna rule the world."
American pop rock band Imagine Dragons has always done a great job of producing popular songs with a distinct, beat-heavy sound. Thunder is no exception, recounting the story of a boy who dreamed about "being a big star" and is now "smiling from the stage."
Some kids these days may think that the disco beats of the 1970s are before their time, but they'll be dancing along with the Bee Gees after they get Stayin' Alive stuck in their heads. While fashion trends may come and go, this iconic track remains timeless.
Can't Stop the Feeling
Of the numerous former Disney stars who have gone on to accomplish great things with their careers, Justin Timberlake is easily one of the most successful. The fact that the Trolls movie featured this happy track simply adds to its incredible kids' appeal. So just dance, dance, dance...
Reminding young children that you'll never know what you're capable of doing unless you give it your best shot, All Star by Smash Mouth offers positive encouragement and a positive vibe. Go on and get your game on the dance floor.
Go ahead and clap along! Pharrell Williams is a master of catchy beats and Happy is perhaps his happiest track ever. It features a soulful vibe, Pharrell's iconic falsetto vocals, and a Motown-inspired feel. Children may recognize it from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack as well.
The best songs for dancing typically have two key characteristics in common: they have a really catchy beat and they have a visually memorable dance sequence during the chorus. Australian musical artist Sia delivers on both counts with Cheap Thrills, a bouncy electropop song with a constant beat.
Get This Party Started
Even though they may be effective in getting your heart pumping, your favorite workout songs may not necessarily be appropriate for the younger set. When putting together an upbeat playlist for a children's party, screen the songs for content and lyrics first and you'll be sure to have a great time.