I just got this e-mail from a friend of mine this morning.  He and his wife are the parents of twin 3-year-old boys:

I thought of you yesterday because I was tryin to think of other religious songs to sing for my kids. The only one I really know is “Jesus loves me this I know”.  Can you tell me some other Christian songs that you might do with 3 year olds?

I gave him some recommendations and thought I would share it in this blog.  Some of my suggestions for him are listed here but since I wrote back to him I thought of some more and figured I would make a top ten list.  Each song has a link to a video that may or may not flatter the song itself….

10. Count Your Blessings – Starting our list is this classic song that is a simple poem about counting our many blessings.  Its not as famous as the other songs but you can hear what it sounds like here.

9. Father Abraham - I only list this because everyone knows it and it has fun actions for the kids.  It has a Biblical theme to it, but not a ton of theological depth.  The redeeming lyrics are “and I am one of them, so let’s just praise the Lord…”  Other than that, the song is about a man with lots of kids and how to move your arms and legs (which is fun).  If you want to see a very disturbing rendition of this song, click here.

8. Deep and Wide – What kid doesn’t want to move their arms in the motions of deep and wide?  It is simple and its about a fountain of water (metaphor for God’s overflowing love).  Here is a video that will show you the words, the motions, and a very intense lead singer.

7. The Butterfly Song – Psalty the Singing Songbook made this song famous.  It has a country folk feel to it and it sings through lots of animals (which kids love) and talks about how we’re thankful that God made us the way he made us.  This song brings back lots of happy memories for me because I sang it a lot as a kid.  Here is the Psalty version of the song.

6. Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord – Stand up, sit down, sing some words, and repeat.  Its one of those fun kids songs.  Here’s a video of a group doing it in India if I had to guess.

5. I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart – Another Psalty classic, though it was originally written by a Unitarian minister (George Willis Cooke) sometime in the late 19th Century/Early 20th Century.  Kids love it because it is repetitive, has lots of fast lyrics, and a hand-clapping rhythm.  Here is a simple video that clearly shows how the song goes.

4. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands – Who doesn’t know this song?  Well, 3 year olds don’t, so we need to teach it to them!  To hear one of the greats (Mahalia Jackson) sing it, click here.

3. This Little Light of Mine – Another beautiful spiritual.  Kids love the motion of holding their finger like a candle (great thing to teach kids, of course!).  Hey, its so popular, even the boss does it!

2. Jesus Loves the Little Children - I love this song because it teaches kids early on that God made all races and colors of people equal in His sight.  Studies show that kids show racist tendencies from early on, so anything to teach them about racial equality from a young age is super!  While this video means well, unfortunately the Jesus in the pictures is always white.

1. Jesus Loves Me - this is the song my friend already knows but I have to list it first because if you want to sing your kid a song about Jesus, this is so theologically solid yet pure and simple at the same time.  This girl learned how to sing in church, so I guess church songs aren’t that bad after all….

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