I've been a big Spotify fan ever since this awesome music service finally hit the United States. Since then, I use it pretty much daily to listen to music myself, but also to help me parent my kids.
Check out these 10 ways parents can use Spotify, some of which might just help make life easier--and even get you more sleep.
1. Exercise playlist: Need a little motivation? Or want songs to keep you on pace? I have all sorts of different playlists based on my workouts, depending on whether I want to stretch and strength train or improve my minute-mile.
2. Birthday playlist: I make a music playlist for each of my kids when their birthdays roll around. Spotify makes it easy to search for their name and their age number. The result: A diverse music list that celebrates their individuality, and one that they love listening to all year long.
3. Road Trips: You can do of course create a custom playlist to get you through long hours in the car. Or turn them into cool games, like name that tune, where your kids (and partner) have to chime in when they know the name of the tune. You can even find karaoke versions of songs without the lyrics which can be super fun.
4. Get your kids to sleep: We love this cool idea that our friends The Rookie Moms shared: making a pre-nap song playlist so your kids are calm and ready to snooze. Brilliant!
5. Music Education: Whether your kids are learning about a specific culture at school or a time period in our own country's history, Spotify makes it easy to find cool, diverse music with a simple search. (And yes, it's kind of sad to think of the 80's as "history" but...so goes it. And at least it gives you an excuse to put on The Cure.)
6. Finding new music: As a busy parent, I hardly have time to keep up on what's hot on the music scene. Since Spotify allows you to share songs and playlists, you can let your savvy musical friends do all the legwork, then have them invite you to listen to their playlist. Some of them are probably already making their lists public via Facebook.
7. Glee Club and Choir Practice: For those of you with kids in Glee Club, Orchestra, or Band, you can easily create practice playlists for all their music, which is a wonderful way to help them prepare for their classes and concerts. Apologies to those of you whose children have to sing Call Me Maybe this year.
8. Mix tape gift: I love the idea of creating modern day mix tapes for friends or spouses, whether it's music from your wedding, music from your glory days (ha!), or just songs that say "I Love You." Aw. The mix tape lives!
9. Share a song, fast: Forget trying to track down a link to the song in iTunes or on Amazon. Or worse--YouTube where half the time that video that was labeled perfectly is noooot what you had in mind. Instead, find it quickly on Spotify and share it with anyone in a couple of clicks.
10. Motivation: It doesn't matter whether I need to get the laundry done or I'm trying to encourage my kids to clean up a little quicker, I make a playlist for lots of activities and use it as a motivator. Sometimes that's all you need. Well that and another swig of coffee. (For me, that is).
How do you use Spotify at your house? Tell us in the comments below!
[toddler photo via]