15 Family Friendly Musicals

We all know that learning about musicals is beneficial (and fun!) for children. By exposing our children to different musicals we can help increase:
  • Cultural awareness
  • Self-expression
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence
  • Lifelong appreciation of music
Sometimes, however, it can be hard to know if a musical will be appropriate for our entire family. 

After devoting each January to musicals in our SQUILT LIVE! curriculum, I've gotten an excellent idea of what musicals are appropriate for children and which ones aren't - as well as which ones children can truly enjoy and relate to.

15 Family Friendly Musicals
Following are a list of 15 musicals your family will enjoy. Musicals with a * indicate a lesson about that musical is provided in our archives for our SQUILT LIVE! Plus! members.

1. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven bachelor brothers kidnap six ladies to become their sweethearts in a charmingly chaotic frontier musical romp. The choreography is spectacular - your boys in particular will love some of the acrobatics!

2. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

An eccentric inventor and his family fly off on adventures in their magical, singing car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Did you know Ian Fleming wrote the book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

15 Family Friendly Musicals

* 3.  The Sound of Music

A spirited nun, Maria, fills a stern captain's house with joy through music, leading his seven children and himself on a daring escape from Nazi shadows. Meanwhile, the hills of Salzburg echo with songs of love, rebellion, and the enduring power of family. Oh the history and pure JOY we can gain from this musical!

* 4.  The Greatest Showman

P.T. Barnum rewrites the definition of spectacle, celebrating the extraordinary under his big top and defying society's prejudice.

5. The King and I

This beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical  tells the story of a British governess who is hired to teach the children of the King of Siam. The show is full of iconic songs, such as Getting to Know You and  Shall We Dance?, and tells a heartwarming story of clashing cultures and unlikely friendships.

6. The Lion King

With vibrant costumes and stunning puppetry, The Lion King on Broadway brings the African savanna to life! (Talk about falling down a homeschool rabbit hole of learning!)  This timeless story of family, responsibility, and the circle of life will captivate audiences of all ages. 

7. Matilda

Of course you must read Roald Dahl's book first, then watch the musical! Witness a little girl with extraordinary powers outsmarting villainous adults and standing up for her classmates, all while belting out rebellious anthems like Naughty and When I Grow Up. The ultimate message is one of empowerment for kids (and adults!) who dream big.

15 Family Friendly Musicals

* 8. Mary Poppins

Everyone's favorite, right?  This "practically perfect" musical will provide a lesson in history, geography, and simple FUN. Performances by Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke will forever be ingrained in your children's memories. 

 * 9. Peter Pan

Based on the 1911 book by J.M. Barrie, the revival of Peter Pan done by Cathy Rigby is the version SQUILT recommends! Your children will take flight with Peter Pan on Broadway, where dreams take wing and Neverland comes alive with soaring melodies like  I'm Flying and swashbuckling adventures alongside Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, and the Lost Boys!

* 10. The Wizard of Oz

This was one of the very first musicals to assign specific songs/musical themes for each character. It's a classic that needs no explanation!

* 11. The Music Man

The Music Man marches onto the stage with fast-talking Harold Hill, a conman with a silver tongue and a knack for trouble. But River City, Iowa, falls for his promises of tubas and trombones, even as Marian the librarian sees through his act. There is so much memorable music in this musical - and the opening train sequence is one your children will always remember!

* 12. Beauty and the Beast

This is timeless tale of transformation.  (Check out the original fairytale, too!) Watch Belle, a bookish dreamer, defy a fearsome Beast in his enchanted castle, discovering kindness and love  amidst enchanted objects and  ballads like Be Our Guest and Tale As Old As Time. Yes, the movie is great, but if you can ever see the musical live, GO! A memory I hold hear is watching the silverware dance on stage when I took my young daughter - simply magical!

15 Family Friendly Musicals

13. Aladdin

Aladdin is a feel good adventure your whole family will treasure.  Again - the movie is wonderful, but the Broadway musical is even better!  It includes show-stopping dance numbers and so many songs your children will remember forever!

* 14. Newsies

This is probably my FAVORITE musical for integrating history and music! One of our SQUILT LIVE! members contributed an article about how this musical made an impact on her children.  I love it! We used the movie version in our SQUILT LIVE! classes and it was great.

* 15. Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof is an important musical to watch with your children. The history of the Jewish expulsion in Russia is a historical event that is treated with such beauty and care in this musical. I apologize in advance if your children never stop singing If I Were a Rich Man!

SQUILT LIVE! Online Music Appreciation Academy

Join us each January in SQUILT LIVE!, when we devote our ENTIRE month to musicals! Included is a curated listening calendar with 31 days of engaging musical selections and also TWO featured musicals for our members. 

And, our PLUS members receive access to our entire archives which include lesson about the above starred musicals and MORE! 

We make music appreciation simple, enjoyable, and FUN for the whole family!

I hope you've gotten some ideas for what musicals to watch with your family. Next time you have a movie night, why not suggest a musical?


Do you have a favorite musical? Let us know in the comments below!


1 comment

  • Fave growing up – The Sound of Music and Brigadoon


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