On an early Sunday afternoon at The Sinclair, Boston-area Grateful Dead tribute band Bearly Dead took a note-perfect version of “Touch of Grey” to the final chorus with kids in the audience twirling alongside their parents, singing “I will get by,” over and over. My wife and I danced with our eighteen-month old son, who was just as interested in the glow string draped around his neck (available for free at the merch table) as he was in the band. Some parents had Dead shirts on from tours past, while the undulating hand waves of Deadhead dancing to their kids. Moms swaying with their babies, and dads passing on concert survival tips. This defines the experience of Rock and Roll Playhouse, a Brooklyn-born all-ages concert experience that has taken root in Cambridge at The Sinclair with plans for many more shows this coming fall.

“My goal is to create a live music experience for children that gives them the opportunity to connect with the music, parents, and other kids creatively through songs, movement, and play,” Rock and Roll Playhouse co-founder Amy Striem wrote me via email earlier this week. Striem, an early childhood educator, has developed a thoughtful approach to the family concert that emphasizes engagement with music in an interactive way. At the Dead show last month, a facilitator kept things moving with activities for the kids alongside the tunes parents love. When Barely Dead took on “Shakedown Street,” the Dead’s funky nod to disco from 1978, the kids got the opportunity to freeze dance while strutting their best moves (which unsurprisingly included a lot of jumping and clapping). “We put in a lot of time to sequence the show, so that we know when a fast song will work, when it’s time to slow it down, bring out the parachute, or try for an epic freeze dance,” Striem said.

But just so we know that this isn’t Sesame Street Live at The Sinclair (which is no knock on Elmo), the Rock and Roll Playhouse shows rotate through a roster of classic rock bands. For instance, this Sunday at The Sinclair will be the music of Bob Dylan for the youngsters. Now, it’s difficult to imagine toddlers digging deeply into the lyrics of Blood on the Tracks, but knowing the Playhouse approach, you can be sure that they’ll steer toward the tunes that will be fun for the family. Set lists for the Playhouse are, “a combination of the songs the artists want to play and what we know from our experience works best for kids,” according to Striem, with local musicians sought out by talent and music direction for the show.

The Playhouse programming does tend toward a conservative spectrum of classic rock meant to appeal to broad, middle-class audiences—The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, and Phish are among the frequently programmed bands—so expansion to a more diverse body of popular music (like the recent conclusion of Michael Jackson and Prince) would be desirable. I’m as keen on introducing my son to Run-D.M.C. as The Beatles. And as the Playhouse expands from its Brooklyn roots to other cities, it remains an open question as to if and when programming will be geared toward local audiences (read: no Buffalo Tom shows on the horizon for Bostonians just yet). But The Rock and Roll Playhouse provides a very fun alternative for parents who have already seen Daniel Tiger Live umpteen times, and are interested in the kids liking some of the same musics as mom or dad.

The Music of Bob Dylan for Kids will be at The Sinclair this Sunday, July 15th and tickets are available here. Kids under the age of one get to attend for free.