Album Recommendations by Age

Please note, this list hasn't been updated since July 19, 2006 and the links herein will take you to the old site. For a more up-to-date listing of music appropriate for particular age, please click on the ages on right-hand bar on the main menu. Thanks

If you're new to the children's music game, you might not be sure which albums are right for which kids, be they your own or someone else's. And while there's no accounting for taste (insert name of your most-disliked musical artist here), it is possible to make a reasonable guess of an album's targeted age range. It's more art than science, to be sure -- your 7-year-old might like Laurie Berkner and Raffi; your friend's 2-year-old might think Justin Roberts rocks. But a simple folk song about learning the numbers is going to appeal to a different audience than a rock song about losing one's first tooth.

Here, then, is a list of all Zooglobble-reviewed albums organized by the first year I thought the albums would be appropriate to listen to. Please keep in mind that...

-- I'm not a child development expert -- I only play one on the Internet. Actually, I don't even play one here. I'm just a parent. I guess that makes me some sort of child development expert, but definitely not one with the relevant letters behind my name.
-- I've listed all albums reviewed here at the site -- just because it's on the list doesn't mean I wholly recommend it. That's why I've linked to the reviews.
-- The maximum age is in parentheses. I don't recommend giving a child at the upper end of any album's age range that album as they'll probably dismiss it as "baby stuff." But kids who have listened to that CD for a long time may reach that upper end (or will secretly enjoy listening to it if it's being played for a younger sibling).
-- I'll try to keep this post current for all subsequent reviews. Check back often!

(Last updated: July 19, 2006)

For newborns and up
--> You Are My Sunshine - Elizabeth Mitchell (6) review -- low-key folk-rock, great covers
--> You Are My Flower - Elizabeth Mitchell (5) review -- even slightly more low-key folk-rock, still great covers
--> Songs For Wiggleworms - (5) Old Town School of Folk Music review -- simple renditions of classic songs for kids
--> Wiggleworms Love You - (6) Old Town School of Folk Music review -- more (mostly) simple renditions of classic songs
--> All Through the Night - Mae Robertson (3) review -- lullabies familiar and un-
--> Listen, Learn and Grow Lullabies - Various Artists (5) review -- soothing classical melodies
--> Lullabies: A Songbook Companion - Various Artists (3) review -- classic (sung) lullabies
--> Close Your Eyes - Josephine Cameron (5/NA) review -- not specifically a lullaby album for kids, but works just fine that way

Age 1 and up
--> Whaddaya Think of That? - Laurie Berkner (6) review -- fun originals and covers
--> Singable Songs for the Very Young - Raffi (5) review -- the album that pretty much started the kids' music genre (Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Ella Jenkins notwithstanding)
--> More Singable Songs - Raffi (6) review -- the sequel
--> Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child - Woody Guthrie (6) review -- folk songs for kids from the prolific folksinger
--> Quiet Time - Raffi (5) review -- mellow classics and Raffi originals from entire career

Age 2 and up
--> Here Come the ABCs - They Might Be Giants (7) review -- TMBG and the ABCs. Fun alterna-pop for every age.
--> Ralph's World - Ralph's World (6) review -- Debut album from kids' pop-rocker
--> Catch the Moon - Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell (5) review -- folky versions of classics, songs from around the world, and covers
--> Buzz Buzz - Laurie Berkner (6) review -- Folk-rock for the preschooler set
--> Stomp Yer Feet! - Johnny Bregar (6) review -- a more soulful, slightly funkier version of Raffi (and don't let the Raffi reference scare you)
--> Fascinating Creatures - Frances England (7) review -- Very original indie-rock
--> Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang - Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang (6) review -- Saturday morning cartoon show-like with fun tunes
--> The Hollow Trees - The Hollow Trees (7) review -- folksongs for the family
--> Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz - Hayes Greenfield (12) review -- jazz renditions of classic kids' tunes, played in a variety of styles with vocals and instrumental solos
--> Kids Rock for Peas! - The Sippy Cups (6) review -- classics and nuggets from the '60s and '70s, tweaked for playschoolers
--> Snail Song & Magic Toast - The Sippy Cups (7) review -- two original and two spoken-word remixes reminiscent of '60s psychedelia and '70s power pop
--> Lead Belly Sings for Children - Lead Belly (10) review -- collection of kids' songs (folk, blues, work songs) from one of the most important 20th-century musicians
--> Folk Playground (Putumayo) - Various Artists (8) review -- not really folk, but a decent mixtape of folk-ish songs
--> An Elephant Never Forgets - Owen Duggan (6) review -- Raffi-like in its gentleness and appropriation of a number of musical styles
--> The Corner Grocery Store - Raffi (6) review -- Raffi's third album, doesn't really change the formula
--> Song and Play Time - Pete Seeger (6) review -- one of many Pete Seeger kids' albums, singing folk favorites
--> Kaleidoscope Songs Volumes 1 & 2 - Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band (6) review -- Mostly mellow pop songs about kids' experiences, written for the kids
--> Jivin' in the Jungle - Barking Gorillas (6) review -- kids' pop (with a little rock)

Age 3 and up
--> No! - They Might Be Giants (8) review -- alterna-pop for kids (which sounds a lot like TMBG's "regular" alterna-pop)
--> House Party - Dan Zanes (10) review -- mostly uptempo family music and folk songs
--> Night Time! - Dan Zanes (8) review -- slightly (but only slightly) down-tempo family music and folk songs
--> Rocket Ship Beach - Dan Zanes (7) review -- Zanes' first family music album, with more of a folk song and bluegrass emphasis than previous albums
--> Family Dance - Dan Zanes (8) review -- Zanes' second family music and folk song album
--> Silly Reflection - Lunch Money (7) review -- indie rock but with a purely preschool point-of-view
--> Gustafer Yellowgold's Wide Wild World DVD (8) review -- indie pop with unique animation
--> Ablum - Duplex! (8) review -- kids' indie rock with a very loose, adult indie rock feel
--> Bottle of Sunshine - Milkshake (7) review -- children's pop-rock (sweeter than many albums reviewed here)
--> Songs from the Hebrew Scriptures / Songs from the New Testament - Why Not Sea Monsters? (Justin Roberts/Liam Davis) (10) review -- Retellings of Biblical stories matched with easygoing Roberts melodies and lyrics
--> I Am Your New Music Teacher - Parker Bent (6) review -- pop-rock and other styles (EP in length)
--> The Amazing Adventures of Kid Astro (10) review -- fifth Ralph's World album with children's pop-rock skews both young (dumptrucks) and old (kissing girls!)
--> At the Bottom of the Sea - Ralph's World (8) review -- second Ralph's World album continues in same pop-rock vein as first, just skewed older
--> Jazz for Kids - Various Artists (10) review -- vocal jazz renditions of kids favorites and other kid-friendly tunes from Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and more
--> Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times (7) review -- jazzy melodies (among others) encouraging "music play"
--> Plays Well With Others - Uncle Rock (8) review -- Mostly roots-rock originals
--> Chocolate Milk - ScribbleMonster and His Pals (8) review -- crack alt-pop and alt-rock melodies with (in parts) cartoony voices
--> Curious George Soundtrack - Jack Johnson (7) review -- "Singalongs and Lullabies," indeed -- more laid-back rock
--> Children Are the Sunshine - Asheba (7) review -- Caribbean music, some standards, mostly kids' originals
--> Baloney Cake - Uncle Moondog (6) review -- mostly California- and surf-rock with (unseen) animated friends

Age 4 and up
--> All Wound Up! - Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer w/ Brave Combo (8) review -- energetic dance music for the whole family
--> Green Gorilla, Monster & Me - Ralph's World (9) review -- 6th Ralph's World collection of children's pop-rock and his best
--> Yellow Bus - Justin Roberts (9) review -- Roberts' 2nd album of children's alterna- and acoustic rock
--> Way Out - Justin Roberts (8) review -- Roberts' 4th album of children's rock
--> If You Ever See An Owl - The Terrible Twos (10) review -- alt-country/indie-acoustic-rock for kids by The New Amsterdams' alter egos
--> Every Day is a Birthday - Brady Rymer (9) review -- family-friendly (musically and lyrically) roots rock
--> Make Some Noise - The Quiet Ones (9) review -- TMBG-like absurd kids' rock
--> Accidentally (on purpose) - Keith Munslow (9) review -- children's pop with broad array of musical styles and story-driven lyrics, sharply played
--> Turn It Up Mommy! - The RTTs (8) review -- straight-ahead rock and blues-rock for kids
--> Giddyup! - Buck Howdy (10) review -- cowboy music for kids
--> Tall and Small - Rebecca Frezza (8) review -- snappy children's pop
--> Rock Your Socks Off (8) review -- jam-band rock that encourages lots of movement
--> Songs For Kids Like Us - Robbie Schaefer (8) review -- occasionally silly children's pop and bluegrass
--> Little Red Wagon (8) review -- gentle folk songs, for kids and more
--> Paws Claws Scales and Tales - Monty Harper (9) review -- library-focused kids' pop-rock
--> Great Green Squishy Mean Concert CD - Monty Harper (9) review -- more straight-ahead pop-rock than Harper's studio albums, plus a live band
--> Beethoven's Wig 3 - Richard Perlmutter (9) review -- new lyrics set to (very) old classical tunes
--> Dog Train - Sandra Boynton (8) review -- more rocking than Chickens, with lots of guest stars
--> Philadelphia Chickens - Sandra Boynton (8) review -- more like a Broadway show with amusing lyrics (and drawings)
--> Happy Lemons - Ralph's World (8) review -- Ralph's World's 3rd album of kids' pop-rock
--> The Pet Project - Campfire Kev and Mary Lafleur (9) review -- A whole bunch pet/animal-themed children's pop (and a little country and rock)
--> Songs I Heard - Harry Connick, Jr. (10) review -- Jazzy renditions of movie and Broadway tunes
--> Linus & Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi - George Winston (10) review -- Mostly faithful solo piano renditions of Vince Guaraldi's jazz works from Peanuts specials and more

Age 5 and up
--> Catch That Train! - Dan Zanes and Friends (10) review -- Zanes' fifth (and best) family-friendly album continues his multi-stylistic approach with lots of guests
--> Meltdown! - Justin Roberts (10) review -- Roberts' fifth (and best) album of kids' alt-rock and acoustic pop
--> Alphabet Songs, Vol. II (Ivan Idea) - Steve Weeks (9) review -- Alphabet-themed CD with sly lyrics and roots/jam musical underpinnings
--> We Shall Overcome (The Seeger Session) - Bruce Springsteen (N/A) review -- Not really a kids' CD. But listen to it with 'em anyway.
--> Pegleg Tango - Captain Bogg & Salty (9) review -- pirate-themed rock and pop with a theatrical (and humorous) flair
--> Eat Every Bean and Pea on Your Plate - Daddy A Go Go (10) review -- Straight-ahead rock and lots of jokes
--> The Hipwaders - The Hipwaders (9) review -- Kids' alt-pop with reminders of the '60s and the '80s
--> Monkey Business - Eric Herman and the Invisible Band (8) review -- Herman's second album of children's pop
--> The Kid in the Mirror - Eric Herman and the Invisible Band (8) review -- Debut album of children's pop

Age 6 and up
--> Snow Day - Eric Herman and the Invisible Band (10) review -- Third album of children's pop