American Playground

Music review by
Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media
American Playground Music Poster Image
Classic American tunes are perfect for family road trips.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Educational Value

The colorful 20 page booklet that comes with the album provides kids with information about each artist and the songs' origins. 

Positive Messages

Songs like "We All Need More Kindness in This World" and "Keep on the Sunny Side" encourage kids to make the world a better place and have an optimistic outlook on life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Songs like "This Little Light of Mine" and "Forever Young" remind kids to set an example for others to follow.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that American Playground is from Putumayo Kids. The clean lyrics and positive messages of these classic American songs are fun for everyone to sing along to, and there's no iffy content to worry about.

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What's the story?

Since 1999, Putumayo Kids have been introducing kids to music and cultures from all over the world. AMERICAN PLAYGROUND seamlessly blends the many sounds of America -- including folk, country, and blues -- making it the perfect album for road trips "from California to the New York Island" and exploring new places like "the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters." While there are familiar songs from America's past like "Oh, Susannah," "Saro Jane," and "This Land is Your Land," new songs such as Guy Davis' original blues track "We All Need More Kindness in This World" add interest and round out the album.

Is it any good?

American Playground is a great example of how music can span ages, cultures, and musical preferences. Kids will enjoy dancing to the harmonica on Johnny Bregar's rendition of the folk classic "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," the country swing of Buck Howdy's "You Are My Sunshine," and Victor Johnson's blues interpretation of "This Little Light of Mine." The jazzy "Blue Skies" and Elizabeth Mitchell's upbeat "Keep on the Sunny Side" remind kids to remain optimistic. Parents will also appreciate Randy Kaplan's touching cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." Putumayo Kids have once again proved that they're the masters of producing albums that will appeal to the whole family. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lyrics of Guy Davis' original song "We All Need More Kindness in This World." Why do you think the world needs more kindness? How can you make the world a better place?

  • Think about some of your role models. What qualities do you like about them? Victor Johnson sings "All my brothers and sisters/I'm gonna help them shine." How can you set a good example and help others shine?

  • Look at a map of America. Where have you been? What are some places you'd like to visit? 

Music details

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