Nature Jams

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
Nature Jams Music Poster Image
Inspiring songs and lessons encourage kids to go outside.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Lots of learning about various instruments, animals, and things in nature (buffalo vs. bison, glaciers, spelunking, etc.), different types of music and cultures, and even some counting and letter sounds.

Positive Messages

Tells kids to get out in nature and explore because there are so many things to do, see, and learn.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Farmer Jason shows kids how much fun nature can be, and how to be genuinely excited about new things and experiences.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Some well-known names are featured on the album: Mike Mills from R.E.M., country singer Suzy Bogguss, Cheap Trick, and Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album not only educates your kids about music and nature, but also is simply a joy to listen to. The songs are so fun and engaging that preschoolers will actually enjoy learning about glaciers, bison, and how to speak Creole French -- to name just a few things -- along the way. Unlike many dumbed-down kids' albums, this record respects kids' intelligence and interests and is genuinely entertaining. It will make you and your kids want to step away from the TV and computer and out into the great outdoors of your back yard.

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What's the story?

Emmy Award winner Jason Ringenberg, also known as Farmer Jason, releases a 16-track collection of original country-rock songs that encourage kids and their families to unplug and explore the wonders of nature. Featuring the incredible talent of artists like Mike Mills of R.E.M., Suzy Bogguss, indie-rocker Brandi Carlisle, Hank Williams III, Tommy Ramone, Grammy-winning Victor Wooten, and Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes, NATURE JAMS takes kids on an adventure to see the world. A bonus DVD features four music videos.

Is it any good?

Instead of preaching to kids about why they need to pry themselves away from the TV or iPad, Farmer Jason gives them countless reasons to do in songs about Louisiana bayous, Swedish glaciers, New York City birds, Minnesota moose, and Florida manatees. Farmer Jason's friendly voice and genuine interest in what he's singing about easily directs little kids to listen and learn about the beauty, fun, and really cool things that are all around us in nature: "Let's see what we see / might even be more fun than watching TV." To parents, Farmer Jason's intent is clear: to get kids off their behinds and outside exploring (always with permission and supervision, of course). But to kids, the message comes through in the magical sounds and images of majestic whales, starry skies, mysterious caves, and a friendly manatee swimming in warm waters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different types of music and instruments used on this album. What instruments do you hear? Which song is your favorite? Why? What is something that you like about the music? Is there anything you don't like?

  • The songs encourage kids to explore the outdoors and get away from technology like video games, the Internet, and TV. How much time do you spend watching TV or playing video games? Do you think you spend too much time in front of a screen and not enough outside?

  • What are some ways that you and your family can make sure you get enough fresh air and outdoor time?

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