Putumayo’s Animal Crackers: A Great Snack for your Ears!

The following review is by contributor Jennifer Brown.

In many places we’re hitting what they call the dog days of summer.  It’s hot and the fresh summer air may be starting to feel a little stale.  Summer days still stretch ahead of us, and if your family is like ours you may be in need of a little pick me up.

The other day I was searching for just that to boost our spirits, and I was reminded of how important it is to make music a part of our day.  I had gotten out of the habit of making music a part of our daily ritual since we moved way back in December.  A new set up in a new home somehow changed our family rhythm, and we needed to get that back!

Animal Playground

We jumped into it (literally) with a new favorite song “No More Monkeys” which can be found on . If you’re looking to escape those dog days of summer, this collection of animal inspired tunes is a terrific way for the whole family to laugh, sing and dance their hearts out.

This album is full of upbeat tunes by artists from around the world that will get you up and moving.  Not only can you find us jumping around like monkeys, we’re shaking the ants out of our pants with the title track “Animal Crackers,” looking out for “The Littlest Birds” and heeding the warning: “Don’t Ever Step on a Snake.”

This is a fun collection with a great mix of sung and instrumental international tunes, some which may surprise you as sounding familiar.   Not only is this a quality compilation album as you would expect from Putumayo, it’s also a great way to get exposure to some new artists.  I, personally, am looking forward to checking out more of the Wee Hairy Beasties—don’t they just sound like fun?

Pre-Reading Skills

If boosting your spirits wasn’t enough reason to put on the stereo in the middle of a blah day, did you know listening to music can also help your child learn to read?  Singing songs, hearing/telling stories, inventing and repeating rhymes or moving to a steady beat are all part of pre-reading skills that help children learn to identify syllables and their sounds. (http://highscope.org/)

So, whether you’re stuck at home (again), or in the car on your way to get (yet another) big stack of books for your summer reading program don’t forget to crank up the music, and include Putumayo’s Animal Crackers on your rotation.

Trust me; you’ll be much happier when you get the ants out of your pants!

Do you use music in your family to boost morale on a blue day?  Do you seek out something new or pull out your old favorites?  What songs get everyone smiling in your house?

About Jennifer

Jennifer, is a stay at home mom to two energetic, fun loving boys ages 6 and 2. She found a new passion in exploring great children's music after becoming a mom, which she blogs about at Swing Whistle Zing. Jennifer fancies finding quality tunes the whole family can enjoy, and dancing with her boys (both big and little) to her favorite songs that connect her to the past & keep her grounded in the present.

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  1. Putumayo Kids is new to me, but I just requested it from my library–hurray! My kids adore music but we are in a major Laurie Berkner rut and definitely need to mix things up. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: Your Tool to Unlock the Hidden Web

  2. We have Picnic Playground by Putumayo and love it, so I might just have to order this one, too! Unfortunately, I don’t remember to turn on the music nearly often enough (except in the car, and our bedtime routine isn’t complete without our Little Bird cd by Elizabeth Mitchell).
    Cara´s latest post: august break {day 2}

  3. I love Putumayo music! Such a great way to introduce world music to the kids and adults as well.
    I really like the Chill XM radio station to calm down my 4 kids while we’re driving. It really works like a charm. Funny how music can alter your mood in so many ways.
    Gwen~healthymamma´s latest post: Crock Pot Barley Pilaf with Summer Squash, Sugar Snap Peas and Fresh Berries with Citrus-Mint Dressing

  4. Chloe Dempsey says:

    Looks promising. What I have here are tradition nursery rhymes and children’s songs. You know, those songs and rhymes that we also grew up with only now it’s all on CDs. and DVDs.
    Chloe Dempsey´s latest post: angry birds

  5. Princess Larrah says:

    Wonderful post! when i was a kids my hobbits is to be song and song all i can do that’s why i love music and i love to song….
    Princess Larrah´s latest post: angry birds game

  6. Love their music and happy to find out about another one of their albums.
    Kimberly´s latest post: Warning: Babywise May Not Be Right For Your Baby

  7. We LOVE Putamayo kids – their Rock n roll playground is my favorite. We also love Recess Monkey – Field Trip is a must for any parent to break out of the nursery rhymes and obnoxious kids voices that are on so many “kid” CDs. Lately we have started getting CDs from the library. It’s such a great way to explore new music.

    • We love Recess Monkey too! They got a huge thumbs up on one of my previous reviews for their album The Final Funktier. I have Field Trip on my wish list & recently saw they have another new release called Flying. I agree the library is a great way to weed through CDs looking for those gems that keep your whole family coming back for more.

  8. We love putamayo, too! I have never heard of the rock n roll playground, Alissa, so I will have to download that one. We have listened to all of the putamayo cds they have at our local library, which is quite a few. Our favorites are Reggae playground and Asian Dreamland.
    Kristin @ Preschool Universe´s latest post: Music and Movement Activities: Yoga with Preschoolers

  9. I’m glad to hear there are so many Putamayo fans out there already, we actually have a whole bunch of their children’s albums & although this one is on our most recent heavy playlist so far none of them have been a disappointment. They offer so many different styles there’s truly something for everyone.

  10. I had to come back and tell you that we got this cd after reading your recommendation and we love it! I thought I’d never heard of Putumayo, but on my next trip to Whole Foods I was surprised to see a giant endcap with tons of different cds–turns out it’s been there for years and I never noticed!

    Looking forward to exploring more of the Putumayo cds. It’s so nice to find some new kids’s music that doesn’t drive my husband and me crazy.
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: The Art of Womanliness