Are you looking to enlist your child to join the troops of ever-dwindling record buyers? Want to know some of the best vinyl records for kids who have not yet developed a musical vocabulary and sensibility of their own? Are your own musical preferences a little too intense for them just yet?
Then join us as we explore 10 of the best albums to add to your child’s collection, a whole array of releases purpose-built to titillate the senses of the oft-synaesthetic child in early age.
1. The Johnny Cash Children’s Album – Johnny Cash
What better way to start this list of vinyl records for kids than with some children’s music written by one of the foremost popular cultural icons of the 20th century? Yes, despite his status as the Man in Black and his outlaw persona, he was a staunch believer in the lord and the power of the family unit to achieve transcendence and matrimony.
2. The Point – Harry Nilsson
Parents might remember Nilsson more from songs like ‘Coconut’ – which graced the rolling credits of Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature Reservoir Dogs – or ‘Without You’ – the melodramatic pop anthem made famous by the band Badfinger. Who, then, knew he had such a penchant for children’s songs?
3. Snowflakes Are Dancing – Isao Tomita
No matter your age, you cannot fail to be mesmerized by this suite of works by Debussy reimagined in the new and groundbreaking electronic synthesizer.
If I ever have kids, this will be a staple of their early musical experiences. This is easily one of the best and least conventional classical vinyls to own.
4. The Smile Sessions – The Beach Boys
Though this masterpiece never saw the light of day in its original era, it has since been salvaged and pieced together from the parts that were left behind. The Beach Boys are a codification of the very essence of pop music, the blueprint for all those who came afterward. These technicolor dreams, then, cannot fail to enrapture a young mind on pre-order.
5. Soothing Sounds for Babies Vol. 2 – Raymond Scott
What better way to send your baby into somnolent oblivion than this array of sumptuous sounds by electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott? Add it to your collection and be bequeathed with happy children.
6. Out of the Blue – “Blue” Gene Tyranny
There is an innocence that traces itself all through this album, reminding even the most stoic adults of a childhood where to listen to a song was to reach to the outer rim of imagining.
7. Comme ça – Domenique Dumont
Though unloaded of any socio-political significance, this short album can scarcely fail to delight a younger listener. The world of formats condensed into here causes each sound to pop and hiss in such a hypnotic way.
8. Captain of None – Colleen
Each kid needs to hear this new chamber music for lullabies the world over. Whether it shows your child how to sing past the obvious cliches or whether it teaches them how to sell themselves more, there is something for each boy and girl in this album.
9. Strawberry Jam – Animal Collective
Of all the albums here arrayed, none come closer to replicating the experience of being a child more than this offering from Animal Collective. This is one of their seminal works precisely because it so accurately revives the feeling that every single thing is magical and worthy of note in its own way, exploding with color and delight at every turn.
10. Heart of the Congos – The Congos
Though steeped in political messaging throughout, there is still so much beauty to be found on this album, showing that beautiful melodies and warm songwriting can be found in even the direst socio-political circumstances.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to enroll your child and get them listening to some good music before they are sucked in by the latest fad. Though it is not your job as a parent to custom build your children into replicas of the kind of popular culture that you yourself enjoy, it is not unheard of to do just this. If you are so inclined, then so be it.
FAQs Vinyl Records for Kids
How does a vinyl record work for kids?
The machinations are not too difficult to understand even for a child, though perhaps it would be best to go easy on the jargon at first. After all, at that age, there is usually an awful lot of explaining what certain words mean, and this could be expounded upon intensely in such a circumstance. Put simply, a platform called a turntable holds and rotates a record that turns and sends vibrations from the grooves into the stylus whose cartridge turns these vibrations into electrical signals. If this goes over your child’s head, perhaps it would be best to invest in an automatic turntable.
What is the smallest vinyl record?
Though the smallest commercially available record is the 7-inch, there are plenty of underground alternatives throughout the world of audiophilia. In fact, scientists in Denmark have created what they purport to be the world’s smallest vinyl record. This record is actually so tiny that it can barely be seen by the naked eye. It measures just 15 micrometers across by 15 micrometers with grooves that are only 65 nanometers deep. The record has been pressed to play 25 seconds of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ – all this in stereo, if you can believe it.
What age group buys the most vinyl records?
According to research conducted by the UK newspaper The Guardian, the primary commercial audience for the purchase of vinyl records is those that are between the ages of 45 and 54. These are what British music journalists have come to term the ‘6 Music Dads’ – i.e. those who are slightly older and more financially stable and, thus, who can afford to spend their expendable income on such commodities on an at least semi-regular basis. This is also the demographic that would have been more likely to purchase physical copies of music in their youth. The youth of today, those between the ages of 18 and 24 at least, are the least likely to purchase a vinyl record, familiar as they are with digital streaming platforms and the like.