Thanks for the positive feedback on my little project. If you might be thinking of doing something similar, I would just like to suggest the little Shuffle as the way to go if you have something to plug it into. It holds 250 songs and is just $49. It's too small, however, to plug into a regular I-Pod docking station or speaker system. It's meant to be used with headphones. By the time you add all the things you need to get it to work with a speaker system, you might as well buy the Nano, which fits most everything that will fit an I-Pod. If you have a working stereo, however, the little Shuffle will work with some additional wiring, or so they said. I wanted to keep the system simple, as I have found busy parents don't always have time, or remember to charge things, or turn them on for that matter, if they're a hassle. It's just the way it is when you have a million things to do in a day. So while this Easter gift is a bit expensive, I believe the benefit will outweigh the cost. Now for the partial playlist:
Nursery rhymes - There were several that I used but Baby Genius seemed to have the clarity of sound that I wanted for a toddler. The music was pretty and simple, the pace slow, for a toddler to learn the words. My First Album had beautiful rhymes with full orchestra behind the singing. Lovely to listen to, especially when children's rhymes are so repetitive. I added all the rhymes I could find that were preschool age.
Classical - I love Mozart, so I added some from Mental Mozart. Smart Baby had some selections using the London Orchestra. I added a number by Chopin, Vivaldi and Beethoven that I found on Baby Genius. (Could the names of these cd's be any more pretentious?)
Sing-a-long - This was the majority of my playlist. Raffi is wonderful and I had several selections by him. Dan Zanes is also very good. This music is fun and the songs are learnable, but not the sing-song of nursery rhymes. I added two that were suggested by one of you by Renee & Jeremy. Thanks for the tip!
Jazz - I love jazz, so while these selections are geared toward children, I will add my own music as he gets older. Baby Loves Jazz had several selections that I liked. George Benson actually had some children's music, and I selected one by him.
Rock - Railroad Earth is his favorite. It must be because his aunt (my youngest) always dances with him to this band, and ends up putting him to sleep. All I know is, if he is fussy, all you have to do is put on Railroad Earth! Love Of My Life, by Carly Simon was a must. But I also threw in an old Dell Viking number. What's a playlist without a little rock-n-roll? Also, the Coconut song by Harry Nilsson, for a little cool vibe...
African - He received a drum for his birthday from his parents. They are not very hep on plastic toys. So we needed some African drum music. African Savannah Morning by Baby Genius was terrific.
Reggae - He lives in Portland, Oregon - need I say more? Jammin by Bob Marley!
The rest of the playlist includes songs by Peter, Paul, & Mary, that my husband sang to our daughters at bedtime, Disney Classics from all the favorite movies, and anything else that struck my fancy. Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland is a must for bedtime, don't you think? It was fun to do this, and I would highly recommend it for grandchildren. You can never underestimate the power of passive learning.