Entertaining toddlers on a long road trip can be a challenge. But music can soothe the savage beast. These classics and songs the little ones already know can help stave off the next temper tantrum. But these songs can keep parents sane too.
Road Trip Music
Before I married my husband, we had our own travel CD with a bunch of mixed songs. Still to this day that CD brings back so many good memories. We would roll down the windows, pop open the sunroof, grab our snacks and soda from the gas station, and enjoy the beautiful scenery around us. Obviously that was pre-“Are we there yet” questions. Pre-“I need to go to the bathroom” whines. And pre-“I want candy” tantrums.
Gone are the days of Eminem and Tenacious D on our mixed road trip CD. My toddlers are sponges and I don’t want them repeating lyrics out of either of those band’s songs.
Whether you’re traveling 5 miles or 500, it’s never a bad idea to have some songs up your sleeve in case the 300 DVDs and 50 books you brought just aren’t quite doing the trick.
Sing Songs Your Toddler Knows
Sing songs your toddler knows. “Happy Birthday” is usually a no-fail. As well as “Twinkle Twinkle” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Don’t worry if you forget the lyrics … your toddler isn’t going to know. Besides, the made-up versions are always funnier. Eventually you’re going to lose your battle for sanity though. I don’t know about you, but there are only so many Barney the Dinosaur songs that I can take. No offense to the purple T-Rex … it’s just not what I want to listen to for the next 300 miles.
My husband and I love music. My tots love music. But I’m starting to think that some people out there that make music … don’t like parents. I’m not against occasionally rocking out to the silly, bouncy songs featuring Elmo and the gang but let’s face it … more than 5 hours in the car listening to nothing BUT those songs, would even make Mary Poppins start to question her sanity.
Read More: Awesome Road Trip Ideas Across the USA.
Parent-Friendly Road Trip Songs for Toddlers
That’s why I made my toddlers their very own kid-friendly, Mommy-approved play list for road trips. I’m happy to report that it was a total success. My minis liked the songs, and Mom and Dad kept their wits. Here are the songs that I chose:
Jackson 5 – ABC
KISS – Rock & Roll All Night
Police – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
The Who – Who Are You
The Village People – YMCA (the actions may be a little difficult in the car … but you can at least have fun trying!)
Beach Boys – Sloop John B
Jack Johnson – Upside Down
Rascal Flatts – Life is a Highway (because of the movie “Cars”, this song is popular in our house)
Otis Day & The Knights – Shout
Peter, Paul, and Mary – Puff the Magic Dragon
Willy Nelson – On the Road Again /or/ Rainbow Connection (hey … if it’s cool enough for Kermit the Frog, it’s cool enough for your tot)
Jimmy Dean – Big John
The Beatles – Yellow Submarine
Sure songs about a meatball rolling away and dinosaur bones are cute, but why put yourself through that if you don’t have to? Every road trip deserves a soundtrack. Make one that the whole family can enjoy and it’ll pass the time a little faster.
Need more ideas? Check out the 29 best road trip songs to blast in the car.
If the songs don’t work, try these road trip games for all ages.