Cars and Kids: Best Songs to Sing in the Car
Everyone loves going on car rides, but sometimes they can quickly become a dull and boring for children when they are not occupied. While games and “busy bags” are a great way to keep young minds focused, songs are a great way for the whole family to join in. Kids of all ages can enjoy numerous songs appropriate for their age. AS a bonus, music can help to stimulate brain growth, especially in new babies. Below you will find a wide-ranging list of songs appropriate for different age groups.
Infant – 1-year-olds
Infants to one-year-olds benefit by listening to any kind of music. If you are able to have one parent sit in the back with your child, you can also incorporate finger-play songs into your repertoire. This age group greatly benefits from inactive listening also, which simply means listening to music in the background. Finger-play is also great as it adds an interesting element for a baby to watch and learn.
This is a cute and upbeat sounding song about selling the wool of a sheep. It is perfect for little ones and easy to learn.
Using songs that incorporate weather is a great way to learn about weather and sing during a car ride through that type of weather.
This song is great to sing and is sure to keep fussy babies happy.
Here is a song that is a play on Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star for the road. Try singing it at every red traffic light.
This is another song that is great as a lullaby or to calm a fussy baby. You can even substitute words like “rainbow” or “sunflower.”
Broadway songs like this one are a great way to expose young children to family-friendly music. Broadway music is full of vocalization, interesting musical composition, and extremely good for little ones to listen to.
This website suggests lots of finger-play songs for passengers to do with your child.
Two-year-olds – Five-year-olds
Toddlers love songs with silly words and an upbeat tune. Encourage them to clap or dance in their car seat while you both sing. Incorporate hand movements, as children in this age range do best with added activity.
Here is a classic song that can be sung for a while using a variety of animals. With some creativity (and knowledge about animals) the possibilities are nearly endless.
This is a great new twist on the alphabet song, or feel free to sing the classic song.
This is a popular song using a number of verses in various entertaining styles. To add a challenge, ask your child to give you a style to sing about.
Another option is this motion-rich song that is great for acting out while sitting down in the car.
Six-year-olds – Nine-year-olds
This age range benefits from listening that involves activity as well, so incorporate songs with hand movements and leg movements. You can also use sing-alongs from their favorite animated movies. Be creative in modifying movements to be used while sitting down in the car.
This is a great action-based song that can be played in the car while sitting down.
This one is a children's song that builds with each verse.
Here is a perfect song that can be sung for quite some time. Encourage your child to echo you and then switch who starts the song. Can you sing it with three or four people?
This is a classic clapping game that includes spelling.
If your family likes Bingo, they might like this one too. It is another clapping game that can also incorporate other motions to add more fun.
Here is another classic Western song that's upbeat and encourages movement. For an added challenge, try singing the song at different speeds and incorporate slow body movements.
This one is a great theme based song for a car ride.
Ten-year-olds – Thirteen-year-olds
By this age, children should have some favorite popular music. Chances are that you might know some of the songs as well. Make a playlist of their (and your) favorite music for the car ride. Creating a playlist will make it easier for children and adults to sing along.
You can sing the short version that is well known, or learn the whole song.
This is a popular song in classrooms and great to sing on cross country trips. See if everyone can point out the landscape descriptions in the song.
Here is a favorite song to sing from the movie “The Sound of Music.” This is a must-know for all kids and adults alike. It helps to build singing skill and it can also be sung as a continuous song.
This site has a list of songs that teach about the history of the Underground Railroad.
Best Songs for a Long Road Trip
Long road trips can definitely wear on those traveling. Here are some songs that will pass the time away. Some are quite long so it can be a good challenge to see if everyone can make it to the end.
You can change the word “beer” to any beverage with a single sound, such as pop or milk.
Call and answer songs are a fun way to pass the time. This site gives you various partner songs from around the world.
This popular song can literally go on forever. See how long everyone can sing it!