It can be very easy to throw a tablet at your toddler on a road trip. Limit screen time in the car by finding something new to listen to! Here’s what Toot recommends: 8 fun and educational things for kids, toddlers, and babies to listen to in the car.
1. Soundtracks to Favorite Movies or TV Shows
Toot loves Daniel Tiger so I keep the Daniel Tiger soundtrack ready on my Prime Music app. The instant it comes on I can see her face light up in the mirror and she giggles. She also loves to listen to songs from Sesame Street and Dinosaur Train.
She doesn’t watch a lot of movies yet, but you could also rotate in some Disney soundtracks. Introduce your little one to your favorites like Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Lion King because if you’re going to have to sit through kids music, you might as well enjoy it. It’s going to be stuck in your head all day anyway. I’d rather be humming Hakuna Matata while processing payroll than the Teletubbies theme song.
2. Kidz Bop
I mean you can listen to your own Spotify playlist but let’s face it, you don’t want your toddler to be spouting off Nicki Minaj lyrics. Well, that would be cool if she was good at it… but you might get some funny looks if the windows are rolled down.
You probably made fun of Kidz Bop when you were younger. You may have also gotten drunk one night with your friends and went through every song just to see what lyrics had been changed…. no? Just me? Oh. Well anyway, now the time has come where you want to listen to Lady Gaga but with maybe a little more easy to digest lyrics for young ears. They aren’t that bad.
3. Rockabye Baby
Rockabye Baby does lullaby covers of almost everything. They do entire albums. They’re best for actual babies but also for sleepy toddlers. You can even sing karaoke over them if you want to. Just don’t take it personally if you’re in the middle of your Foo Fighters song and you hear a “Mom. Stop.” from the backseat.
I’m not just talking Harry Potter here even though Harry Potter would be an excellent choice. You can get Dr. Seuss books and other kids books as audiobooks. Toot loves to listen to stories and quietly stare out the window.
Audible is one of the best places to get audiobooks. You can get two free ones just for signing up. I’ve been an Audible subscriber for almost a year.
Also, see if your library has LibraryOnTheGo or something similar.
One of our favorites is the Stories Podcast. They write their own stories or adapt their own versions of classics and read them in a fun way. Sometimes there’s even a song! It’s free in the iTunes store, but you can also become a patron on Patreon to get ad-free episodes and your kid’s name mentioned on the show. Toot LOVES it. The stories are just the right length for her morning ride to Grandma’s house.
6. Classical Music, Jazz, and World Music
Everyone says classical music is supposed to make babies smarter. Well, it can’t hurt. Spotify and Prime Music have plenty of already made classical playlists you can stream. This is helpful if you’re like me and don’t know the names of any of the popular classical songs.
I feel like kids should be exposed to all sorts of music so why not throw in some jazz and music from all over the world. Toot likes Indian and Hawaiian music and has also listened to African, Irish, and Latin music.
7. Educational Music
I started looking for educational music that wasn’t just ABCs when Toot was a few months old. There’s geography, math, and science music! I really wish there was more available. On the plus side, I can now name all of the provinces of Canada.
8. And of course, Kids Music
Ok, you’ll probably want to spare yourself from some of the annoying stuff. Barenaked Ladies did a very funny kids album which Toot highly recommends. There’s also albums by various big name artists called For the Kids which isn’t half bad to listen to. And one that I love ironically is Space Unicorn. Because he delivers the rainbows and has a marshmallow laser.
What are your favorite things to listen to in the car?
Let me know in the comments below!
PS if you don’t want to listen to what your toddler is listening to, get them a pair of headphones like these!
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