Songs to Sing in the Car for Kids
A road trip can be daunting when kids don’t have anything to do. Whether you’re driving across the country or heading out to the grocery store, singing together in the car can help pass the time and create a great learning opportunity for kids. From silly songs to songs that teach, even if you can’t carry a tune, everyone is sure to smile when enjoying some of these favorites.
This song by Raffi is incredibly popular with preschoolers. While there is not a lot of repetition, it has a catchy tune that children can easily pick up on.
Neuroscience Songs for Kids
Sung to familiar tunes, these songs focus on the function of the brain. Songs include “Because I Have a Brain” (sung to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain”) and the “Brain Rap.”
SafeKids Online Song With Daffy Dave
While new to most kids, the song addresses safety when it comes to using the Internet. This song makes it possible to teach kids a fun jingle and remind them of the importance of protecting themselves online.
Favorite Songs and Fingerplays (PDF)
This comprehensive list of songs does more than just provide some suggestions for singing in the car. Beside each song’s name is an indication of its age range and specific information about what it teaches.
Sing a Song, Say a Rhyme (PDF)
Instead of singing songs a child already knows, a car ride is a great opportunity to teach something new or work to come up with a creative new song. This pamphlet offers tips on rhyming and suggests other times parents and children can sing together.
No More Pie (PDF)
These pages include the lyrics and music to “No More Pie,” a call-and-response song perfect for smaller children in the car. In addition to “No More Pie,” lots of information on the benefits of teaching children to sing is included.
Children’s Christmas Songs
If it is around the time to celebrate, holiday music is a great addition to any car ride. This site lists several songs with lyrics and music. A comprehensive list of songs for all ages and topics can also be found on the site.
Tires on the Car (PDF)
While driving in the car, it can be fun to learn about its different parts. “Tires on the Car” (sung to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”) comes with visual aids for kids to play with while singing.
Songs to Sing Throughout the Day (PDF)
Along with the lyrics to many popular songs perfect for a car ride, the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library also offers tips for how to make music part of your daily life.
Ants Go Marching
A song that promotes counting, kids love “Ants Go Marching” because of the repetition. This video along with the lyrics can help any family learn the song and enjoy it during a car ride.
Itsy Bitsy Spider and Toast in the Toaster
Songs that include hand motions tend to keep kids engaged because they give them something more to do while in the car. These two songs and their corresponding fingerplays are featured in two videos.
Over the Mountains
Perfect for a trip in the car, the song features a person that takes a drive, rides a horse, and goes over the mountains and through some trees!
Creating Everyday Songs
Parents can create everyday songs with the actions they are planning to take. They can sing about where they are going or what they are about to do. In addition to information about introducing preschoolers to music, there are several song suggestions throughout the text.
Virginia 4-H Camp Songs (PDF)
You don’t need a campfire to enjoy some of these favorite songs. The list includes everything from “Evening Grace” to “Amazing Grace.”
On Top of Spaghetti
With various versions for families to choose from, “On Top of Spaghetti” is a fun song for kids of all ages to sing in the car.
Found a Peanut
Lyrics as well as an audio clip of Calra Rains singing the song “Found a Peanut” provide an interesting tale about what happened when a child ate a simple peanut.
He’s Got the Whole World (PDF)
Along with the lyrics to the song, this site offers questions about the main idea of the song and what it is trying to communicate to the listener.
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Barney and his friends offer the words and music to the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” It is possible to change the words depending on a child’s mood or feelings.
Songs and Games for Fidgety Listeners
Whitman College compiled a list of songs that have actions to keep kids occupied. The songs and their lyrics include things like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” along with “I Am Different.”
Because this song can be sung in French and English, it makes for an interesting experience for kids. Sung to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?” the lyrics to are included on the King County Library site.
She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain
Performed by Karol Bennett, this American folk song is a popular choice for children. A video, along with the lyrics, is included on the site.
I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
This fun song is repeated over and over again, perfect for a long car ride. The song references the 1800s, when working on the railroad was a popular job choice for immigrants to the United States.
Oh My Darling Clementine (PDF page 74)
Aside from information about the historical significance of the song, the lyrics are listed. It might be a great idea to mention to kids where the song comes from and explain that it describes mining and the risks it posed.
You’re a Grand Old Flag (PDF)
A perfect demonstration of American patriotism, this song is a tribute to the flag of the United States. The site includes the lyrics and sheet music.
Among the popular camp songs for Girl Scouts is the fun Australian song “Kookaburra.”
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (PDF page 3)
Kids will love to sing this classic song! It repeats over and over again, often resulting in lots of giggles. The site also includes the song “Ebeneezer Sneezer.”
Down By the Bay (PDF page 5)
This song is a popular choice for a car ride because of its length and repetitive qualities. Kids can start by singing only portions of the song and extending it along the way.
Math Version of London Bridge is Falling Down
Many people know the classic kids song “London Bridge is Falling Down.” However, Christina Depweg has changed the words to help kids understand specific math principles.
Do, Re, Mi
“The Sound of Music” made this song popular as the Von Trapp children were taught to sing using this tune and catchy lyrics. Kids will pick up on the sounds and love joining in.
This is the Song That Never Ends
Be careful with this song: It really doesn’t end until someone gives up on the lyrics and moves onto something else.
Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon
Sung to the tune of “Ten Little Indians,” this song has lots of repetitive lines perfect for smaller children. Time in the car will pass quickly as everyone sings along.
99 Bottles of Beer
While having kids sing about beer isn’t ideal, this song lasts for an extended amount of time. Many parents simply change the lyrics, replacing the bottles of beer with bottles of milk to make the song a little more child-friendly.
Ron Smith’s Camp Songs with Chords
There are tons of different songs listed on the page that would be perfect for driving along in the car. There’s no need to be out in the wilderness to enjoy these together.
It’s never too early to start learning about multiplication tables. This site offers songs for the times tables with catchy tunes that kids will pick up on quickly.
Songs About Estuaries
Why not take on a little ecological learning while driving around? These songs by the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve come with words and chords, making it easy for everyone to sing along.
Choose My Plate
It’s possible to teach kids about healthy eating habits while singing along together in the car. This site features three songs, including “Alive With Five Groups,” “Do Your Body Right,” and “Do and Be.”