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These songs always get my kids to simmer down in the car …

Is there anything better than glancing in the rearview mirror and seeing your adorable angels slumbering in their car seats? Now picture those sweet little faces screaming, fighting or having a total meltdown. We’ve all been there. So what’s a stressed out mom to do?

Music for the road
Happy kid in a car seat

You’ve probably tried screaming and threatening without much success. Good news — there’s a better way. Music. Here are some songs I’ve used to calm my kids so we can all relax and survive the drive.

“Lullaby “– Jack Johnson and Matt Costa

When my daughter was a baby, this was my go to song to calm her down when she was upset in the car. I’ll never forget my first road trip with just the kids and me. I couldn’t do much to entertain her, so this song got plenty of play time. Check out the Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George CD for more soothing tunes from Jack Johnson and friends.

“Over the Rainbow” – Iz

This song not only calms the kids, it helps me relax too. Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Iz) creates pure magic with his voice and ukelele, and this song’s rhythmic melody is sure to please your little passengers.

Imagine” – John Lennon

Introduce your kids to music you love, and cultivate their appreciation for the good stuff. I took my kids to the Musical Instrument Museum this summer and my son was mesmerized by the John Lennon exhibit, listening to “Imagine” over and over. When we got home, we downloaded it immediately. He plays it all the time, and I swear it puts him in a little trance.

It’s a Big World – Renee and Jeremy

Renee and Jeremy make “kids music for people of all ages”. Their harmonies and sweet soft songs can all be used to calm kids in the car or even played as lovely lullabies at bedtime. Keep their It’s a Big World CD in the car and pop it in when you need the kids to chill out.

Watermark – Enya

Enya’s voice has always been pure magic to me, so I was excited to introduce my kids to her music. Not only does it calm and relax them, it even inspired them to create a magical fort under the dining room table, where they plugged in the CD player and played “the castle music” for instant ambiance.

The 50 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music – Various Artists

I play the classical radio station about 99% of the time when I’m in the car with the kids. It gives our drives a good vibe and seems to keep them calm. If you’re going on a road trip, bring a CD or iPod with classical tunes in case you can’t tune in to the classical station. This compilation has a good selection of classical music — perfect for preempting any road trip rages.

More on kids and music

Music lessons could mean a smarter child
10 Pop songs for kids that don’t involve sex, drugs or Lady Gaga
10 Pop songs little kids can dance to (oh, and parents can hang too)


Do you have any favorite songs you can count on to keep the kids calm while driving? Please share in the Comments section below!

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