Car karaoke on a road trip: why it’s good for children
Car karaoke is you and your child singing while you’re in the car together.
Singing is a fun way to develop children’s early literacy skills. It’s especially good when you sing songs with repeated words or choruses, fun rhymes and strong rhythms. This gives your child practice with words and sentence structures. It also helps your child remember words.
Singing is a great road trip activity for you and your child because you don’t have to take your attention off the road to do it. And if your child can do hand actions, it keeps them active on the trip. As a bonus, there’s nothing for your child to drop on the floor!
What you need for car karaoke on a road trip
All you need for car karaoke is your voice. Your child won’t mind if you sing out of tune or forget the words.
If you’d like some extra help with car karaoke, you can download some child-friendly tunes to your phone or bring along some CDs to play in your car. The best songs are the ones you and your child already know and can sing together.
Our Baby Karaoke has animated videos with the words and tunes of popular children’s songs and nursery rhymes. You and your child can sing along to children’s favourites like ‘Baa baa black sheep’, ‘Rock-a-bye baby’ and ‘Old MacDonald’.
How to do car karaoke on a road trip
- If you and your child are singing by yourselves, choose a song or ask your child to choose. Maybe you can take turns choosing songs.
- If you’re playing music from a device and you’re by yourself in the car, use a preselected playlist. This is safest.
- If you’re playing music from a device and you have someone else in the car with you, ask them to select the songs your child chooses.
- Encourage your child to sing with you by changing your tone with the words of the song. Whisper, sing loud, or make your voice deep and low. Cluck like you really mean it when you’re being the chicken in ‘Old MacDonald’.
- Get your child moving. Encourage your child to do the actions that go with the song. If the song doesn’t have special actions, encourage your child to wiggle their fingers, clap their hands, or wave their arms to the tune. You can sway or nod your head while you’re driving so your child sees you moving too.
- Praise your child. For example, ‘That’s great singing! This is the best road trip ever!’ You can ‘put a smile in your voice’ even though you can’t turn around to smile at your child.
- When you think your child has had enough car karaoke, you can switch to calmer music that might encourage your child to rest.
Keeping children happy and engaged can help with child car safety. For safety, it’s also important to make sure your child knows that you can’t turn around, or take your hands off the wheel while you’re singing together. Tell your child they’ll have to sing extra well instead!
Adapting car karaoke for children at different stages
For younger children, you could do echo songs, where you sing a line and they echo that line back to you. Try ‘Little Sir Echo’ by the Wiggles, or classic echo songs like ‘Down by the bay’.
For older children, you could try counting songs like ‘One, two, three, four, five’. Or you could sing a song like ‘Row, row, row your boat’ in rounds. This means one person starts singing, then the second person sings the first line while the first person sings the second line, and so on.
You could also encourage older children to help with planning a music selection before you get in the car. They could help you select and download the playlist.