Music for Road Trips that Won't Drive You or the Kids Crazy
Thanks to Full Van Fun for this great guest post!
We love family roadtrips! In the last 3 years alone, we’ve driven more than 20,000 miles around the US and Canada with our kids – and no electronics (e.g. DVD players, tablets, handheld video games, iPods, etc). So how do we survive? Music. While electronics are great, they tend to be exclusive creating separate experiences for parents & kids. The beauty of listening to music during a family roadtrip is that everyone can share the same travel experience. The music becomes the soundtrack to the scenery passing by the windows. The natural interruptions between songs and albums create opportunities for conversations and travel games. So the next question is – what music? For us, the key discovery was “Kindie” music.
What is Kindie music? In short, it is music for kids that adults can also enjoy. Kindie artists are independent singer/songwriters, duos, and bands that include musical styles such as rock, pop, hip-hop, folk, country, and jazz. You might be familiar with Kindie artists without even knowing it – Postmodern Jukebox? They Might Be Giants? Presidents of the United States? The Del Fuegos? The Verve Pipe? Velocity Girl? The Bouncing Souls? The Walkmen? Rissi Palmer? Artists from all of these bands (and in some cases the whole band) are active in the Kindie music scene.
The Verve Pipe Family Show (Photo credit: The Verve Pipe)
Where do you find Kindie music? Many places! Nationally, SiriusXM KidsPlaceLive Channel 78 is the flagship source of Kindie. A few local radio stations, National Public Radio, and podcasts, such as Spare the Rock, Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl, and WXPN Kids Corner feature Kindie artists. Music services such as Amazon Prime and Rhapsody Kids have started offering Kindie as part of their plans. Kindie compilations are available from groups like Mighty Mo Productions and Kindiependent. Finally the best place to find their work, is to go directly to the Kindie artists and support their independent music.
When we set out on a roadtrip, we alternate between music our kids like (such as Kindie music we also enjoy) and music we like (that is okay for the kids) using three general strategies:
- We will play a Kindie CD/mix that our kids like, followed by CD/mix we like, and repeat.
- We love satellite radio for roadtrips because whether in Canada, the Keys, or California, you never have to change the station (unless you want to). Like #1, we will start with SiriusXM KidsPlaceLive, switch to other channels we might also enjoy, and circle back.
- If your vehicle has the ability to play music from an external source (i.e. USB drive, MP3 player, etc), and you’re up for it, our kids really enjoy “Parent Radio.” With “Parent Radio,” one of us will be the “radio DJ” mixing in songs from the full spectrum of music along with “requests” and “call-ins” from the kids. You will be surprised to see how seamlessly you can mix Kindie with almost any other music you already have.
Listening to music as a family on a roadtrip opens everyone’s ears and lifts their eyes to the world around them. So hit the road with your family this holiday season and share the journey, not just the destination.
About Full Van Fun:
Full Van Fun (www.fullvanfun.com) is focused on bringing families together to enjoy a shared experience. We present stories, interviews, tips, reviews, and more about exciting destinations, great music, and scratch-made Farm to Family food that the "full van" (i.e. parents & kids) can enjoy. Sign up for our mailing list and follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss any of the fun!