Need a soundtrack for your next family vacation? We’ve got you covered with ten of the best new kid-friendly albums that you should be adding to your road trip playlist this summer. From nature-inspired folk to relaxing bilingual beats, there’s something for everyone. Best of all, this so-called “kids’ music” is good enough that you’ll keep on listening even after they’ve fallen asleep. Read on to get the scoop.

Renee & Friends—Kindred

Singer-songwriter Renee Stahl has teamed up with some of her talented friends to craft tunes that are just as enjoyable for adults as they are for kids. The songs are gentle, soothing and melodic, and the lyrics offer messages of kindness and empowerment. And with features from Ziggy Marley, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Lisa Loeb, there’s some serious star power behind this album.

Online: reneeandfriends.com

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photo: Jeff Newton

The Lucky Band—Buenos Diaz

Formed by married couple Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the Latin Grammy-winning Lucky Band is back with a bilingual album that you’re bound to play on repeat on your next road trip. Each song has a fun mix of Spanish and English words paired with plucky guitars, drums and horns. Best of all, the light and flowy tracks have an instantly summery feel. Sign us up! 

Online: luckydiazmusic.com

KB Whirly—Now That We’re Home

If you’re hoping to squeeze a naptime into your road trip, it’s best to come prepared with songs to encourage a little snoozing. This album by KB Whirly is calming and sweet, and it’s good enough to keep on playing even after the kids have fallen asleep. Each acoustic-driven song explores everyday moments and the emotions behind them.

Online: kbwhirly.com

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could—Under the Big Umbrella

This album is feel-good at its finest: turn on the title track and you’ll be bopping along to the beat instantly. Sunny, welcoming lyrics are paired with rocking instrumentals complete with brass instruments and a driving drum beat. Plus, the lyrics offer a message of individuality and kindness that we can all get behind.

Online: bradyrymer.com

Howie D—Which One Am I?

This Backstreet Boy is back in a big way—his debut children’s album is out July 12. Parents who listened to BSB in their younger days will be able to recognize the boy band DNA in his new songs, though the topics are catered to kids’ tastes. The album was inspired by Howie’s own childhood experiences of overcoming his insecurities and learning to love himself.

Online: howied.net

Jessa Campbell & the Saplings—Can You Feel It?

Get back to nature with Jessa Campbell’s first album for kids. As a Portland, Oregon–based artist, she draws inspiration from the lush landscapes of the Pacific Northwest to create colorful songs that celebrate the beauty of nature. With a bluegrass-inspired, folksy feel, these songs will have the whole family singing along.

Online: jessacampbellsaplings.com

Kidz Bop Kids—KIDZ BOP 39

Kidz Bop has been going strong since 2001, and their latest collection is no exception, with songs like “Girls Like You,” “In My Feelings” and “Delicate.” It’s worth the download just for the experience of listening to kids sing Cardi B’s hit “I Like It”—and it doesn’t hurt that it’s totally clean, too!

Online: kidzbop.com

Alina Celeste—Love Is Te Quiero

This sweet album by Alina Celeste is an instant mood-booster, with happy beats paired with Spanish and English lyrics. The album was inspired by Celeste’s hometown of Miami and includes a fusion of bluegrass, Caribbean, Latin American, and contemporary styles. It’ll have you bopping along through your whole trip.

Online: alinaceleste.com

Peppa Pig—My First Album

If your kids are fans of Peppa Pig, then they’ll be thrilled to know that she’s making her official musical debut. Out July 19, My First Album includes extended versions of some of the songs from the tv series, like “Bing Bong Zoo” and “Jumping in Muddy Puddles.” There are also fresh new tracks created just for the album, but they’ve all got that familiar Peppa perkiness.

Online: eone.ffm.to/myfirstalbum

The Story Pirates—Backstroke Raptor

If you’ve never listened to the Story Pirates podcast, you’re in for a treat. It started as a sketch comedy show based on stories written by kids, and now they’re releasing their second studio album. Kids’ stories have been transformed into epic songs about everything from velociraptors to dragon-fighting wizards. Your whole crew will be giggling along to this upbeat album.

Online: storypirates.com

—Susie Foresman

 

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