Warmer weather is here and school’s almost out for summer. Along with the long summer break often comes long family road trips. Whether you’re driving near or far, having something to watch or listen to that the whole family can enjoy will make the journey feel allllmost as good as reaching your destination. (Minus the gas station bathroom breaks, of course.)

If you want to avoid Blippi on repeat, here’s five recs for your next family road trip. Your future sanity will thank you.

1. WATCH - Ask the StoryBots on Netflix

Download a few episodes or stream this show from Netflix. Ask the StoryBots answers the questions you don’t quite know like, “Why is the sky blue?” or, “How do cell phones work?” But seriously though?!

You won’t feel bad about this screen time and you’ll be fighting summer learning loss without opening a workbook. With appearances by celebrities like Jason Sudeikis, Snoop Dogg, and Ali Wong and some genuinely catchy-yet-not-annoying songs, everyone from parents to toddlers can enjoy episodes from any of the three seasons available.

2. WATCH -  School of Rock on Amazon Prime

It’s hard to believe, but School of Rock starring Jack Black is almost 20 years old. Dive into nostalgia and introduce this Millenial classic to a new generation by renting or buying and downloading it via Amazon Prime. The original songs are unavailable to stream on Spotify, but you can keep your hands on the wheel and sing along while your kids rock on in the back seat.

School of Rock’s rating is a mild PG-13, so it’s just right for tweens and teens, and some of the more mature jokes might fly over littles’ heads. It can be a drag to find something everyone enjoys, and this will check a lot of boxes.

3. LISTEN - The Earth Rangers Podcast

You have your beloved podcasts, and now your kids can have one for them with The Earth Rangers Podcast. Earth Ranger Emma solves mysteries and learns about animals throughout the world in this podcast that will engage road trip warriors of all ages. With a library of over 50 episodes, you’ll run out of gas before running out of content.

4. LISTEN - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Audible

Long gone are the days of the “books on tape” our parents listened to—streaming or downloading audiobooks for kids and adults alike is an easy way to revisit and share childhood favorites with a new generation.

Most classic books are now available on Audible, but it can be tricky to know which are appropriate or interesting for a wide audience. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory works for kids as early as four and as old as you are. Some classics aren’t as exciting as you remember, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory holds up and gives you a reason to watch the movie(s) on your drive home.

5. LISTEN - 90s/00s Road Trip Playlist on Spotify

Scare yourself (and your children) with how many lyrics you can remember to the songs that raised you. You may not remember to put the milk in the fridge—hello, mom brain—but sure, why not every word to “Mr. Brightside”? 

Everything aughts is new again and your kids will be the coolest come fall when they know the “oldies” . . . like The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. You may need to skip a few songs for mature content, but hey, that’s nothing you didn’t do while listening to your music on road trips with your own parents.

Need recs for what to put your little bros in for your summer road trip adventure? Check out BinkyBro’s Toddler Thermals that will keep them comfy in their carseats for hours. Our Romper for easy road-side diaper changes that will put you on the road again.

April 29, 2022 — Matthew Fisler