Car games are a lot of fun, and most do not require more than a piece of paper and pencil, or your thinking cap:
- I Spy - We all remember spying with our little eyes something that our siblings could never guess.
- Slugbug - Classic game of finding the adorable Beetle car.
- Scavenger hunt - Come up with a list of treasures that the kids need to find along the journey. The one that first spots all the items wins.
- License plate game - Write down the letters of the first license plate you spot and then form as many words as you can.
- Hangman - All you need is a pen and paper, or a foggy window.
Choose an engaging audiobook
Audiobooks are a great way to pass time in the car, and may actually keep your children quiet for an extended period. Many children’s books are also entertaining for adults, so try to choose a book that everyone in the family will enjoy. Free downloadable audiobooks can be found here:
Additionally, paid options can give you broader selections on demand. Check out SCRIBD for endless entertainment and knowledge.
Audiobooks can be downloaded from online platforms, but, if that is not possible, and you do not have access to the internet, check out your local library. Nearly all libraries have CDs and cassette tapes you can check out.
All parents want to limit their child’s screen time, however, there is a time and place to make exceptions to this practice. A quiet and fight-free hours long car ride can easily be achieved if you allow for a little extra tv time. Not all cars are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, so consider the below methods to get the movie reel running:
- Portable dvd player.
- Tablet with downloaded movies from a streaming service such as Netflix.
- Phone with download movies from Netflix.
- Laptop with downloaded movies.
- Stream movies on your portable device with a hot spot.
Draw or color
This activity can keep kids busy and entertained. Although drawing and coloring seems like a no-brainer, consider how easily kids will get bored with just a coloring book and crayons in their lap. Have them create artwork using sites you visit on your trip. Here is a list of essential art products to bring on the road:
- Case for housing all their art supplies. Backpacks are a great choice for holding all your kid’s supplies. Check out kiddietotes for fun packing options
- Table that snaps onto car seat: Find it here
- Washable markers
- Kid-friendly scissors
- Glue stick
Take breaks often
Even if no one claims they need to use the bathroom, try to stop every two hours to get out and stretch your legs. Here are a few places to easily take a break from being on the road:
- Stop at a restaurant for an ice cream cone or drink. Many establishments have kid playlands where your child can burn off some steam.
- Utilize rest stops for their open spaces to walk around. If you are traveling with a dog, this is the best place to let your furry friend do their business (remember to bring poop bags). A luggage scooter is great for taking out of the car and exploring the rest stop
- Find a local neighborhood park. There likely is a nice community park within just a few miles from where you are that have playgrounds. If you have a luggage scooter, this is a great place to scoot around. Use this site to find a nearby park wherever you are
- Gas stations are a must stop when on a road trip. Take the time when filling up to get everyone out of the car to walk around, and possibly get a snack.
Keeping kids occupied while on a road trip may save you from losing your sanity and turning the car around. Planning ahead before you leave for your trip will help ensure everyone has a good time.