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Children,  Family,  Travel,  Ultimate Blog Challenge

Let’s Go on a Road Trip: 11 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained

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With all of the health concerns right now about using mass transportation, many people may be considering more road trips this year.

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they also have their challenges. A long car ride with small children is not always easy. Here are 11 ways to keep your kids entertained on these long road trips.  These ideas are perfect for the whole family, and will even work as great boredom busters in other situations as well.

1. Make a playlist of songs that you know your kids will like

Make a playlist of songs that you know your kids will enjoy. To keep things interesting, don’t just play the same music over and over again! Mix in some new tunes or throw in some old classics to add variation. Don’t forget to throw in a few of the kids’ favorites.

2. Play Car Games

Create fun car games that keep everyone entertained. For example, you can play a variation of I Spy or 20 questions. There is an alphabet game where you can say a word and the next person has to come up with a word that starts with the same letter. A variation on this would be to form a word with the last letter of the previous word.

Play the Alphabet Game: look at the license plates of the cars that go by you. For example, if the vehicle had the letter “A “on the license plate, you move on to B. The next one would be the letter C, and so on. The first one to reach Z wins!

Just a few ideas to stop the inevitable are we there yet phrase we always tend to hear on road trips.

3. Listen to Audiobooks

If your children are just learning how to read, give them some audiobooks that they can listen to while reading along in their book. It’s a win-win situation because the kids are occupied and having fun while learning.

4. Get Creative

If your kids are old enough, you can also have them create a road trip journal where they will draw or write about what is happening at the moment. They can use some printable pages in their travel journal creations.

This interactive activity allows your children to express themselves and feel empowered.

5. Toys and Games

I love hitting up Target to get some inexpensive toys, puzzles, and games for the kids to get as surprise gifts along the way. Depending on how long your trip is, you could unveil one every hour or every few hours.

If you want, you can put these in a personalized road trip bag for each child to avoid the toys getting lost.

6. Coloring Books and Crayons

Keep the kids busy with a coloring book and crayons! Coloring is an excellent activity because it allows each child’s creativity to flow while keeping them occupied. For older children, try color pencils instead they will appreciate the upgrade.

 7. Pack Snacks

Pack some snacks that your children love. You’ll be able to drive with peace of mind, knowing that your child is well-hydrated and not hungry. Now you won’t be forced to buy expensive snacks at the gas station — although if you are like me, you will likely buy a little treat at the first gas station you stop at!

8. iPads

One of the best things you can bring is an iPad (or another tablet). Kiddos will be able to watch their favorite shows with headphones, and there’s no fighting over what to watch or do. Ensure that they are familiar with using it before getting on the road, to avoid unnecessary distractions.

You can also download movies from your favorite streaming sites that you know your kids will enjoy. If you have more than one child and they have their own tablet you can personalize the shows for each of them. Making sure the movies and shows are age-appropriate will go a long way to keeping them interested during the trip.

9. Headphones

Don’t forget to bring your headphones. Headphones or earbuds are essential in today’s world. Having one for each passenger, as well as a way to charge them, will make using their tablets (mentioned above) or the portable DVD player (number 10 on our list) a lot less distracting to the person who is driving.

10.  Portable DVD Player

A great way to keep your kids entertained on long car rides is by bringing a portable DVD player. We had one that came with our car. Have them choose what they want to watch or get some of their favorite videos so that you don’t have any boring downtime.

11. Keep Them Occupied with an Activity Bag

You can keep everyone entertained by bringing a unique activity bag filled with different games or activities for each child. When they tire of the first game or toy, reach into your bag and trade it out with another option from the goody bag! You’ll never have to worry about not having something fun to do, no matter how many hours are left on your road trip. These bags can be personalized for each child which will make them even more special.

You can also allow your child to participate in the packing of this bag. You can establish how many toys or activities the child chooses so the bag won’t end up filled with useless items. But this gives the child some agency in the selection and hopefully will make the possibility that the kid fusses about what has been selected as activities.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to ensure that your kids will be entertained on a road trip. Whether it’s bringing along their favorite snacks and toys or downloading movies for the car ride, no matter how long of a drive you’re taking – this is an opportunity to create memories with your family.

What do you think?

Do any of these ideas seem like something you would try out on your next family vacation? Let us know by leaving a comment below. We love hearing from our readers!

Loving Life — The Reboot!


This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.

Let\'s Go on a Road Trip: 11 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained


  • Victoria Juster

    Love all of these ideas, Dominique! Many many years ago, before DVDs, we hooked up a portable TV to a VHS player. We drove all the way to the Black Hills in S.D. and the kids got to choose their own movies. It kept them entertained and gave us something to talk about between shows.

    • Dominique

      Many years ago, my parents and I drove from Alabama to Delaware, We stopped at different locations on our way to visit my mother’s high school friend. I read a lot — back when I was less likely to get carsick — and my dad kept saying that I was missing all of the beautiful scenery! He wanted me to stop reading for a while! It was a good trip though.

  • Jen

    I went on so many road trips as a child and I loved them. To this day it is my most favorite way to travel. Driving through small towns was and still is a special thrill. I love to imagine what the residents are doing as I catch a nanosecond of a glimpse of their lives. A woman hanging wash, a station attendant pumping gas, a mailperson walking up to a mail box, or even a dog barking. Images that evoke a tiny bit of internal peace as I drive past.

  • Tamara

    Road trips are our favorite kind! We’ve been bringing our son since he’s two years old, and he’s always been really good about it.

    Also, fortunately, he’s not getting car sick, even when he’s reading.

    We always made sure to take breaks from time to time, stretch your legs and get these snacks from the gas station – cause frankly, what’s a road trip without that bag of chips or M&Ms?

    Great tips, my favorite is the Activity Bag!

    • Dominique

      When we moved here from Atlanta, my son was 13 months old. He rode in the backseat watching videos quietly until we hit the city limits of Houston. Then he lost his mind. LOL

      Now that he attends the U of Miami, we have made that road trip (Houston to Miami) 2 times and he sits with his phone and watches videos or listens to music on his phone. Then he starts pestering us about when will we get there. It’s not a lot different than when he was a toddler. LOL

  • Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

    We used the license plate game (making phrases from the plates) when we walk. In the car, we played ghost (every one picks a letter; once there are four or more, don’t want the word to end on you- but must be a word, because if challenged, you lose.) The LOSER acquires GHOST (for each failure).
    Geography is another- last letter of place one is the first one for the next chosen location. I was limited to a state (almost always NY or CA), while the kids had the whole world.

  • Martha

    What a great list for a road trip! Guess where we are today?? Yup, a 14 hour road trip with Lia and her mom to visit her brother and sister in Indiana! Your tips are super handy!

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