Road trips can be fun, but taking a road trip with kids also has its challenges. A long car ride, especially with small children, is not always easy. Here are 12 ways to keep your kids entertained on a long road trip. These ideas are even great for the whole family and will work as great boredom busters in other situations too.
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If you are planning a road trip with kids, these tips will help to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
1. Play Car Games
This is probably my favorite tip on this list. There are lots of fun car games you can play that will keep everyone entertained. Two games that come to mind are I Spy and 20 questions.
You can play 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. There are lots of variations of this game.
One variation is to start with the letter A, and each person has to say a word with the following letter of the alphabet.
Another variation on this would be to say a word with the last letter of the previous word.
Yet another way to play this alphabet game is to look at the license plates of the cars that drive by you. The idea is to find each letter of the alphabet on the license plates.
For example, you first need to find a license plate with “A “on it. Then you move on to B. Followed by the letter C, and so on. The first person to get to Z wins!
This game is sure to stop the inevitable “are we there yet?” phrase we inevitably hear during road trips.
2. Give them Each a Road Trip Activity Bundle
There is a road trip activity bundle here that you can print out. Print one out for each child before leaving and give it to them to work on when they start to get bored. There are several different games and activities included that are sure to keep them occupied.
3. Listen to Audiobooks
There are tons of different audiobooks you can listen to. Pick something the whole family will enjoy and listen to it as you drive. Not only will it keep the kids occupied, but it will keep the adults occupied as well. Depending on the kids’ ages, you could listen to something like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or any of the Harry Potter books.
4. Create a Vacation Journal
If your kids are old enough, you can also have them create a vacation journal where they will draw or write about what is happening at the moment. This interactive activity not only allows your children to express themselves, but it also makes for a wonderful keepsake to remember your trip by. You can get a printable vacation planner and journal here. Print out a copy of the journal pages for each of your children. You can even print one for yourself to remember the vacation by.
5. Give them Surprise Toys and Games
Try going to the Dollar Store to pick up some inexpensive toys, puzzles, and games for the kids. Give them to them along the way as a surprise. Depending on how long the trip is, you could give them one every hour or every few hours. Here is a list of favorites you can get from amazon.
Try putting them in a personalized road trip bag for each child. That way, you will be able to keep all of the pieces together and avoid the toys getting lost.
6. Coloring Books and Crayons
Give the kids a coloring book and some crayons to keep them busy! Depending on how much your kids like to color, this can be an excellent activity to keep them occupied. Try giving them brand-new coloring books that are new to them. For older children, you can provide them with colored pencils instead.
7. Make a playlist of songs that you know your kids will like
Make a playlist of your kids’ favorite songs that you know your kids will enjoy. Mix in some old classics along with new tunes to keep things interesting. You can even throw in a few of your favorites.
8. Pack Snacks
Pack some healthy drinks and snacks that your children like. You’ll be able to make fewer stops, knowing that your child is not hungry or thirsty. You won’t have to worry about finding a gas station along the way and overpaying for snacks. This will also ensure that you have snacks that your children like.
9. Bring Along an Ipad or Other Tablet
This is one of the best things you can bring to keep the kids occupied during long rides. The kids will be able to watch their favorite shows with headphones. There doesn’t have to be any fighting over what to watch or do. Make sure your kids are familiar with using it before leaving to avoid unnecessary distractions.
You can even download movies from your favorite streaming sites that you know your kids will love. If you have more than one child and each has their own individual iPad or tablet, you can personalize the shows for each of them. You can make sure the shows and movies they are watching are age-appropriate. This will ensure they each stay interested during the trip and don’t get bored too quickly.
10. Bring Headphones for Everyone
Don’t forget to bring your headphones. Having a pair for each passenger and a way to charge them will make using their ipads, tablets, or portable DVD players a lot less distracting for the driver and even each other.
11. Bring a Portable DVD Player
Another great way to keep your kids entertained during long car rides is by bringing a portable DVD player. You can have them choose what they want ahead of time or get some of their favorite videos that you know they will enjoy.
12. Keep Them Occupied with an Activity Bag
Create a unique activity bag filled with different games or activities for each child. This will ensure that each child has age-appropriate things that they will enjoy. You can even personalize these bags for each child, which will make them even more special to them. When they are tired of the first toy or game, reach into their bag and give them another option from their goody bag!
With the ideas above, you will never have to worry about the kids not having something fun to do, no matter how long your road trip is.
There are lots of ways to keep kids entertained on a road trip. Use the ones you like from the above list and discard the ones that you don’t like. Just remember, a road trip is an opportunity to create memories with your family.
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