Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Road trips can be fun if you know how to keep your kids busy whether on a long or quick trip.
We all know that if kids aren’t entertained while traveling, they tend to get impatient, needy, uncomfortable, and grouchy. So how does one make sure they stay happy while on a road trip?
You may already know about some of these ideas, but some are so unique that you may have never thought of them. Check out this short list of road trip ideas for the car that we’ve come up with:
- The Snack Game
- Scavenger Hunt
- Mad Libs
- License Plate Game
- Question Jar
- Cookie Sheet Magnets
Ten Road Trip Activities For Kids
No, we don’t mean full-sized board games. In most retail stores, you can find mini versions of your kids’ favorite board games. Not only can kids play these in the car, but they can play them while camping or sitting in the hotel room.
This magnetic game set has some of the most popular board games of all time. This set includes checkers, chess, chinese checkers, snakes & ladders, solitaire, nine men’s morris, auto racing, ludo, space venture, tic tac toe, backgammon, and racing.
These mini board games are only 5”, which is ideal for traveling. They are also magnetic, so all of the pieces will stay in place while they’re in the car. Not only are these board games fun, but they’re great for sharpening kids’ brains. They help teach your children strategy, concentration, spatial reasoning, math skills, and more.
There are also mini versions of battleship, guess who, and more.
Crafts can be so much fun! Children love to do any type of craft, whether drawing, coloring, playing with playdough, etc. A really popular item that many parents choose to bring with them on road trips is the EZDesk travel Activity Kit.
It has easy mesh pockets so kids can keep their supplies organized. It comes with construction paper, crayons, pencils, washable markers, scissors, non-toxic glue, and a pink eraser. It has a durable canvas construction and sits on your child’s lap like a laptop.
Re-Usable Sticker Books
Sticker books are fun for kids of all ages, especially the ones that you can re-use. We highly suggest the Melissa & Doug Reusable sticker pack.
Not only can they provide your child with hours of fun, but they’re also educational. They’re perfect for fine motor skills, narrative thinking, creative expression, and eye coordination.
These sticker books aren’t like your traditional sticker books. These glossy pads with colorful backgrounds use cling-style stickers. You can place them anywhere on the sticker pad and they peel right back up without leaving residue.
Pipe cleaners offer endless possibilities for creativity. They’re cheap and you can find them at just about any dollar store across the globe.
You can pick up a large package of them or a couple, depending on how long you’re going to be traveling. Your child can have hours of fun creating flowers, finger puppets, crowns, spiders, and so much more.
Coloring books are another fun craft item that your children, or even you, can use, Coloring books are generally inexpensive and they can use them with their travel activity kit. If you’re in the coloring mood, consider some adult coloring books with a variety of colored pencils.
A fun game you can play with your kids is to pick a spot where you want to color and ask them what color you should pick. They can do the same thing with their coloring books. When done, share your creations.
Scratch-art is an easy craft for your child to do. It’s simply a pad with blackened coloring pages and all your child has to do is scratch. The pads come with a wooden stylus or a stick and they can use that to reveal the hidden image under the black. They’re generally inexpensive and they’re compact enough to take in the car.
3.The Snack Game
The snack game is a fun activity to do with the whole family. For this activity, each member of the family gets to collect locally-made snacks.
When you stop at a gas station, find a local snack. You can only purchase one snack per gas station and you can’t get the same thing twice. The food should be something that was created where the stop is located. Whoever finds the most local snacks wins!
Another way you can do this is to choose one person from the vehicle to grab one snack for the whole family to share. Each member of the family can do this each time they stop. Whoever had the yummiest snack wins!
Scavenger hunts are fun to play on road trips. My family uses these cool scavenger hunt cards.
There are 16 games in a pack with 25 items to seek and find, Your family can find 400 items while traveling down the highway or backcountry roads.
These double-sided cards can be used with dry-erase markers to cross off what you’ve found along the way. Each winner could pick a prize of their choice at a rest stop or gas station worth a certain amount. The possibilities are endless.
Kids who love to read will love it even more if they do it while traveling. It’s a fun way to pass the time. They could read one book and half their trip would be over, depending on the size of the book that is. You could all take turns reading a chapter or even acting out the book as it goes along.
If you can’t stomach reading and riding, then consider an audiobook. These can be pre-loaded onto a device such as a kindle, iPad, or tablet and then used with headphones for some silent listening. It gives the driver and passenger a break from the chaos that may be happening in teh back seats.
These were my favorite when I was traveling as a kid! Mad Libs is a game that everybody can play. There is one designated person who reads the passage.
Along the way, there will be spaces for nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Each person gets a chance to fill in a blank.
Once the whole passage is done, the writer will then read the creation that has been made from the words the family has chosen to fit into the story. These can provide hours, even days, of fun and laughs.
7.License Plate Game
All that’s required for this game is a pen and a piece of paper. As you see license plates from different states, you give the person who spotted it a point.
Whoever has the most points at the end of the trip wins. If you’re really into the game, you can print out a map of the United States and let the family cross off the state as they see it on a license plate.
You can also make up a story about what the license plate numbers say. For example, BJ65LBT could stand for Bob Jones age 65 had lovely bright teeth. There are so many variations of this game. There’s also an app called “PlateSpot” on the Apple App Store that you can use.
This can be a fun game too! It’s similar to H-O-R-S-E but with words rather than a basketball.
One person starts with a letter and the next will add a letter. All letters will make up a word. If you’re the first person to finish the word, you lose that round and will get a letter. The first person to spell G-H-O-S-T loses. It’s definitely a great time passer.
You can prepare this game ahead of time and keep it in your vehicle for all road trips. The question jar can be anything.
It can be a bag, box, hat, etc. Before you leave, type up as many questions as you want, 20-30 would be good. Cut them out and put them in the hat, jar, etc. The questions can be something like “If you could have any gift, what would it be and why?” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Questions like that are perfect conversation starters.
10.Cookie Sheet Magnets
These are great for smaller kids who are learning how to spell or count. Simply buy a cheap cookie sheet and some magnetic letters and shapes.
Your child can reuse the magnets over and over again while building certain skills. You could also find magnetic animals and other items for them to play around with it. This kit has just about everything your child needs to learn on the go. There are 52 letters and 52 figures and it comes with a free interactive Ebook.
There you have it! Those are some of our favorite travel activities to do while on the road. Traveling is one of the most stressful parts of vacationing.
Traffic is a nightmare, fussy children can be aggravating, so it’s just easier if you have activities planned out to pass the time away and keep the family happy while doing so. It can certainly be a wonderful bonding experience.