Taking a road trip with kids can be a lot of fun but also challenging. Family road trips are great but require some organizing. Here are some car ride activities that will keep your little ones entertained. The goal is to pass the time during that long car ride by limiting screen time (video games) and encouraging good behavior.
When going on a road trip with the family, there is a lot of things to think about. You need to plan a packing list and what travel items you will need. Where are the closest rest stop and gas stations? Did you pack road trip snacks? Are there grocery stores? Will you be passing a convenience store??
With all that going on you probably didn’t have time to think about the best road trip activities and fun games you have planned for the actual trip. Here are some different activities that will keep your kids entertained on those long car rides.
Download your family road trip packing list here.
Bring a couple of their favorite toys. We always add a couple of plushies to our list.
Make Sure to Bring a Travel Tray for Long Road Trip
This will be a lifesaver on your long drive. It will give your child a place to put their snacks, drinks, and toys. I like this one because it has sides to prevent any spills. The kids need a flat surface for their long drives.
Bring a portable DVD Player or IPAD for Long Car Trips
If your child is entertained by movies, then a portable DVD player is a great option. You can bring along their favorite movies and they can watch them on the trip. You can also bring an IPAD but if you have multiple children, one IPAD can cause fights between siblings.
Pack a Surprise Bag
This is a bag full of small toys or treats that your child can open throughout the trip. It will help break up the monotony of the car ride. I grab some goodies at the dollar store.
Don’t forget to get the travel toys, travel books, your travel journal, sticker books and activity books!
These help with fine motor skills!
Car Ride Activities for Kids
1. Play I spy (with my little eye). This classic car game is perfect for road trips. Have your child choose a color or object to spy out the window and then take turns guessing what it is.
2. Sing along to songs on the radio. Kids love singing, and there are plenty of family-friendly songs to choose from on the radio. Bonus points if you make up your own silly lyrics!
3. Draw pictures together. Get out some paper and crayons or markers and have your child draw a picture about something they saw during the trip. Then switch roles and let them draw a picture of you!
4. Tell stories together. If you’re feeling creative, why not make up some stories together? Have each person contribute a sentence or two to create an amusing tale that will keep everyone entertained for hours!
5. The alphabet game- This is a game where you try to spot things in alphabetical order. For example, you could try to find things that start with every letter of the alphabet.
6. Have a picnic lunch. If you’re going to be on the road for a while, why not stop and enjoy a picnic lunch? Pack some sandwiches and snacks, and find a nice spot to eat outdoors. It’s a great way to break up the trip and let everyone stretch their legs.
7. Play 20 questions. This is a classic car game that can be adapted for younger kids by making the questions more straightforward. Take turns asking questions about someone or something in the car, and see if the other person can guess what it is.
8. Play the license plate game. Look for license plates from different states. This is a fun game for kids of all ages. See how many different state license plates you can spot during the trip. For an added challenge, try to find license plates from as many different countries as you can!
9. Count cows (or other animals). This is a classic road trip game that’s perfect for young kids. As you’re driving, keep count of how many cows (or other animals) you see. The person with the most at the end of the trip wins!
10. Play “I’m going on a trip”. This is a fun game for kids who are old enough to read (younger kids). Take turns reading off items from a list, such as “I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing a blanket,” and see if the other person can guess what you’re packing. The first person to get stumped loses!
11. Bring along some travel games. If you’re looking for some more structured activities, pack along some travel games such as magnet boards, coloring books, or handheld electronic games. Just be sure to bring along enough for everyone so there’s no fighting!
12. Make a scavenger hunt list. This is a great activity for kids who are old enough to read and write. Before the trip, sit down and make a list of things they might see out the window, such as different types of vehicles or license plates from different states. Then have them check it off as you go along. The first one to find everything on the list wins!
13. Have a pillow fight. If you’re looking for a way to burn off some energy, have a pillow fight! Just be sure to clean up the mess afterward so you don’t end up with feathers all over the car.
14. Play “Would You Rather?” This is a fun game that can be played with kids of all ages. Take turns asking “would you rather” questions, such as “would you rather eat a bug or drink a glass of milk?” The person with the most creative answer wins!
15. Tell jokes. This is a great way to keep everyone entertained during the trip. Take turns telling jokes, and see who can make the other person laugh the most. Just be sure to keep it clean so everyone can enjoy the fun!
16. Play Road Trip Bingo. This is a fun game that can be customized to your child’s interests. Make a list of things they might see out the window, such as different types of vehicles or license plates from different states, and then have them check it off as you go along. The first one to get a full row (or column, if you’re feeling ambitious) wins!
17. Listen to audio books. This is a great way to keep everyone entertained during the trip. Choose an audiobook that everyone will enjoy, and listen to it together during the drive. You can even take turns reading different parts!
18. Have a sing-along. This is a classic road trip activity that’s perfect for young kids. Choose some of their favorite songs, and sing along together as you’re driving. You can even make up your own lyrics if you’re feeling creative!
These are just a few fun ideas to help make your next road trip a success. With a little planning and some creativity, you can turn even the longest car ride into an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
I hope you have fun with these great ideas for kids when on your family vacation.