25 Road Trip Activities for Your Kids

After a few requests for this post, I figured it was high time to get it done before summer completely got away from me. (How is summer halfway over already?!) Since I posted about this yesterday on my Instagram account, I am not going to put up pictures of each product. If you'd like to see pictures, please see my stories about these products here or click on the links below.

1. Melissa & Doug Water Wow Books. This was one of the top recommended car activities from moms, and for good reason too. So much fun and really mess free! (Unless you consider water a mess.) These are especially great for toddlers, but even the older children will like them! There are SO MANY choices! You can find them all here on Amazon.

2. Workbooks. Little ones love going through workbooks especially if they are fun! And for traveling, don't worry about them getting it just right or going in a certain order. We love Kumon workbooks! Crayola also has some good ones. Don't forget to check the Dollar Tree for some work books as well. I went there recently and was so impressed with their selection, even for older kids.

3. Laptops and phones. We have always brought E's electronic toys with us when we travel because it keeps her busy for quite some time...especially as she has gotten older and understands how to do the games. As long as you don't mind the noise, these are a must for roadtrips. We have a vTech one that is very old, but you can find some great alternatives here.

4. Metal Cookies Sheet and Magnets. This was another one was recommended by several moms, and it's GENIUS! Just bring a cookie sheet and a couple sets of magnets, and your child will stay busy for quite some time! Bonus: the cookie sheet can also double as a writing surface! Melissa and Doug wins for our favorite magnets. Find them here.

5. Crayola Stow & Go Kit. This is not something we have used personally, but it came highly recommended. This looks pretty awesome for car rides because the markers only color on the special paper that comes inside of the kit. (No messes.) And everything is store nicely inside the little on the go box. Find it here.

6. Search and Find Books. We LOVE these things. They are even enjoyable for adults! But best of all, they will keep your littles busy for quite sometimes as they search for each object. Here are several different options on Amazon.

7. Wikkie Stix. These are great for kids who like to create. They can literally spend hours making different designs with them. Get ideas from the Wikki Stix blog or look up some ideas on YouTube.

8. Boogie Board. This is an LCD writing tablet, and it is perfect for road trips. Find your best fit on Amazon here. Make sure you have some backup styluses though, because you can be sure at least one will get lost on your trip!

9. Hidden Pictures. These are similar idea to Search and Find books, but especially great for older kids. E and I love doing these together, and she has literally spent hours doing these by herself. Here are several different options on Amazon.

10. Stickers. Stickers are so fun as long as they don't end up on your doors and seats! These reusable stickers from Amazon are great! And I can't go on without recommending our favorite Paint By Sticker books as well.

11. Educational Flashcards on a ring. Who says you can't use time in the car to reinforce things you've been learning? Place your favorite flashcards on a ring and bring them along on the trip. Letters, colors, shapes, numbers, states, capitals, flowers, animals, the options are endless! Find endless options here.

12. Travel Felt Board. Felt creations are so fun! And this one is especially neat because everything packs up so nice and neat inside the travel case. But if you don't want to spend the money on that, Target Dollar Spot usually has some neat felt activities.

13. MagnaDoodle. Is it even a trip if you don't bring a magnadoodle? From big ones to kid meal ones, I think we have brought every size on road trips! Find a great option here.

14. Window Clings. Someone mentioned this, and as long as you don't mind finger prints all over your car windows, it's a great idea! Here are all sorts of options.

15. Joke Books. If you need a break from hands on activities, take a few moments and take turns reading from a joke book. Laughter is the best medicine!

16. Mad Libs. This is fun fill in the blank type game that is also so funny! Just as good as telling jokes.

17. Scavenger Hunt. This can work a couple of ways. You can have a list of things you need to find on the road such as a barn, windmill, Hawaii license plate, car dealer, etc. The first one to find them all wins. OR you can do the ABC scavenger hunt that I'm sure you played a million times as a kid so I don't need to explain it. :)

18. Travel Scattergories. Pick a letter and take turns listing everything you can think of that starts with that letter. If someone repeats something, they are out!

19. The Quiet Game. This game is so easy, but it's genius! Everyone has to be quiet, and the first one to make a sound loses. Parent hack: do this one when it is getting close to naptime. You may have a few drop off to sleep with no fighting it!

20. Quiet Time. If you have quiet time at home, there is no reason why you can't do it in the car. Have everyone pick a workbook or a quiet activity, turn on some soft music or an audiobook, and set the timer. No talking until the timer goes off. It works like a charm!

21. Books. Before you leave for your trip, stop at the library and get several books. Don't let the kids look at them until you are ready to pull them out in the car on your trip. Since they are new books, they will hold their attention for much longer.

22. Music and Songs. If you ever ride with us, you'll find that there is almost always music playing. Our favorite kids music by far are Wee Sing. You can find several different ones here on YouTube. (Can't vouch for quality.) And of course, don't forget Patch the Pirate!

23. Podcasts. There are several great podcasts for kids out there, but I cannot vouch for all of them. A couple we personally enjoy are Storynory and Bedtime History. Just search for them in your podcast app.

24. Movies. I know movies are a last resort, but boy, do they sure help time pass more quickly in the car! Our favorites are books that have been turned into moves such as Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, etc.

25. Audiobooks. You know we are going to park it right here for a second because this is my favorite point. :) Audiobooks are really a parent's secret weapon...especially in the car.

For toddlers and younger kids, you may want to try some read-along books from the library. It's awesome if they will look at the pictures while the story is being read, but no worries if they aren't interested in the illustrations.

Some of my favorite audiobooks for little kids are:

The Peter Rabbit Collection: These are such sweet stories, and this whole collection is available for only $.99 on Audible right now! I typically like to get my audiobooks for free, but if you can get them for this cheap, then it's totally worth the price. (Audible is great for in the car because once you download your book in the app, it doesn't use data!) You can also find the individual stories for free on Hoopla.

Winnie-the-Pooh: We love these books because not only are the stories great, but the narrator is FANTASTIC. You can find them for free on Hoopla.

The Boxcar Children: These are great for a wide range of children, but young ones will love them too! There again, are a ton of them on Hoopla for free (including Spanish versions too!)

For older kids, there are just too many to list here, but if you'd like to get them started on a some great series for them to finish off later on their own try these (in order from younger to older audience):

The Secret of the Hidden Scroll Series: This is a fun mystery and adventure series perfect for a wide age range. (We listened to them when E was five so younger kids will still enjoy!) Three of them are free audiobooks on Hoopla.

The Green Ember Series: By far one of our personal favorite series! The narrator makes the stories come to life! And best of all, they are all free audiobooks on Hoopla.

The Chronicles of Narnia Series: It has been years since I've listened to these, but I have such sweet memories of listening to these with my dad when we drove in the car together and I remember being absolutely glued! These are all free on Hoopla as well.

There were so many great ideas, I couldn't possibly fit them all into one blog post, but hopefully this is enough to get you through your summer vacations. I hope you have a wonderful time wherever your travels take you this summer!

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