Tips for Entertaining Children on Long Road Trips

My family is on-the-go all summer; vacation, visiting family, and a move! Six children plus long hours in the car and only one adult often means bored, cranky kids. The last thing I want is for the children to be grumpy when we arrive at our destination!

My strategy:

Keep the kids busy and occupied with varied activities during our travel. Pack books on cd, snacks, activity books, and new toys plus load all the electronics with new apps, games and ebooks.

Change it up!

  • Watch the clock, switching activities every 20 or 30 minutes during the drive.
  • Hide or wrap new items and toys to keep the children in suspense.
  • Rotate between electronic and non-electronic activities so that electronics are only used for 1/2 of each hour.

Not only does the constant change of activities help boredom from sneaking in, it also passes the time quickly.

Have your child pack one small bag himself

Several days before your trip, have your child pack a small bag of what he thinks he will want to play with in the car. The independence of choosing himself will help with his excitement. Do restrict your child to one small bag, but otherwise, don’t try to influence his choices.

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Secretly pack another bag of activities

Now that your child has chosen his favorite things, you pack another bag of the things that will keep him occupied. Consider handheld games, coloring books and colored pencils, fine motor activities, and electronics. Also add a few new surprises to the bag!

Plan fun games

Play I-Spy, 2o questions, find things on the road that start with each alphabet letter.

I love the book Miles of Smiles with 101 great ideas for games and activities to play while driving with kids.

Create a new playlist

Make a new playlist with songs your child will love to sing along with.

Pack snacks

Pack small serving size drinks and lots of snacks for your ride. Pack all the snacks in single serving size portions for easy passing out on the road. I like to pack a few unexpected treats that I wouldn’t normally buy to keep the kids excited.

Pass out snacks at certain intervals so your children have markers of the passage of time. Tell them you’ll pass out a snack every 100 miles, or every 45 minutes.

Road trip ready! Good luck!

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9 Comments

  1. this sounds like an app my daughter would enjoy and I like that you don’t need wifi or to use data on a smartphone to play the app, some kids apps require that and who wants to use up all of their data? lol! Thanks for the tips!

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