It’s not kids’ nature to stay calm in a long time, especially a road trip. Being in a limited space for several hours can make them bored and cranky.
Who wouldn’t be? Even us adults can’t stay still for several hours. How much more kids with blazing energy. When that happens, it’ll be difficult for us to divide our concentration between entertaining the kids and paying attention to road safety.
if you don’t want your kids to start asking “are we there yet?”, distraction is the key. Hence, road trip activities and games for kids are a must.
Read more: 10 Tips for Roadtripping with Children
Here is the list of road trip activities for kids:
1. Coloring activity
It’s an activity that can occupy kids’ minds for a long time as they love coloring. So prepare some of the coloring books for kids to do during the road trip. Other than that, we can also print and laminate coloring worksheets. That way, kids can color the pictures using markers, then erase and recolor them.
Another kids’ favorite activity is drawing. Prepare some drawing books for the road trip where kids can fill it with any drawing that comes up in their minds.
However, kids can also do the activity on a drawing board in which they can erase the drawing they’ve done and create another. Using this media will save the number of papers that kids use when they draw on drawing books.
3. Doing activity books
There are many kinds of attractive activity books available today, such as stickers book, logical thinking book, connecting the dots book or word search book and crossword book (for older kids), and many more.
Those books will make kids busy during the road trip. However, for young kids, choose the ones they’ve already done. Otherwise, you’ll have to read them the instructions, which is not really possible when you are driving. You can also print and laminate activity worksheets. So, like coloring worksheets, they can redo the activity.
I have made activity worksheets for kids, feel free to check it out.
4. Doing busy books
This activity is suitable for toddlers. The books are usually made from soft materials and designed for toddlers’ use. So when they do the busy books during the road trip, they’re not only entertained but also safe.
5. Reading books
It’s an activity which kids can do anywhere. So bring your kids’ favorite books during the road trip. The reading can also be in the form of an e-book which kids can read through their gadgets or audiobooks to listen to. That way, there are more stories to choose from.
6. Playing Car Games
It’s an activity in which kids can play together. Bring some card games like Mad Libs, BrainQuest cards, Travel Bingo, magnetic checkers, cards, or any game that your kids love. Lego blocks will be challenging in a moving car.
‘I Spy’ is a road trip staple. Start with “I spy with my little eye something…”, give a clue, and then the kids will guess. Another popular game is the ‘Alphabet Game’, where kids will think of objects that start with each letter of the alphabet. License plate game, scavenger hunt are also good alternative games.
7. Playing with toys
Bring kids’ favorite toys like stuffed dolls, toy cars, big pieces of puzzles, or big blocks with a few quantities, crafty things, and more. Giving them a new toy will catch their attention more than the old ones.
8. Listening to music
Create a list of your kids’ favorite music, which they can listen to during the road trip. Spotify and YouTube offer thousands of songs and playlists for kids.
9. Watching movies
It’s an activity that will occupy kids for a long time. So prepare a movie list for your kids. Ask them to choose what movies they want to watch so they’ll be eager to watch them during the road trip.
10. Playing video games
Playing video games can be an alternative activity for kids to do during the road trip. Make sure it is something they are familiar with, or else you would have to explain to them the mechanics of the game. Set a time limit for this, so they are not on it the entire road trip.
Familiar favorite mobile games are Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Super Mario Run, Smule, Road Trip Bingo, Geo Touch, Slug a Bug, Cloud Shapes, and more.
11. Mapping the trip activity
Using the map through gadgets is common in today’s world. It’s easy to use by adults and even kids. However, some kids don’t know how to read the non-gadgets map. Introduce it to them beforehand so they know how to use them.
You can copy or print and laminate it. Then, during the road trip, ask the kids to make the path of the roads or color the area we’ve passed. Teach them also about the symbols on the map. Then, let them cross the places or things which the symbols represent on the map.
12. Making notes about the road trip
Older kids can make notes about things they see along the road, things they like or don’t like, or other things they want to write. So give them a notebook or an iPad to document their journey in a vacation diary or scrapbook. They can paste the photos they took, add sightseeing brochures, or draw pictures of anything that caught their attention.
13. Taking pictures
Kids can take pictures of the sights they think interesting during the road trip. If they take pictures using an instant camera, they can get the photos instantly, which they can paste on the notebook. Those will complete the story they are making.
I hope you find any of these activities useful on your next road trip. Especially now that we can’t fly yet to some destinations, a road trip is an alternative way to explore the world while practicing social distancing.
Featured Photo by Zakaria Mohie on Unsplash
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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