Whether you’re traveling to grandma’s or trekking to a national park chances are you have a road trip in your near future. My husband enjoys taking our family on road trips. Some of his fondest childhood memories are from family vacations and road trips, but the getting there wasn’t always the most pleasant. As he tells it watching miles and miles of highway passing by from the same seat in the family car got old pretty quickly. Sure his family played the billboard alphabet game and listened to their go-to highway tunes, but before long he and his brother were bored and they would begin to wear on each other.
I’ve seen the same thing play out between our sons. It’s amazing what little it takes for one sibling to annoy another sibling when they are strapped into a small space two feet away from each other for an extended period of time. Inevitably one of them will say,
“Are we there yet?”
“I want something to do.”
Those comments can quickly snowball and if you don’t have a good response ready things can get out of hand pretty quickly. To avoid the confined chaos we pack a variety of things for our boys to do before we head over the river and through the woods.
Here is our list of favorites.
Road Trip Activities Must-Haves
Something to Watch
- We invested in dual screen portable DVD players. These can play the same movie or work independently and they have rechargeable internal batteries.
- We always pack a mix of feature-length movies and shorter shows. Bring your favorites or surprise your kiddos with a new one. We love to rent new ones. Redbox has a rent-and-return-anywhere® policy, which means you can return your discs to any Redbox location in the country.
- Don’t forget the headphones. Sometimes mommy and daddy need a break from all the noise.
Something to Read
We are big readers in our house, so we always take a stack of reading material.
- Our elementary student is a fan of magazines like Ranger Rick and LEGO Club. He’s also crazy about The Chronicles of Narnia, the Floors series, and just about any other chapter book he gets his hands on.
- You can’t bring your whole library but a handful of picture books are a must for your toddler.
- A LeapReader or LeapReader Junior is perfect for non-readers.
- These fact cards don’t take up much space and are packed with fun info that even my husband and I get a kick out of.
Something to Play
- Handheld devices like an iPad mini or Kindle Fire can pass the hours while still building brain cells with educational games.
- We also love to bring our printable pack of road trip activities, which introduce your kiddos to some classic on the road games.
Something to Create
- Both our boys love to draw and doodle, so a small sketchbook and washable markers or colored pencils are always a hit.
- A Writing Tablet, small dry erase board from a dollar store and markers offer an endless drawing surface.
- New coloring activity books or these Crayola Color Wonder packs are a mess-free and inexpensive surprise for the start of a road trip.
Something to Hear
Music CDs are a must, but kid music can get old quickly for the adults in the car. We look for tunes that will entertain the whole family.
- We love Seeds Family Worship. They are great songs that help the whole family memorize scripture.
- Disney soundtracks make for some good silly fun while everyone sings along. The Lion King has always been a hit with our family.
Road trips are great and with a little prior planning with some of these ideas getting there will be half the fun.