My Go To Activity Guide to Surviving Road Trips
Since summer is here and most of us are finding ourselves traveling around visiting families, going to summer camps, and taking summer vacations with the kids… I am sure that you will be spending loads of time in the car and if you have kiddos, you probably are constantly thinking of ways you can entertain them. My kids would be 100 percent content if I let them just watch movies the entire way there, but why not utilize that time to let them learn, communicate, and make fun memories.
I decided to help out all of you, I compiled a list of my favorite activities to do with my kids on LONG road trips. Yes, it will take a little bit of preparation, but with most of these, you prepare one time and then you have everything done for upcoming trips!
PLUS, I will show you my favorite deals on amazon right now for road trip essentials!
My Go To Activity Guide to Survive Summer Roadtrips
I have picked 20 of my favorite ideas to share with you! Some I have tried, some I have not! But, I cannot wait to try them all out this summer.
But to start off, What activities do your kids love doing in the car? Comment below! I can’t wait to find out.
My kids love to play iSpy and the License plate game! Don’t worry, I found cute little printables I can’t wait to share that will make these two games even more fun! But first let me share 20 other of my FAVORITE games to play in the car.
1. Scavenger Hunt
This was my favorite road trip scavenger hunt printable that I found, but there are hundreds more if this isn’t what you are looking for. This will keep the kids paying attention, talking, and will for sure strike good friendly competition up in the car! And this is one that all ages can do, you do not have to be able to read to be able to do this! Just match!
Here is another awesome one that I found (sorry this one is only for readers). It is a little more advanced, but the objects are a little harder to find! I would suggest this one for your 4th – middle school aged kids! They will love this.
2. Cookie Sheet Games
This one can be used SO many different ways! Have you ever thought of using a cookie sheet, something you have ALREADY in your home, as a way to entertain your kids for HOURS AND HOURS? Well I found plenty of ways to use a simple cookie sheet to keep your kids happy, entertained, and learning the entire car ride. But I decided to share with you my top 2 ways!
Make Face Magnets
If you have a toddler, he/she would LOVE this game! Just find pictures of faces online or even use pictures of your own family members facial features and allow your child to build whatever face they want! All you need to do is put a little magnet on the back of each paper and you are good to go!
This one is so fun! All you need to do is go out and buy some chalkboard paint, paint your cookie sheet, and hand your child some chalk! They will be entertained for hours on end just drawing away. This is a super inexpensive way to entertain your kids and you won’t be wasting paper on coloring books! You can just erase and draw over and over again!
3. Alphabet Pictionary
This one is awesome for any little kid just learning their ABCs but can honestly be used with kids of all ages. All you have to do is print out these printables, put them in a binder, and hand them out to each kid! Let them bring along crayons, pencils or markers and draw away! Hours will pass by the time they draw something for each letter. Once everyone finishes, Mom or Dad could judge the drawing and give out a winner for each letter!
4. Travel Memory Game
All you need to make this awesome game is some felt, scissors, glue, and cardboard! After a little prep, your child will be able to play memory either with siblings or by themselves, all day long. This is SUPER easy to make and will last a long time. Not to mention how cheap these supplies will be! Your kids will adore this handmade memory game set.
5. Truck Spotting/Car Spotting
This is a huge hit in my house for little boys! All you need to do is print this out, hand them a pencil, and see who can spot the most trucks first. Your boys will love this! Some of these trucks are a little dated and you won’t see too often (like the TV van with the satellite on top) so I would suggest just having a timer and seeing who can get the most in the specific amount of time!
iSpy is one of my favorite go to car games but sometimes it is hard to think of things to SPY! I found 2 lists that were perfect for car rides! They are suited well so that you will be able to find everything right from the window of the car. This will take up a good 30-60 minutes and can be played over and over again!
7. License Plate Game
All growing up I played this will my siblings and my kids still play it today!! This awesome printable will help your kids keep track of all the license plates they’ve seen throughout the trip. I would suggest this one for the longer road trips that go across multiple states. Because if your stuck in one state the entire time, you might not see to much diversity!
8. ABC Spelling Game
I love this idea! We all know how it goes when a little one is learning to read and write. They are all so eager to learn and this is such a fun way to help them improve their spelling. All you need is a metal lunch box, magnetic tape, and alphabet letters! Give your child the lunch box and tell him words to spell! You could be sitting in the front seat saying, “dog” “meow” “purple” “truck” and they could be in the backseat spelling away! Or, you could give their sibling little flash cards with words to help quiz them along the way!
9. Roadtrip Bingo
Bingo is an awesome option when you have a car full of kids! what I love to do is simply give them a book or a notepad, let them set their board up, and simply use fruit snacks or goldfish as markers! The first one to get a bingo gets to call out the objects the next time. My kids could go on and on for hours! I’m sure yours will too!
10. Travel Journal
A travel journal is a great way for your kids to pass the time, practice their writing, and write down all the fun memories they make while on family vacations. You can find many different options of printables for a travel journal but I like this one because it is good for all ages. Maybe attach a blank piece of paper to the other side and have them draw their favorite part of the day and write a paragraph about what they loved the most about today! Your kids will love to look back on this once the trip is over.
11. Word Search
Word Searches are fantastic ways to pass the time while in the car. What I love to do is put them in sheet protectors, hand them a dry erase pen, and let all your kids have a try! This way you will only have to print out one puzzle and they will all get to use it. All they need to do is wipe off their writings once they are done!
12. Would You Rather?
This game looks amazing! I haven’t tried this one yet, but I am going to totally make this for our next road trip. All you have to do is print out the questions and make the book! You will then have dozens of questions for your kids! This will entertain them for such a long time and they will love it!
13. Racetrack Binder
I love this idea. You could fill up a little 3 ring binder with word searches, puzzles, games, and maybe even their journal and then add this little race track to the end. Your little kids will love pretending to drive their race car all around as you are on your road trip. Just head here and print out the printable! All you have to do is put it in the sheet protectors and you are good to go!
14. Ticket Time
If you have kids that love to ask, “Are we there yet?” This is the game for you!! All you need to do is determine how long your trip will be. If it will be 6 hours, give each kid a baggie with 12 tickets in it (one ticket for every 30 minutes). After 30 minutes go by, they can hand you a ticket. If they ask, “are we there yet?” they don’t get to turn in a ticket. Once the trip has ended all the kids who have given back all the tickets can get a treat! I love this simple idea! It helps the kids know how much longer they have left without even having to ask!
15. Car Ride Presents
This idea takes a little prep, but I love the concept of this. This sweet mother decided that she would make a hand-made gift for her kids each time they went on a road trip. Whether it was a journal, a doll, a bracelet, etc… she wrapped it up and took it on the trip with them. I think this would be an awesome motivator to help your kids be on their best behavior. Tell them that if they behave, they can open their present the last hour of the trip! This doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.. just give them a handmade treat that they would love!
16. Brain Quest
My kids love these games! There cards are awesome and will get your kids thinking. There are different decks for different ages and they will keep your kids entertained forever. The deck is full of questions that your child will quickly need to answer. This can be played with siblings or with you leading it! Whatever works! If you’ve never tried this game, you need to! It’s the greatest.
17. Geography Quiz
Ahead of time, print off some different maps showing the continents, countries, states, cities or whatever you would like your kids to know and put your kids to the test. Set a time and see who can get the most answers right! Make it a competition and your kids will love it even more. I even have a little prize sometimes for the winner.
18. Dry Erase Activity Book
This is one that can be 100% customizable. All you need to do is gather a bunch of printables that your child can use over and over again. I found word searches, essay prompts, coloring pages, and crosswords. All you need to do after is laminate them! You can either go to a store to get this done or do it yourself! Afterwards, punch holes in the paper and let your kids draw away. This book will last forever because all you’ll have to do is erase the markings and start over after every road trip.
This is the perfect game for road trips. It is a wooden slap that has letters that you can flip over and a dry erase marker. All you need to do is throw this in the car and it is there ready for them to play. My kids love this and it keeps them occupied for hours and hours.
20. Road Trip Grab Book
I decided to put this option last because it is the perfect way to combine all of the options I have mentioned above. All you need is a 3 ring binder and some pencil cases. Once you have those, all you need to do is fill each pencil case with different activities. You can put coloring pages, legos, treats, cards, etc. Honestly, anything you want! All you have to do is fill it up and hand it to each child. You can customize each binder and fill it with things specific to them OR give everyone the same thing. I like to put all the same thing in each binder just to avoid the fighting!
My Favorite Deals on Amazon Right Now For Road Trip Entertainment Essentials:
Orignial Price: $29.99 Sale Price: $9.99
This would be awesome on the back seat of your car to keep snacks and supplies off the ground! There is nothing I love more than squished fruit snacks or crackers ALL OVER THE CAR 😉 and this will prevent that from happening!
Original Price: $14.99 Sale Price: $10.99
This is the perfect item for any of your children that love to doodle. This pad will elimate crayons, markers, and pens because all the colors are already there under the paper! Once they draw, the colors will appear. Your kids will love these.
Orignial Price: $12.95 Sale Price: $9.99
These are awesome! And most of the work books are $2 off right now. Your kids will love these workbooks! They come with stickers, posters, and much more!
Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Orignial Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $5.55
This game is perfect to play in the car. All you need to do is put it in the pocket of your car and let it sit there. Whenever your kids are bored, they can pull it out and use it! They will love having it around to keep them entertained on long rides.
Don’t forget to let me know what you do with your kids to help make road trips more enjoyable!
Now, I hope that you found something that struck your attention and you will be able to use it on your next roadtrip. I know that sometimes as moms we just DREAD long trips in the car, but with the right preparation, you can have the best road trip ever!
Good luck this summer on all your trips! Safe trips and make lots of memories with your kids.