With the holidays approaching, you may be planning a road trip to visit extended family or friends. This can be a stressful thing on its own, but when kids are thrown into the equation, it becomes incredibly nerve-wracking. We all know that kids can be unpredictable, unreasonable, and energetic, especially when they’re younger. But with a bit of preparation and fun games to play in the car, you can make hectic, unbearable road trips a thing of the past.
Here are some road trip activities for keeping those little people entertained on the go.
This concept can be as simple or as complicated as you choose – it all depends on your skill level and/or how much time you care to spend on it. Check Pinterest if you want some ideas for fancy lap boards, but here is a super simple, functional version that just takes a few supplies.
Find a magnetic baking tray (check before you buy; they’re not all magnetic), hot glue some magnet strips to some washable markers or crayons, then find a cheap sketchpad or coloring/activity book (depends on your child’s age, their preference, and whether or not they can read) and glue some magnet strips on the back. Et voilà – a tray that keeps all of your child’s drawing supplies contained.
Books on CD
Bigger kids may be able to read on their own, but younger children or those who get carsick can really enjoy books on CD. Check your local library to see what they have available, and if desired, also reserve copies of the corresponding books for your child to follow along if they want (and if they don’t get carsick).
Road Trip Games
Search Pinterest for some road trip printables. There are games like Interstate Bingo, car scavenger hunts, and drawing prompts (such as a picture of a semi-truck with a blank trailer where your kids draw what they see on trailers around them). There are many free options out there.
Fill a cheap tote bag with various activities like the ones listed above, and hang it from the headrests on the seats in front of your children. They can reach their entertainment all on their own, and it saves you from having to reach behind you or turn around constantly.
Gel clings generally work the best, as either side sticks to the window. You can find them at most stores and they’re cheap and entertaining.
Other Magnet Board Uses
Those magnetic lap boards can really get a lot of mileage. You can find things like magnetic sticker sheets, magnetic matching activities, or magnetic tangrams. Print out some tangram patterns, bind them together with a ring, and let your child recreate the patterns on their tray.
Protect Your Car
Even with the magnetic lap board reducing the number of fallen items, kids will inevitably drop things, because they’re kids. With some utility rubberized floor mats, you don’t have to worry about staining your car’s carpet with a dropped capless marker or spilled food. They make cleanup much easier and faster – shake out, wipe down, and you’re done.
Now you know how to entertain your kids, be sure to check out our blog post on the top recommended road trips in the U.S!