How to Keep Kids Busy During Long Road Trips

Hitting the road with your family this holiday season? Thanks to tablets and smartphones, kids have more to keep them entertained, but even technology can’t stop the inevitable “Are we there yet?” questions on your road trip. But while you head over the river and through the woods, these are some creative ways to keep kids occupied.

  • Create a clothespin countdown- Run a string around the inside perimeter of your car and use clothespins to hang notes on it that show the details of your itinerary, like state lines you’ll be crossing around certain times, activities you have planned for the car ride, and stops you’ll be making. It could help cut down on the “When’s lunch?” and “ How much longer?” questions.
  • Invest in backseat organizers- Keep everything within reach with pocket-filled organizers that strap to seat backs and can hold a tablet while kids watch.
  • Buy some travel trays- These make portable desks, so kids can put books, snacks, and drawing supplies on them.
  • Play road trip bingo- Create your own game or buy a set of cards and keep little ones entertained while marking off things you pass on the road trip, like “barn,” “bridge,” and “airplane.”
  • Listen to kid-friendly audiobooks or podcasts- Have the kiddos take a break from screen-time while you all listen to an audiobook like Tim Curry’s reading of “Peter Pan” or check out this list for kid-friendly podcasts.
  • Print out “treasure” maps- Give your little ones an actual printed map so they get a sense of progress on your journey. Identify landmarks and if you’re feeling extra, make it a real treasure map where you treat them to a surprise when you reach your destination.

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