Fun games and ideas for taking road trips with kids

road trip sanity savers

Are we there yet? No parent wants to hear those words every 5 minutes for hours on end. Depending on the ages of your children and the length of the trip, things can get pretty stressfull in the confines of your vehicle for an extended period of time. Without ways to run off energy things can build up to a blowing point rather quickly.

Here are some ways to avert disaster before the little angels start throwing things at each other or complaining that their sister looked at them or touched them.

Distraction----If you are fortunate enough to have a DVD player in your mini van, or any other electronics than you have this one licked. Otherwise there a few tricks that work to keep their little minds active and avoid boredom.

  • Count trucks or choose a color (how many red trucks can you count) or first child to see a blue truck gets a prize. You should carry little bribes with you for this purpose. Stickers, candy, trinkets, etc.  Anything shiny seems to  work well for my little ones.
  • Look at license plates, ask how many states they can identify
  • For younger children, not yet reading you can play lots of "I spy" type games. This will keep them distracted for a surprising length of time if you can tolerate the monotony of it.
  • The suitcase game--Goes like this: "Aunt Susie packed a suitcase and in it she put one shirt". Then you pass to the next person who has to recite the first object and add one to it. This will keep going until there are too many objects in the suitcase for anyone to remember. My kids love this one as I am always the first to be "out".
  • Crayons and coloring books or free printable coloring pages work wonders on trips. Include a plastic clipboard with place to hold the crayons and paper (we found them at Target in the dollar rack) and they will stay busy for hours. These also double as food trays, but there are larger ones that work better for that.

Snacks----Pack the ice chest full of healthy snacks and drinks. Cheese sticks, grapes, apple slices, carrot sticks. Pre pack little bags of popcorn or pretzels or cereal. Juice packs or water bottles work best for drinks.  Avoid sugary snacks as these will spike the blood sugar and cause a nasty crash resulting in tantrums for littler ones and whining, fighting, etc in the older ones.

Frequent Stops--These are necessary to let them run around and stretch their legs. The younger the children, the more frequent stops you will need to plan for. Diaper changes in the littlest ones and immature bladders in potty trained kids will necessitate a little advanced planning in the way of knowing where there are good places to stop.

Those are just a few of the things I have found that work well when traveling with little ones. I hope you have found them helpful as well and please feel free to comment and add-on some of your own tips.


Traveling can be fun for kids with a little planning