How to Keep Kids Busy on a Road Trip

Today, we are packing up the car and the kids and heading on a 4 hour road trip to Pittsburgh. We have been making this trip for quite some time now, however, when you do it with kids, it can be a little stressful. Sure, we can pop on a few DVDs and cross our fingers that they sleep the whole way. But how many times does that plan work out perfectly? This time, I planned ahead and came up with ways to keep the kids busy on the road trip.

how to keep kids busy on a road trip

How to Keep Kids Busy on a Road Trip

1. Travel Bingo – This seems to be a staple of road trips but we have never tried it with the kids before. I found a ton of cute free printables to use. I decided to go with Dora’s Colorful Car Bingo from Nick Jr. The pictures will be easy for Ethan use to find.

Colorful Car Bingo{source}

 2. Road Trip Search and Find – If Bingo isn’t your thing, these Road Trip Search and Finds are perfect! This is a great quiet car activity. Perfect for when child is sleeping and the other isn’t!

Road Trip Search and Find{source}

3. Road Trip Apps – We never travel without the iPad . When I found this great list of Road Trip apps, I knew they would be perfect for Ethan. I already talked to him about being able to play games on the “computer” while we are in the car.


4. DVD Coloring Case – I wish I would have found this before I went and bought a travel coloring case!  This coloring case made out of a DVD box is such a creative and compact way to bring along some coloring pages and colored pencils. This is also great to keep in the diaper bag or your purse to keep kids busy when you are out at a restaurant.

DVD Coloring Case{source}

5. Track Your Progress – I really, really love this idea! This is a visual idea of how long the trip will be. Just print out a picture of a car and string it through  some ribbon. Tie the ends of the ribbon to the car handles. Make black lines for each hour of the trip across the ribbon. Slide the car across the ribbon as travel along your road trip!

Track your Progress on a road trip{source}

And to keep the little buggers in line, I love the idea of Kids Clips to keep track of good behavior! The rules are simple. If the kids are behaving, the clip stays up! If they make a bad choice or are whiny, the clip comes down . If the clip is still down when there is a chance to do something fun, they miss out!

kids clips for road trips{source}

How do you keep your kids entertained on a long car ride?

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  1. Love these ideas, and the CD case is brilliant! I’ve done a few articles on road trips but mine are geared towards food. We travel a lot with our kids, I recently did a 16hr drive alone w/ my 2 boys this summer. Thankfully they were amazingly good but I know with these little tricks and tips they would of been perfect! Thanks for these, we will be using them in December when we drive to FL. YIKES!

  2. Appreciate your ideas to make the little mind busy, specially the “DVD coloring case”. It will engage them for a long time for sure.

    Thanks for sharing the ideas 🙂

  3. Love these ideas, especially the DVD coloring case. That sounds perfect for restaurants, too, like you mentioned. It’ll be nice to have something compact and ready to go when they start getting antsy.

  4. I agree – that DVD case idea is just brilliant! Thanks for putting these together 🙂 Have fun on your trip!

  5. Love these tips! My mom usually plays I Spy with the kids in the house so I think the #2 Search and Find idea is perfect for our boys!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas! My kids and I go on frequent road trips, so all of these definitely sound like they will come in handy. There are a couple other games we like to play like the License Plate Game and I Spy, but usually the little ones are content using my iPad and DISH Remote Access app. One of my coworkers at DISH got me a Sling Adapter a few months back, so since then we’ve been able to watch all of our shows from back home, live or recorded, anywhere we get a 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection. I always make sure to load up the DVR before we go on any trip, and they usually stay quiet for hours watching their favorite cartoons. I’m happy to have such little angels! 🙂

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