Road trips are tough on everyone. Especially little kids. Wait, no they’re tougher on the parents. When my little J was an infant, he hated his car seat so car rides were very stressful for Mommy. Even a 2-mile ride to the grocery store felt like a 20-mile ride. I tried everything that I could think of to soothe his cries and keep him entertained. Mirrors, squeaky toys, rattles, teething toys. Nothing worked.
I even took one blogger’s advice and made a family picture mobile and hung it around the headrest so he could see familiar faces. I thought maybe he was lonely. Didn’t work. Eventually, our short grocery store trips got better but long rides – forget it! I had to sit in the backseat and do the entertaining while my husband did the driving.
When it came time for our summer trips to Daytona Beach and Captiva (both a 3+ hour drive from home), I knew I needed to be prepared if I wanted to survive.
Below, I came up with 14 ways to Survive a Long Car Ride with Your Kids.
14 Ways to Survive a Long Car Ride with Your Kids
- B. Toulouse Laptrec Magnetic Drawing Board or Mini Magnetic Drawing Board
- Playskool Gears– Love this toy! Lights and spinning, what more could a kid want?!
- Ipad with downloaded episodes of your child’s favorite show.
- Snack Box & Drinks- Use a bead storage box to keep an assortment of snacks ready to go. My little one loves to pick out his own snacks.
- Flash Cards– Word recognition, colors, numbers, trivia, and math. This was one of my childhood favs. My mom always had an assortment of trivia games.
- Coloring Book & Crayons
- Melissa & Doug On the Go Magicolor Coloring Pad
- Mad Libs
- Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids– This game is great for ages 7+. Just draw a card and search for an item listed on the card.
- The Everything Kids’ Travel Book– Full of puzzles, activities, quizzes, and games.
- Games on the Go– This portable is fun for the whole family. A collection of 50 games and activities that can be played anywhere, anytime.
- The Mini by Fun on The Fly- Travel Toy Activity Bag – For kids ages 3 & up. This bag includes 11 items perfect for on the go travelers. The assortment includes a Melissa & Doug Animal Water Wow, Lace & Trace Panel, Little Activity Book, Connectagons, Card Game, Sticker Sheet, Wikki Stix Mini Pack, Pullback Racecar, 4-pack of crayons, animal figure & sticky notes.
- Backseat organizer with tray– This is great for storage and doubles with the pull-down tray to eat or play on.
All of these travel games and activities are great for road trips, long and short. Of course, you can also bring some of the smaller activities on your next plane ride too. The B. Toulouse Magnetic Drawing Board is my son’s favorite. I also have a mini version for my diaper bag, which is great for restaurants! I definitely recommend them both for a 2-year-old.
Related: 5 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips.
What is your go-to travel activity/toy for Surviving a Long Car Ride with Your Kids? Share in the comments below.
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Meagan is in her mid-thirties and has been married for almost 10 years. She is a proud boy mom, happily navigating her way through the toddler years. She met her husband 20 years ago in high school; they got married 10 years later after graduating from the University of South Florida. Meagan currently helps run a family business with her parents and sister, while blogging about her life and taking care of her three-year-old son full time (at work)!
When she isn’t chasing her son around and constantly picking up Matchbox cars, she enjoys spending time with her family on a beach anywhere. She also loves decorating and organizing her home, delving into fun DIY projects, bargain shopping, and eating at unique restaurants. She also loves Barbecue anything and a good show or movie on Netflix.