20 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy on a Long Car Ride
Categories: Moms

20 Ways to Keep the Kids Busy on a Long Car Ride

Ahh, the family road trip. Sure to be a memory maker, piling in the car together also has a tendency to drive parents and kids crazy. Sure, there are apps and gadgets that can keep them entertained, but what happened to the good old-fashioned road trip games? Hold on to that iPad (because, quite frankly, you could be using it for some shopping) and keep them occupied with one of these inventive ideas.

1. License Plate Lingo: To the driver of that car ahead of you, the letters “SFIC” on their license plate mean nothing. To your kids, it could mean “scream for ice cream.” The most clever acronym wins! (image via Parade)

2. Mini White Board: Did you realize that an old CD case makes a mini white board perfect for kids? Replace the sleeve inside with white or patterned paper for endless in-car entertainment. Tic-tac-toe, hangman — even doodling! (image via iStock)

3. Slug Bug Game: This one is a classic. A Volkswagon Beetle sighting means the right to punch your neighbor (softly) and holler out “slug bug.” (image via Alan Guido)

4. Make a Stop: No matter how much entertainment you plan, it’s always a good idea to get out and stretch your legs — especially at a quirky roadside attraction. (via Brit + Co)

5. Map Spotting: Give each child a map and have them mark it up with what they see as you pass your milestones. (image via Huffington Post)

6. Car Counting: Even older kids won’t be able to resist this one. Pick a color or a type of car and the first to see 10 of them wins. (image via Free Wallpaper World)

7. Foil Sculptures: A roll of aluminum foil goes a long way in the car, and it’s fun even the adults can get into. Bonus points for making a recreation of one of these roadside attractions. (image via MiYoung Sohn)

8. Magnet Spelling: Spell things you see along the way using a magnet alphabet on baking sheets. (via Megan Leigh Prather)

9. I Spy Jar: Fill a jar with rice and toss in some small knick knacks. Without opening the jar, have kids look through the glass to spot the special items inside. (via Blog in a Bottle)

10. Name Game: This might look like Katy Perry, but really it’s just inspiration for this handy road trip game. You say “Katy Perry,” the next person must quickly say a celebrity’s name that starts with the first letter of the last name of the previous star, like maybe Penelope Cruz. Confused? Read it again — it’s easy. (image via Billboard)

11. Twenty Questions: Because no parent wants to hear “are we there yet” 20 times in a row, give the questions a little more structure with this classic game. (image via Jaunted)

12. DIY Silly Putty: A few ingredients and a little mixing will bring together this batch of DIY goop for endless fun on the road. (via Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom)

13. Hand Puppets: Make paper bag puppets ahead of time and you have endless puppet shows across the seats in the car. (image via Christian Anime)

14. Reading Log: When you feel the urge to hand over your tablet, encourage your kids to pull out their books instead. This printable log should help inspire them. (via Simple as That)

15. Printable Milestones: Print a template before you depart and hang them in the car with clothespins. Kids will love taking down the markers as you make progress on your trip. (via The Dating Divas)

16. Sing: Nothing passes travel time like singing, so plug in the tunes and belt it out. (image via Rixbury)

17. Quiet Game: This one is perfect for that last leg of the trip when you’re going crazy. It’s as simple as being quiet! The loser is the one who speaks first. (image via Bizzness)

18. Scavenger Hunt: No family road trip is complete without a scavenger hunt. You’ll be shocked at how excited your kids suddenly are to see a billboard or a water tower. (via Our Best Bites)

19. Animal Spotting: Encourage kids to look out the window with this game, where the family competes to see the most roadside animals by the end of the journey. (image via Freaking News)

20. Have a Snack: When all else fails, pull out one of these amazing road trip-approved treats. (via Brit + Co)

How do you keep your kids occupied in the car? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!