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Activities for Kids on a Road Trip that Do Not Involve Screen Time

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Are we there yet? One of the hardest parts of a road trip isn’t getting to your destination – it’s keeping the kids entertained while you get there.

Credit: CraigslistDad

Family road trips can be amazing. This is the time you get to bundle everyone into the car and head out for a few hours (Or days) to a pre-determined destination and have as much fun as possible along the way. To be able to get the best experience from this trip, advance preparation is absolutely necessary.

You should think of activities your kids love doing and come up with something interesting. A long drive could be tiring but when you are doing these incredibly fun activities that do not involve screen time, you are guaranteed to have a great family time and road trip experience.

Sing Like No One is Listening

What better time to engage in a sing along with your kids than when on a road trip? It might seem silly having the whole family humming or singing to some silly tune but this is the whole essence of the trip. It will make you bond with your kids better and help you release that ‘inner child’ as well. Ensure you have some great and age-appropriate songs on your phone and blast away. This could go on for some time.

The World is Full of Color

Kids love to color. This would be a great time to test new illustrations. Buy a coloring book and let them color as they wish. You can act as guidance and source of inspiration. Print out lots of printables of their favorite characters from movies.

Carry Their Old Favorite Toys

Although they quickly outgrow their favorite toys, when they find something interesting, they tend to spend a lot of time just playing with these toys. This is why you should carry even their “old favorites” with you on a road trip. There will be moments of silence and calm in the car and you might need to keep the kid pre-occupied by letting them play with their favorite toys.

A road trip is also a good time to introduce a new toy. Comic books are also a great way of keeping kids pre-occupied and entertained while on a road trip. Get some of the latest editions they haven’t seen and dish them out one by one.

Have a Scavenger Hunt

This is a popular road trip activity when you have kids. After you have come up with a destination, try to figure out what is popular along the way. This could be a specific brand of a mall or something iconic. Download a scavenger hunt online or create one for the trip.

Cars come naturally into this mix. You can have the kids mark down the specific car types they encounter along the way. Animals are also a favorite scavenger hunt sighting especially if you are traveling somewhere close to the forest or park.

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Play Lots of Games

Games are a popular and almost inevitable way to create an exciting moment when you are on the road with kids. You can play the ‘Guessing Game’ or bring along some magnetic board games. While you are at it, let the kids win now and then.

A different take on your Road Trip Scavenger Hunt can be the Road Sign Scavenger Hunt from Trip Savvy

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For the older kids getting ready to drive or get their first car, you can try the Spot the Car Scavenger Hunger also from Trip Savvy.

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A road trip is the perfect time to teach the kids some of those old favorite games like the ones below:

I Spy. “I spy with my little eye, something red.” This easy-to-learn game was one we played as children on family road trips. It’s perfect for preschoolers, and can keep them entertained for a long time. One person spies something and recites the line, ending in a clue. Everyone else takes turns trying to guess the item.

Backseat Bingo. Everyone needs a flat surface, such as a clipboard or hardcover book, to put on his or her lap. Each player gets a free printable bingo card like those on (Minitime offers several cards for you to print) and a zip-lock bag with 16 pennies. When a player spies an item on his card, he covers the picture with a penny. Just like in regular bingo, the first player to cover all the squares in a straight line wins.

Road Trip License Plate Game. This game takes a little prep work (print the maps ahead of time), spotting the license plates from all the states and coloring them in to fill the map will occupy your kids for hours. Happiness is Homemade offers a great free printable.

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Road trips are a great family bonding time to be silly, teach lessons and spend quality time together. Does your family have some favorite road trip games?


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