Road Trip Activities for Kids of All Ages!

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I am very blessed to have 3 wonderful adult children and 12 grandchildren.  Over the years, we have done a ton of road trips with our own children and multiple road trips with 7 of our grandchildren.  As a result, we have picked up a few “tricks of the trade” for traveling with kids of all ages.

We recently took a road trip with 5 of the grandchildren and it made me think about how many things we did during that long trip to keep them all busy. Well, to be honest, what my daughter and I both did to keep them busy. I thought what a great thing to share with other busy parents that might need some pointers on how to keep their kids of all ages busy while driving to visit family for the holidays or during vacations!

This article will be broken up into a couple of age groups.   Teenagers/school aged kids, and toddlers.   It is easy to just give our kids/grandkids an electronic , start the car and go. However, if you are making a long road trip, the electronic device only works for so long. So I have listed some things we have done over the years with our own kids and I hope that you find something here that is helpful to you on your next long road trip with your kids, no matter what their ages are!


  • TECHNOLOGY: The obvious one is going to be technology.  We usually allow our granddaughters (14 yrs & 15 yrs) to have their phones for part of the trip.   However we do have them put their phones away every hour or two and we play what they call the “old fashioned” games.   You know the ones we played as kids before everybody had a cellphone!

  • ABC GAME:   One person starts with the letter A, they have to find a word outside of the car that starts with the letter A.  (on a billboard, restaurant sign, license plate, etc)  Then it goes to the next person with the letter B.  Game goes on and on until you reach the end of the alphabet.   Nobody wants to be the one that lands on the letters Q and Z!!  

  • EYE SPY GAME:   Eye spy with my little eye.  Most people will know this one.  Somebody says I spy with my little eye, something green.   Everybody else has to guess what the object is.  (this game is usually for when you are sitting still or everything in the car)

  • NEVER HAVE I EVER GAME:  One person says, “Never have I ever ____”  Ex:  Never have I ever been to Texas.   The other people guess if that is true or not.  Then it goes to the next person.   Whoever has the most correct guesses wins.

  • LICENSE PLATE GAME:   You as the adult choose a state that everybody will search for.  Then everybody starts “collecting” how many license plates they see with that state  on them.  We usually give a time frame.   In 30 minutes, how many can you find?  Whoever has the most wins.

  • TICK TAC TOE or HANGMAN:   We usually bring a small whiteboard that you can pick up at the dollar store.  Then at some point during the trip either the kids play these games  with each other, passing the board back and forth or we will play with them.


  • QUIET GAME: Everybody has to be quiet. The goal is to see who can be quiet the longest. (the winner gets a “special” prize that mom or dad have packed….something small from the Dollar tree you picked out)

  • MAGNET GAME: Put a bunch of letter magnets in a tin box (old lunch boxes work great for this!) Give your toddlers a word to spell. Tell them we are spelling the word “DAD” So they need to find the letter D. Once they find it , have them put on the top of the tin box… have them find the next letter A. etc. Might need some assistance , depending on ages…but is a great game to play with a sibling
  • WIPE OFF BOOK: This takes a little planning. Get a binder and some clear sheet protectors. Print out some pages with Letters or Numbers that the kids will trace. Put those pages in the clear sheet protectors , tape the top of it (so the pages don’t slide out). Give the kids an Expo Marker and let them trace the letters. They can do this over and over. You just wipe off the page when they are done so they can do it over and over again.

  • TABLET TIME: Load their favorite movie onto a tablet and allow them to watch it for short periods of time. That way it is special and they will look forward to getting to use it. It is easy to use this the whole trip, but I have found that if you stimulate their brains with some of the other things listed, the tablet can be used to get them to wind down and maybe, just maybe they will take a nap during the road trip.

  • LITTLE PRIZES: Pack small gifts for each child to open every hour of your trip. As long as they have behaved, they will get a small prize. Example: things from Dollar Tree, coloring book, stuffed animal, etc

  • SPECIAL SNACKS: Pack special snacks in the half snack zip lock bags. Something that the kids don’t normally get, so it seems special to them.

I would LOVE to hear your feedback! Is there something special that you do on road trips that you can share with us? I am always looking for more input when it comes to keeping the grandkids happy and content during one of our family vacations!! Please comment below and let me know your input!

4 Responses so far.

  1. Jodi Hunter says:

    Thanks for this awesome post.

  2. Piroska says:

    Thanks for the great activities!

  3. I love the idea of the Quiet Game!

  4. Sarah says:

    This is such a fab list of ideas on a road trip. Another thing we love to do when travelling is listen to audiobooks.

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