15 Ways to Entertain Kids on a Road Trip

Road Trip

Image credit: kondratya/shutterstock.com

Are We There Yet?

1 – Journey Progress

Tie a string or ribbon to the grab handles in the back of the car and mark the progress of your journey:

  • Print a picture of a house, a car, and a star to represent your destination. Attach the picture of the house to one end and the star to other. Attach the car to the string so that it is moveable by punching a hole in it and using another piece of string tied in a loop or use a clothes peg. During the journey, move the car along as you get closer to your destination (e.g. a quarter of the way, then a third, then halfway there etc.).
  • Print the names of towns that you will be passing along the way and tell the kids to look out for the “Welcome to…” signs. When you pass the town, the town name gets pulled off the string. Use clothes pegs so that the names can be pulled down easily.


2 – Clock

On a clock (amazon.ca; amazon.com), mark the start time and the end time with stickers. Illustrate the progress of the journey by moving the hands of the clock as you get closer to your destination.


Play Together

3 – “Who am I?”

Print pictures of characters (these could be from TV/movies, athletes), animals, friends, and family members. Fold up the pictures and divide them between the players. Each player takes a turn describing who is pictured and everyone else guesses. This could also be played as “Where am I?” (e.g. grocery store, school, countries or cities, playground).


4 – Spotted!

Print a card with images of landmarks or things you are likely to see en route and give each kid stickers or a marker to cross off those things as they spot them.  You could include things that you might see if you are stopping along the way. Some ideas to include are a girl with pigtails; a bus; an airplane; a red car; a car with a pet; a yellow truck; a farm; gas station; a license plate with a particular letter.


5 – Alphabet/Colour Game

Pick a category (e.g. animals, food, places, toys) and each player takes a turn naming something in that category beginning with A in the first round and then B in the second round and so forth. For younger kids, this game works well by using colours instead of the letters of the alphabet.

Road Trip Cards

6 – Scavenger Hunt

amazon.ca; amazon.com


The car is a great place to chat. Two fun ways to jump start the conversation:

7 – TableTopics

amazon.ca; amazon.com


8 – Would You Rather

amazon.ca; amazon.com


Solo Play

Road Trip Toys

9 – Doctor’s kit and a doll

amazon.ca; amazon.com


10 – Magformers

amazon.ca; amazon.com


11 – Magnetic dress up

amazon.ca; amazon.com


12 – Rush hour

8 and up: amazon.ca; amazon.com

5 and up: amazon.ca; amazon.com


13 – Magnetic drawing board with stamps

amazon.ca; amazon.com


You may find it handy to have a lap tray for each kid. I have not had a chance to test them myself but I have gathered a few options which look interesting:

Road Trip Tray.png

a) Jolly Jumper Car Seat Travel Tray (well.ca; amazon.com)

b) Skip Hop Style Driven Travel Activity Tray Table (skiphop.comamazon.com)

c) Kid Backseat Organizer (amazon.ca; amazon.com)


Good Listening

14 – Podcasts

We will be trying a few from the “The 15 Best Podcasts For Kids That Adults Will Like Too” list  put together by fatherly.com when we take our trip later this summer. There is something for everyone on this list – it’s a good mix of music, stories, and education (think Radiolab for kids).


15 – Audible books

Audible.com has a new section dedicated to kids which is also categorized by interest. The Harry Potter series is excellent.


Wishing you safe and happy travels!

If you try any of these ideas, I would love to know how you liked them. Please also share your road trip tips and ideas in the comments section below. 

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like What’s in My Kid Bag

What do you think?