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

While some of us are still recovering from Christmas, people across the country are already planning their summer vacations. According to a recent AAA Family Travel survey, roughly 35% of Americans are making plans for a family escape, 50 or more miles away from home in the next twelve months.

What’s more, the survey also revealed that due to lower gas prices, 55% of US citizens are planning to take a road trip this summer. And while these trips can be a lot of fun at times, if you’re forced to be locked in your car with young kids for a five or more hours, they can also be very, very stressful.

Technology is Here to Help

With all of the portable devices and gadgets out there, you can surely keep your kids occupied for a few hours with nothing more than your phone. All you need to do is visit the App Store and fill up your iPad with a couple games, movies and/or other kid-friendly applications.

You could always make a quick break, and stream their favorite show or movie on your tablet or laptop. Naturally, if you’re using a public, Wi-Fi network, you also have secure VPN apps that will help you protect your private information. But what can you do when your battery dies or things get boring?

Well, then you have to be a little bit creative. Keeping your Kids Entertained without Electronics

1. Lapboards

These boards are greats if you want to help your little artists relax and create some art while you’re driving. You can always stick some Velcro to one part of the board, and stick the other to pens, cups or food container to keep everything within your kid’s reach.

You should go for the curved ones, because your children will be able to pull them in closer their bodies. For instance, this LapGear Jumbo MyDesk has a built-in tray and storage pocket that can keep various snacks and supplies handy.

2. Coloring Books

If you have a really young kid (or kids), you should get a good-old, simple coloring book from the store nearby and your job is finished. But if your kids are a bit older, don’t worry, because there are some complex coloring books on the market that can keep even adults entertained for hours.

If you want to make coloring picture easier on your young ones, you could always cut a few pages out of the coloring book, and put them in a clipboard. This way, they’ll be flat, and far easier to color in such a small space, like the backseat of your car.

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

3. Travel Games

In addition to the classic “License Plate Game” there is a ton of different travel games that are a lot of fun. And these games aren’t just fun for your kids – they are especially entertaining when the whole family gets involved in the gameplay. For instance, you have the “Spot It On The Road” that sounds like a lot of fun once you read the product description on Amazon. It also comes with a five-star rating, and has more than 3,700 customer reviews. But if you want something really inexpensive, you have the rad version of Mad Libs for just four dollars.

4. Audio and Activity Books

While some kids like to read for hours during the family trip – others will not even read a sentence even after few hours. And since you can’t start reading to them in the middle of driving a car, you should download a couple of their favorite audiobooks a play them during the drive.

Or maybe you should try some Search & Find books, such as Connect-the-Dots or Word-Search books. And once again, there are board books for toddlers, but if you have school age kids, you have some intricate hardcover books as well.

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

Final Thoughts

Family trips are where memories are made, and of course – where patience is lost. Some vacations will definitely make you long for the comfort of your room, but as you can see, there are certain things you can do to keep traveling fun and safe. You just need to plan ahead, and make sure your kids are entertained throughout the duration of your trip, so before you hit the trail this summer, buy a few supplies, plan a few activities and remember to have fun along the way.

About the guest author: Adam always loved the Internet, so much so that he knew that he knew that he was going to become a web developer when he was just 12. He also loves the outdoors, basketball and surfing are his passions, and you can read his insightful articles at and VPN Lab.

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