Every Summer my family likes to take a 7-hour trip to the beach…well, the 7 hours isn’t exactly the part we like, but we do it and we make the best of it! I’m not a fan of giving my kids a screen to look at for the entire trip, because I feel there’s so much that they will be missing out on. Remember when we were kids, going through the entire stash of cassette tapes? Staring out the window watching the terrain change and landmarks pass as we got closer and closer to our destinations, the excitement building? All those silly word games or family air guitar shenanigans? See…I don’t want my kids to miss out on that! I want us to talk. I want them to play, to be entertained, but to experience the trip with us, rather than plugged in and tuned out.
We started with this ROAD TRIP SURVIVAL KIT when L was just 2. As the kids grow, some things will change, but many will continue to entertain at any age!
Pipe Cleaners, Shoelaces, and Beads
If you have any of those snack cups with the slits on top, they’re the perfect thing to hold beads and prevent spilling! Just tie a shoelace to the handle and you’re good to go!
Who doesn’t love a slinky? You can buy 2 for a dollar at most dollar stores…definitely worth that dollar! We don’t usually play with ours at home, rather we save them for long trips!
“I Spy” Books
These books are fun for kids age 2 to 100 to look at, no reading required!
When the kids get whiny, bored, tired, put on some jams, some sunglasses and start a family band! Sometimes we even bring out the cow bell – yikes! The kids love it though!
Paper and Coloring
Go ahead and buy some fun, new crayons for your big trip, as well as a blank composition book, new coloring books, or even post-it notes!
Figurines and Cars
Even if these things are “old” and have been played with a million times at home, when pulled out one-by-one as a surprise on the 4th hour of your trip, your kids will be delighted…I promise!
L loves her “fairy folk” and will play pretend with them for nearly an hour at home. I scooped up a few of them and their accessories for our last trip. Get the DIY here: DIY Fairy Folk.
If you don’t have lacing boards at home, they’re simple to make. Just cut out a shape from an old cereal box and punch some holes around the edge. Tie a shoelace and and you’re good to go!
These come in all shapes and sizes…and all of them are perfect for the road!
Kaleidoscopes and View Masters
I always throw one of these in the bag!
Re-usable Sticker Books
“Melissa & Doug” brand sticker books and Water Wow! books are great for the road. Virtually no mess and they can be used over and over and over and over!
“I Spy” Bottles
We made this game years ago, and the kids love it! It’s something that can be played with one person or many! Get the DIY here: I Spy Bottle and Games.
We found this traveling tray at Hobby Lobby a few Summers ago. I’m sure you can find one online too! They’re perfect for coloring and containing all those little toys and food.
It’s hard to believe, but all of this stuff plus more will fit in one medium-sized bag! We usually put the bag off to the side, when we get home, ready to grab-and-go for the next road trip!
Happy traveling!!! What are some of your favorite activities for on the road?