How to Keep Kids Busy on Family Road Trips

Note: This article contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you purchase a product through them. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. Visit my disclosure page for more information. 

family road trip, family road trip ideas, family road trip hacks, family road trip games

One of the best parts of summer is heading out for family travel.  These tips for How to Keep Kids Busy on Family Road Trips will make your next vacation better than ever!  Keeping kids busy in the car is a must, and our tips are perfect for happy vacations!

Bring their favorite electronics

This is sometimes a controversial suggestion, however, if used in moderation things like handheld gaming devices, DVD players, or smartphones can help keep kids busy and happy while traveling.  I recommend setting limits just like you would at home.  Perhaps a certain time frame or number of movies/shows per day.  This can give you a break while kids get to connect with their favorite things.  Everything in moderation can make a family road trip a wonderful experience.

Tip:  Don’t forget extra batteries, chargers, and adapters for use in the car and on the road.  Charging bricks or sticks can also come in handy if your car doesn’t have additional charging ports.

Invest in travel games

There are tons of smaller sized travel games and card games that are great for kids to play with each other or on their own while in the car.  We love card games like Uno, Phase 10, SkipBo, and Old Maid for road trips.  There are also miniature chess, checkers, Parcheesi, Battleship, and Connect 4 games that are easy to find online or in stores.  They are great for everyone.

Tip:  Use gallon Ziploc bags to keep games and their pieces together.  Even those items that should hold all pieces together sometimes come open in the car.  Nobody wants small pieces scattered on the floor.  Keeping in bags until time to play prevents a mess.

Assign navigation duties

We are so used to using the GPS on our phone or in our vehicle that we often forget about using an old school map.  Buy an atlas or map for your kids and teach them basic map reading and navigation.  Let them help with navigation along the road!

Tip:  Grab a children’s atlas or books about the state you are visiting for them to learn more about the destination in the process.  Make this not just fun and busy work, but educational in the process.

Play visual car games

Everyone remembers family road trips including hours of the License Plate Game, I Spy, or Slug Bug.  There are literally thousands of unique car games that can be fun for kids and adults.  Check out travel websites, or grab printable travel BINGO games for hours of fun!

Tip:  If you are looking for great ideas, check out the AAA website for travel games and safety tips.  Invest in a membership while you are there and have roadside assistance coverage just in case!

Read or listen to books on tape

Some children aren’t old enough to read or perhaps get a bit carsick when reading in the car.  A great solution is to get “books on tape” or audio books. You can rent many on CD’s, cassette tapes (if you still have that availability in your car), or even download from Amazon Audible.  These are great for those who want to listen to a book together as a family.

Pack craft projects

Play With Bookz coloring books

You may not want a major craft project in the backseat, but there are tons of great options that travel well.  I recommend things like friendship bracelets kits, crocheting or knitting, coloring books, or simple paper projects that require minimal tools.  A craft bag can offer hours of entertainment, and the result is something special to help remember your vacation.

Lately, we’ve been enjoying Play With Bookz Augmented Reality Coloring Books by DEVAR. With these coloring books, not only do you get to color but you actually get to see your masterpiece come to life.

Play With Bookz

Let’s face coloring gets old after a while. Using a free iPhone or Android app, my son is absolutely amazed every time his coloring book pages begin to move and make sounds. It makes coloring a real experience, a fun one! Packing this activity along for a road trip is a must. It encompasses two things children love, coloring and their electronics.

These augmented reality coloring books come in fun themes like cars, farm animals, and enchanted creatures. There is something for everyone!

Tip:  Purchase kids crafting kits and pack as a surprise while on the road.  This will not only keep them busy but also be a fun treat for good behavior in the car.

These are some of the best classic tips for keeping kids busy on family road trips.  No matter where your destination is this summer, your kids will love when you pack these ideas to make the ride more fun.


Play With Bookz coloring books

Thanks to Play With Bookz for sponsoring this giveaway where you can win your very own augmented reality coloring book. Well, actually TWO of them! The winner will get to choose two of these augmented reality coloring books:

Live Heroes

Winged Friends


The purple Island

Mystery Woods

Night Riders

ONE entrant will be selected by the entry form to win two augmented reality coloring books and $5 PayPal Cash. Open for entry US, 18 years and older from 08/04/17 thru 08/18/17. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. Once a winner is drawn and confirmed, the name will be announced on the GiveawayTools form. Play With Bookz will be responsible for sending the winner their prize while Home Jobs By Mom will be responsible for sending the PayPal cash.

Enter More Giveaways

Win a “Heart of the Ocean” Pendant Necklace. Ends 8/23.

Win a 1.7 fl oz bottle of Phytopia Stretch Marks Remover Synergy Blend. Ends 8/30.

Win a baby shower prize pack, over 17 items! Ends 8/31.

The Review Wire Sweet Summertime Hop Aug 4

Be sure to check out the other giveaways below and follow them on social media:

Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.


  1. My kids always loved to play the color game….I see a red car or I see a red sign. Kept them busy!

  2. Linda G. says:

    We take books along, our kids love to read. We also play games, like I Spy and I have some travel bingo cards we like to play in the car also.

  3. We always have lots of activities! Books, movies, and coloring books as well 🙂

    Name: edye


  4. Christina Graham says:

    We mostly sing in the car or listen to our audio history: Story of the World. Sometimes my kids draw or read as well.

  5. We keep them entertained by bringing books along. They really enjoy looking at Nat Geo Kids.

Speak Your Mind


Disney on a Family Budget, Disney vacation, disney vacation planning, disney vacation tips
Disney on a Family Budget

Are you planning a trip or a Disney vacation? In case you didn't know, Disney is synonymous with expensive. If...

how to remember things, how to remember everything, how to remember information, how to remember something
5 Ways To Remember Your Bedtime Routine + My Differin® Gel Results

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AfterDifferin #CollectiveBias A...

camping with kids, camping with kids activities, camping with kids hacks, camping hacks, camping ideas
Take Your Children Camping: 4 Tips That Will Help Make It More Fun

Taking your children camping can be a lot of fun. There’s a great big world out there just waiting to...