Family In Car

How To Keep The Kids Entertained On A Long Car Trip

Long car trips are part of the activity of modern families today. Many are investing their time and money in buying cars with higher mileage per gallon so they can go wherever they want.

Families take long car trips once in a while because it gives them the opportunity to explore the world outside of their homes. With on long car trips, parents can get a chance to teach their children the things they only see in their books or gadgets.

Also, it gives the families an opportunity to commune with nature. Parents and kids get a chance to breathe fresh air, refresh their eyes, and have some exercise.

Long car trips can release the stress that family members feel from long days of work. It is an excellent opportunity to take a break from the routine you have at home or office.

Lastly, long car trips enable one to bond with the family, especially for parents who spend the majority of their time at work.

Indeed, family car journeys are fantastic. However, it can make your kids go wild, irritated, and bored. For sure, you don’t like it when your kids have tantrums because it will only make the adventures turn into chaos.

We will discuss the tips on how to keep the kids entertained in this article, especially on a long car trip.

How To Keep The Kids Entertained On A Long Car Trip

  1. Play Their Favorite Movies

One tip to prevent your kids from getting bored is to play their favorite films in the car. Some cars today are pre-installed with a television screen, and you can opt for this one. You can also bring a portable DVD player or laptop with you and always make sure that you have backup power in case your gadgets drain its batteries. Also, bring Bluetooth enabled speakers so everyone can hear audibly the movie they’re watching.

  1. Carry Sweet Treats Always

Sweet treats is a must-have on every trip! Surely, your kids will feel pampered during the ride while eating their favorite food. Bring with you your kids’ favorite delights such as the following:

  • Chocolate bars
  • Gummy bears
  • Cupcakes
  • Wafers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate/ Milk drinks
  • Chips and other snacks
  1. Listen To Audiobook Stories

Tired of telling stories to your kids? Don’t worry; you can play audiobooks instead. You can download various audiobooks available on the internet today and save it on your gadget. Then, you can just plug your device into the car’s sound system and make your kids listen to the stories. Audiobooks will make your kids’ imagination run wild.

  1. Engage In Digital Games

Bring with you your iPads or smartphones and install it with offline games which your children can play. There are various offline games that are available in App Store or Play Store.

Kids Playing On Tablet In Car

  1. Capture An Image With A Polaroid

To develop your kid’s full potential in photography, you can give them your instant camera or any other available cameras with you. Let them take pictures of anything they see during the trip, and you can soon compile it and post in a scrapbook.

  1. Bring Their Favorite Toys

If your kids get tired of playing with e-games, let them enjoy their toys. Some of it is loom bands, stuffed toys, doll house, balls, robots, and others.

  1. Let Them Draw

Invite your kids to practice their handwriting or drawing by giving them a whiteboard or coloring books, colored pens, and eraser. For example, you can ask them to draw your face or their siblings’ faces.

  1. Sing A Song

Bring a guitar with you and play your kids’ favorite song. Better yet, you can just play a song using the car’s sound system or sing in acapella. Invite your kids to join so they’ll feel at ease during the trip.

  1. Play Various Games

Lastly, devise multiple games for your kids and be as creative as you can be. Here are some of the games that you can try:

  • The License plate game – Each time your kids spot a car, check its plate number and ask them to give a meaning for it. For example, OEF means ‘Onion Eating Fanatic.’
  • Map the destination – Print a map of your destination and hand it to your kids. Let them mark the cities you’ve passed by so you let them have something to do in the backseat.
  • Animal spotting – Ask your kids to spot and name animals on the road.


In sum, it is essential to make your kids safe and calm during the entire trip so you as a parent can have peace of mind too.

Meanwhile, it is recommended to supervise your kids in whatever activities you let them do during the trip. After all, we want them to learn and have fun after the stress and hassles of the real world.

Oftentimes, the road can become very unsafe especially when you have kids travelling with you. If you and your kids are involved in car accidents and have incurred personal injuries, you can check this website to learn more on what you should and should not do during this kind of situation.

AnnieAbout The Author

Annie Gray writes topics on law subjects that can help the common reader understand them better. She keeps herself fit and healthy by jogging during her free time.


Also published on Medium.

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  1. One of my fondest childhood memories is my mom reading the series of Cor Dirks, Die Uile, to my brother and I in the car. How mom never got car sick is beyond me. I can’t read in the car without developing a tinge of nausea.

  2. Great article and ideas!

    I will keep some of them in mind when JD is older. We are planning to travel down to George in December of this year and I was contemplating how I will keep a two and a half year old occupied. :-O

    We’ll be driving through the night, so hopefully he’ll be asleep for the bigger part of the journey.

    This article came at just the right time.

    I will definitely consider the treats, toys and my ipad with games.

  3. When I was little we did not have all sorts of tegnological devices to entertain us in the car and I hardly ever got bored. We did maths with the number plates of the cars passing by. We also played ‘I spy with my little eye’.
    I do not think that it is a good idea to give children a lot of sweets in the car. In my opinion we should limit sweets to special occasions. When you start to do research about all the negative effects of sugar we would not want to give our children sweet at all. Also,sugar give them extra energy and that is not a good thing when you want them to sit still for a long trip.

  4. Great ideas in the article, thank you. We often go on long trips with our kids. It has always been something we look forward to. I must admit when they were smaller it was much easier in some ways compared to now that they are older. They need much more entertainment now that they are older. The difficult part about travelling long distances, a few years ago, when they were younger, was the fact that you had to warm up their food and milk. I had to stop at the garage and ask them to boil my water, as i would never leave home without the kettle. Or even some restaurants would oblige! Nowadays they have the bottle and food warmers which is easily available. The one thing we always make sure of is.. if the car is big enough and if we can let the seats down when we need to take a rest. If the kids can stretch their legs and make a little bed then they are happy. We tend to take way too much sweets but that is the one thing that keeps you awake and alert on the road. I will never sleep in a moving car because I’ve been involved in a car crash as a passenger when i was about to nod off. It was the scariest thing ever and it still haunts me today. Take lots of bottled water. My kids tummy’s tend to be a bit out of sorts when we drink water from the different provinces. This has just been our experiences through the years.’ Just replying to your articles makes me wish i was on the road now with my family. It is definitely something we all look forward to every holiday. I also do a voice recording for them about their favourite book. They enjoy listening to these stories as i also tend to get very nauseous whilst reading in the moving car. It is also a good idea to download their favourite music because you cannot always get reception for the radio. When they get older they will dominate the radio! We love to play the “I spy with my little eye” game. We make up all sorts of things while we are driving. When you drive it is totally restricted to what is actually inside the car, unless you are at a roadblock and then you can include what’s on the outside. Oh and our favourite thing lately has been…. knitting. Even my 9 year old soon has taken up the challenge…Ps: hubby as well(When he is not driving of course,lol)

  5. My two year old loves watching kids youtube movies on her Amazon tablet particularly the educational ones where they teach colors, numbers, alphabet etc. I use this to keep her busy when we are traveling. She also loves drawing, so a drawing book and a pencil or two usually does the trick. Snacks and enough fluids are also a must, and a stop every now and then where we can stretch our legs and she can explore for a while.

  6. What a lovely article. I will definitely make use of these tips when my one is a little older. There are a few tips that I can use now.
    We are looking at upgrading the “mommy” car so a dvd player will be something that I want to add to it.

    I remember as a kid, we also played the number plate game and we absolutely loved it. We also looked at the colour of the cars. Each one of us chose a colour and then if your colour car passes you, you get a number. the one with the highest numbers obviously won. Ahhh it kept us busy for quite some time.

    We as parents should still let our children play these type of games instead of too much tablet games. I know it’s reality but we need to focus on teaching them the same things we were taught back in the days.

  7. We don’t normally drive for more than 3 hours, so my daughter (3y 8m) usually sleeps for a bit, and then watches the scenery for the rest of the trip. We went on a long trip last year, though, so I bought one of those little tables that you strap onto the car seat. It is made of sturdy, yet bendable foam, so should an accident occur, the table will bend and not injure your little one. She was really chuffed with her little table, and packed her toys on it, read books on it, ate on it, and even tried to colour in on it. Very handy little things.

    We are driving to the Easter Cape in April – 987 kilometres!!! – so I will definitely read this article again before we go. A little foam table alone isn’t gonna cut it!

  8. We took out little one down to the South Coast when she was just 9 months old – we were not popular at all. She got so irritable and annoyed and it was hell for all of us!! So on our way back from that holiday, her dad went to bed early, I stayed up and tended to her until bedtime. We packed the car and at 12am we gently put her in the car. She slept the whole way home and when she did wake up she wasn’t grumpy or frustrated or anything. Since then – that’s the only way we do it for long distance but I always pack things in the car for her to do – just in case. These are some awesome ideas.

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