Last year we tackled air travel with the kids and I shared some of my tips for making the trip a little smoother. This year we took our first road trip with the kids. We only traveled 5 hours to the other side of the state but with 3 little ones it's always better to be extra prepared. I wasn't too worried about keeping them entertained once we arrived at our destination because we were traveling with family and had lots of great plans for the 3 day excursion. But I was worried about the car ride itself. We frequently take an hour long drive to visit my in-laws and by the end of that they are already starting the "Are we therrrrreeeee yet?" questions from the back seat. I didn't want to listen to that for 4+ hours each way so I came up with some fun stuff to make the time in the car both enjoyable and hopefully memorable.
I started off with some cookie sheets from the Dollar Store. These created the base for all of my activities and are perfect because they are both magnetic and create a tray perfect for lap play in the car.
The first activity cards I created were these Road Trip Bingo cards over at Housing a Forest. I printed off a handful and then attached printable mazes from Game Idea For Kids to the back.
From the same site as the mazes I printed off some character based memory cards. Scooby Doo, Diego, and Sponge bob are sure to make the kiddos smile and keep them entertained! After attaching card stock and magnets to the back, they can also double as markers for Bingo.
Awhile back I picked up some plastic sandwich containers in the dollar section at Target and thought they could be put to good use on this trip. The obvious choice probably would have been to put snacks in them but I instead decided to use them to keep some of the loose pieces for the activities together. You can see the crayons and I ended up putting the memory cards in there as well.
I also printed off some sewing cards from Kids Sewing Projects and punched holes in the cards. I would have liked to have laminated these so that they would be more sturdy but didn't get a chance. Luckily these didn't cost anything so even if they only make it through this one trip, they will be worthwhile. Paired this with some shoe laces that were 8 for $1.00 and they made for an easy letter sewing activity.
While at the Dollar Store getting last minute supplies for these activities I also picked up some blank drawing pads which ended up giving the kids a way to write and/or draw about their experiences while we were traveling. That made for some precious keepsakes from the trip. I also found some mini playing cards that didn't get used this time around but that I plan on adding magnets to for future activity packs.
After tucking all of these goodies into backpacks, we were set for the road. I must say I was very pleased with how much use the kids got out of their stuff and we had very few "I'm bored" moments. Bingo became a whole car activity that took us all the way home. Hope you enjoy these ideas and feel free to share what you like to do with your little ones on those longer than usual car rides.