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Entertaining Kids in the Car (Without Technology)

7 Jul 2014 – 06:37 AM EDT

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School’s out, the summertime weather is beckoning us to spend our days outside, and the road is calling. Wanderlust has hit and with just two month to create magical memories with your family, you might be getting ready to pack up the car and head out to see what our great country has to offer!

Piling the kids into the car for a quick trip to a neighboring state, or to visit Grandma in the next town isn’t too tricky, but as you add hours to your road trip you will find that the kiddos need a little more entertainment in the car in order to keep the “are we there yet?”s at bay. When it comes to travel with kids, it’s easy to hand over the tablets or video games to occupy your brood as you head down the highway. However, as a mother, I cringe at the thought of their eyes being glued to screens while they miss out on the scenery, conversation with family, and the bonding experience that comes along with spending that much time together in a car!

Today I wanted to share my favorite ways to entertain kids in the car without using technology at all!

Car Games

It may sound basic, but games like Eye Spy, the Alphabet Game, or License Plate Bingo are all simple ways to keep your kids happy and engaged during your trip. A quick trip over to Google will supply you with an endless choice of games that can be played with your whole family!


Put together a bag filled with paper, markers, stickers, crayons, scissors, and more! This is perfect for keeping kids busy (and creative!) in the car, and, if you toss it into a zip-up pouch, you can use it as a buffer at restaurants on the road when you’re waiting for your meal to arrive. Keep the peace by offering a special craft pouch to each of your children. You can even include a special journal for them to write about their adventures!

Travel Sized Games

Lots of board game brands have created tiny versions of their games, with magnetic pieces so that they can be played just about anywhere. Checkers, Scrabble, and Snakes & Ladders are all a great choice!

Window Markers

If you’re in your own car (this isn’t quite suitable for a rental) you can find window markers that they kids can use to draw on the inside of your car’s windows! Make sure there are lots of paper towels in the backseat to help them wipe away their designs after they finish.

Books on Tape

This is my only tiny cheat, as I suppose the tape deck or CD player in your car is still technological! However, there’s a big difference in having your whole family listening to a book on tape together (think Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, or anything by Roald Dahl) than having everyone staring into their own device. This activity connects your family as you can all discuss the books and you’ll find yourselves laughing together all the way to your destination!

I hope these ideas inspire you and your family to spend your next road trip tech-free. Or, at least save the iPads and portable DVD players as a last resort. No judgement, moms! We’ve all been there! Just remember that travel with kids doesn’t have to be as stressful as mainstream culture may have you believe. You just need the right tools in your mama-toolbox.

Happy road tripping this summer! Wishing you a safe and happy season filled with incredible family memories!