Non-Electronic Kids Road Trip Travel Ideas

How to keep kids entertained on a road trip. ’Tis the season for traveling! Are you among the millions out on the roads and in the sky this holiday season?

We traveled for Thanksgiving this year. It ended up being a 13 hour drive with a 17 month and 4 year old. I know, crazy; but visiting family made it totally worth it.

Whenever these trips come around I am always nervous, no matter how much I plan. I worry about everything. How am I going to keep the kids happy? Do we have enough food? Etc., etc., etc.

For those traveling this holiday season, I pulled together a couple of ideas, non-electronic that take up very little room, that I used for keeping my kids happy and entertained when traveling.

 For the car:

Magnetic Letters & Cookie Sheet – My son is really into letters and numbers right now so this keeps him busy for a while. You can always find magnets that fit your child’s interests.

Quite Game – See who can remain quiet the longest. My kids are a little young for this but we always played this game as a kids. A good reward usually encourages more quite time.

Letters & Numbers Game – Count or find all the letters in the alphabet on signs and license plates.

For the car or plane Travel_Crayons_&_Post-it-Notes

Crayons & Post-it Notes – My kids draw on the Post-it Notes, them “decorate” the car with the drawings.

Felt Activity Boards – Felt is an easy and inexpensive way to create actives for your kids. Felt is awesome because if doesn’t have to be sewn and it takes up very little room. There are a ton of DIY and for purchase options. I created a Pinterest Board to hold my favorite ideas. For Thanksgiving I made a turkey and fall tree for the kids to play with in the car.

Inexpensive_Travel_Toys Mini Magnetic Drawing Board – Even my 17 month old loves this.

Special Food – I always carry a special treat. It doesn’t have to be much. M&M’s saved us on the last hour of our drive over Thanksgiving.

Bonus: Most of these are small enough to keep in a purse or diaper bag for use around town as well on longer trips.

What are your tips and trick for keeping kids happy while on the road?



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There are not many places that I would rather be than outdoors. I grew up hiking and camping in the Rockies. In college I studied natural resources and worked as a park ranger, research assistant and policy intern. Now-a-days my adventures include my two children, 4 and 1, and husband. When my son was asked what he was thankful for he said camping. In the spring of 2014 I will begin the new adventure of teaching environmental studies at the college level.

There are 5 Comments

  1. Posted by Victoria at Bienvenido Adventure

    Great ideas on how to keep kiddos busy! I loved the seek-and-find type games when we traveled. There wasn’t a safe sign on the road! My husband probably wishes I played the quiet game more on our trips, haha!

  2. Posted by Camilla Funk

    Love these ideas! Thank you

  3. Posted by Mae Kiggins

    My husband probably feels the same way about me. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Posted by Mae Kiggins

    Thanks.

  5. Posted by Car Travel with Kids Tips + Giveaways | Tales of a Mountain Mama

    […] Non-Electric Kids Road Trip Travel Ideas over on GoAdventureMom.com […]

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