We took our first family road trip in 2014, and it was such a success we have taken one every summer since. Part of our success has been the ability to keep our kids busy throughout the trip. Keeping kids entertained during a long drive is no easy feat, but these five road trip activities for kids will keep them occupied so everyone can enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
This is a sponsored post by Amazon.
5 Road Trip Activities For Kids
Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet
The first thing most parents think of to keep kids entertained on a road trip is an electronic device. And I am right there with you. In fact, leading up to a road trip often we cut down on tablet usage at home in order to make it even more appealing when we get in the car.
My favorite electronic device for a road trip is the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet. We got my oldest one four years ago, and she recently passed it down to her sister. As much as we liked the old tablet, the new one offers so much more. (In fact, now both girls want the new tablet.) Whereas the older version felt like a kid’s tablet; clunky, a bit sluggish and heavy, the new one is zippy, fast and light.
We chose the Fire Kids Edition tablet because it comes preloaded with FreeTime Unlimited, which is a central hub of curated content just for kids (including a kid-friendly web browser). Like any Amazon tablet, the device is tied to your Amazon account so you have the option to add apps, books and videos you have downloaded or purchased into your child’s FreeTime profile.
Of course, we don’t have WiFi in the car, but that’s not a problem because you can download the content in FreeTime Unlimited to the device for offline use. (The Fire Kids Edition tablet comes with 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.) You can even set up different profiles for multiple kids so they can have access to their own content. I am not sure how well sharing the device will go on a road trip, but it is a nice feature.
Mom tip – By downloading Overdrive and adding the app into our child’s FreeTime library, we also access free books from the local library. We download them at home so they are available to read on the road.
There is no shortage of entertainment in FreeTime Unlimited, and it just keeps expanding. From games to videos and even books, I couldn’t believe the amount of content now available. Although the device is meant for children 3+, there are even apps suitable for toddlers. Which means in a pinch, big sister can use the tablet to entertain the baby too.
Another thing parents will appreciate about the Fire Kids Edition tablet is that it comes with a kid-proof case. So when you open the box and charge the device, you are ready to go.
Currently there are two Fire Kids Edition tablets:
- Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet
- Has an 8” HD Display, 32 GB of storage and a kid-proof case
- Regularly priced at $129.99
- Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet
- Has a 7” display, 16 GB of storage, kid-proof case
- Regularly priced at $99.99
Free Printable Road Trip Games
One of the great things about a road trip is seeing the world around you. So while the tablet is a great way to keep kids entertained on long boring stretches of highway, there are other times I insist on “eyes up.” I want the kids to be engaged with family, looking out the window and seeing the new area we have come to explore.
How do you get kids to want to look out the window? Make it a game. Remember the License Plate Game? My kids love searching for license plates, the whole family gets into it. And while they are scanning the cars that pass, they also see the world.
Before you go on your next road trip, download these free printable road trip games to keep kids looking out the window:
Road Trip Journaling
The whole point of taking a road trip is to make family memories. Why not put the kids in charge of recording those memories? There are tons of ideas on Pinterest to help you make a road trip journal so kids can record their special thoughts – in words or pictures. It gives something to do and is a great way to preserve family memories.
Thanks to the Fire Kids Edition tablet, they can even take photos and videos. Just be sure to actually have the photos printed when you get home so they can go into the road trip journal.
Crank Up The Fun
It’s a road trip. Don’t be afraid to crank up the radio and have a jam session. This is your chance to be silly with your kids. Sing along to your favorites and impress (or embarrass) your kids with your amazing recall of every word from your favorite 90’s songs.
Whether you create a playlist before you go or surf the radio, let everyone take turns playing DJ and picking the next song.
Need a break from singing and want to get the conversation flowing? Ask open-ended questions that get everyone thinking. These family conversation starters are a good place to start.
Something Old v Something New
Do not underestimate the power of something new. For every road trip I pack a few new trinkets and surprises — a new coloring book, a small toy, etc. I secretly pack these new trinkets up front where I can reach them and surprise the kids with them as needed.
They don’t have to be elaborate, but would be surprise how something new can change the mood in the car when kids tire of the drive.
We are still in the planning stages for our road trip this summer, but I am excited to get back out and explore with my family. I hope these road trip activities for kids help your family make the most of its time on the road.
As you get ready for vacation keep in mind these 40 things to pack for a road trip with kids.