49+ Brilliant Ideas And Road Trip Games For Kids

Are chants of “are we there yet?” driving you batty? Well, suffer no longer! These brilliant road trip games will keep the entire family entertained (and fairly quiet!) as you travel on long or short trips.

Let me tell you, we know quite a bit about keeping kids entertained on long road trips!

With most of our family living out of state, we’ve taken a lot of road trips with our four kids of all ages, from newborn to age 12. We’ve had some pretty good trips and others that I’d like to forget…

That being said, I’ve learned a few things about road trips with kids over the years. I’ve learned that even DVD players and iPads get boring (and can often bring out the worst in kids’ attitudes.). I’ve learned that you can’t always tell the difference between a stomach virus and car sickness. I’ve learned that if you help the kids follow along on your road trip, you’ll hear a lot less “Are we there yet?” I’ve learned that you don’t need to take an entire month’s worth of snacks for a one-day trip. I’ve learned that you will get there eventually, even though it may seem endless at the time.

But most of all, I’ve learned that keeping these road trip games in my back pocket is the best way to ensure a (mostly) smooth trip!

Road trip games and ideas for kids

Survive—and Thrive—on Your Next Road Trip

I’ve learned a lot about what not to do and what to do on a family road trip.

Even so, I love to look up ideas from other moms who have made road trips with kids – there’s so much inspiration out there! Seriously, moms are pretty genius.

Today I’ve got a fantastic compilation of ideas for entertainment for long car rides. These all come from brilliant moms who teach you not just how to survive but actually enjoy your road trip with kids! I know that may seem like a reach, but if you spend some time planning your trip and activities for your kids to do, you may just turn your trip into fun family time!

Printable Road Trip Bundle

My favorite way to keep my kids entertained are with printable games. I love that I can hand my kids a binder (or stack) of printed sheets along with some colored pencils and let them entertain themselves for hours.

In fact, I love this method so much that I put together a bundle of over 30 printable road trip games! This set includes:

  • ispy games
  • bingo
  • classic games
  • drawing prompts
  • travel journal
  • reward coupons

The best part is you can print and use these over and over again. Or, if you are a road trip warrior, you may even want to laminate a few of your favorites and keep them stashed in the car with a dry erase marker.

Either way, you are practically guaranteed a peaceful journey!

Grab the Ultimate Travel Game Bundle HERE!

Want to try one printable out and see how your kids like it? Give this free license plate game printable a try!

united states map with list of states for license plate game

Essential Road Trip Car Game Supplies

Along with the printable bundle and the other ideas below, I like to have an “essentials” kit with me on road trips. These are items that work in conjunction with many of the games below but also can be wonderful on their own too.

I also highly recommend you grab one of these backseat organizers for your kids to keep all their road trip goodies in!

Long Road Trip Hacks 

You’ll reach your destination without complaining or groaning when you use these easy hacks!

Make a Travel Coloring Kit

Put together a DIY Travel Coloring Kit.  This will allow your kiddos to color, doodle, or draw without losing their crayons or colored pencils.

Keep your kids occupied on road trips with this easy-to-make DIY Travel Coloring Kit. It has everything kids need to color, including a clip for coloring pages and an attached crayon box so they're less likely to drop things. Plus free printable coloring pages - the perfect size for this kit!

Set Up A Sippy Cup Leash

How many times have your kids lost their cups or drinks? Create a Sippy Cup Leash so they can grab their cup whenever they accidentally drop it.

Internet Hack

It’s no secret that some movies and games will entertain kids of all ages. Here’s How to Get Internet in Your Vehicle (no subscriptions!).  This hack works for both apple (iPhone) and android users. Then, your kids can look up song lyrics or make their own travel tune playlist on Spotify.

Make A Lap Board

Another way to keep kiddos busy is to give them a Super Simple DIY Lap Board . Add some magnetic markers and they will have fun for hours.

Organize Plastic Bags

Whether you have small or older kids, you can always use more plastic bags. This Tissue Box Plastic Bag Dispenser gives you easy access to bags when you need them.

Provide Snacks

Don’t stress about snacks. Make a Dollar Food Bucket for Kids and you’ll save money while they will have fun munching on their favorite treats. Pack it with healthy stuff you can eat on a picnic and some junky stuff too.

Pass Things Back To Them

Instead of taking off your seatbelt or trying to twist around to them when they need something, set up a Car Pulley System. This is such a smart hack! It lets you send stuff to the back of a minivan easily!

Trash Solution

Trash is a huge problem on car rides with kids. Use this Super Easy Solution for Trash in your car and you won’t have to worry about wrappers and bottles all over the place anymore.

Fun Car Games

From the classics (like the alphabet game) to games that have a clear winner, here are some of the best road trip games you can play.

  • Travel Tic-Tac-Toe in a Tin: All you need to make this game is an Altoids tin and some magnets.
  • Tic Tac Toe Garden: These little pom poms are a fun travel toy too.
  • Travel Felt Memory Game: The felt sticks to itself really well, which makes it a fantastic game for road trip adventures.
  • Marble Travel Game: Make a maze that kids can play with felt and marbles.
  • License Plates Bingo: Also called the license plate game, print out BINGO sheets with state license plates on them. The first player that finds the first BINGO wins!
  • Alphabet Game: Read road signs and billboards to pick out each letter of the alphabet. It gets really tricky when you reach the letter X! The first person to find all 26 letters wins.
  • I Spy: Everyone knows the I spy with my little eye game. One person sees something and the others try to guess what they see. Once they guess it, the next player thinks of something.
  • Movie Game: This is a classic road trip game. One person thinks of a movie that starts with the letter A. Then, the next person thinks of a movie that starts with the letter B. Keep going until someone can’t think of a movie.
  • Road Trip Bingo: Use scrapbook stickers to make a homemade version of this classic game. Include things like an RV, a cemetery, or a suitcase – anything they might see on the side of the road or highway as you drive.
Binder filled with road trip games such as restaurant iSpy
Get this restaurant ispy bingo here

Passenger Behavior Motivation

This next category of ideas will help motivate your kiddos to be on their best behavior. They are fun and set the tone for your vacation.

  • Activity Countdown Paper Chain: Let kids see how many other types of activities or games they can play so they never run out of ideas.
  • Kid Clips – Each child has their own clip – clips stay up for good behavior & earn rewards.
  • Clothespin Cities: Let kids see which cities they will be driving through and in what order.
  • Behavior Clips: Reward good behavior with these clips. If they whine or fight, the clip comes down. If they don’t, it stays up. Whoever still has clips up gets a reward!

Boredom Busting Toys

Keep these toys and activities in the car to keep your kiddos entertained on your long trip.

mess free fingerpaint as a road trip game

Car Ride Games & Activities 

Here are even more activities and games that will keep your kiddos entertained in between nap time on the road.

Printable road trip games in a binder

Road Trip Lists & Tips

Road trips involve more than keeping kids entertained. Here are some packing lists and tips that will help you have the most successful road trip with your family.

Free Printable Road Trip Activities with Kids

Print out worksheets and games to give your kids even more things to do while they are in the car. I’ve put together a bundle of over 30 printable activities for you to use – check out the Ultimate Road Trip bundle right here!

What are your favorite tips for road trips with kids?

collage of 49+ Brilliant Ideas for ENJOYING (not just surviving) a Road Trip with Kids - from DIY games and activities to free printables, good behavior motivators, genius travel hacks and more, this list will not just save your sanity, but turn your trip into a fun family memory!

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