The Best Fun Road Trip Toys And Activities For Happy Kids
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In the previous post of this series, I’ve shown you how to make easy and cheap DIY car trip activities for kids. Activities don’t have to be expensive, they just have to be entertaining and to keep the kids happy and content on a long road trip!
- In the final post of this series, I will share some more tips along with other moms’ feedback and I will also provide a checklist for you to be better prepared for a road trip with kids!
Our road trip from Florida to Washington, DC was about 15 hours long, not counting frequent stops.
So, we need to have plenty of road trip toys and activities to stay entertained, especially for the kids.
My kindergartener and recently turned one kids are interested in different things. Keeping that in mind, I packed more toys and activities that would entertain them both than individually.
Before the road trip, I gathered cheap toys from Target, Dollar Tree and several stores’ clearance sections. I hid most of the brand new toys in the over the door hanging organizer I cut in half and it was underneath Ocean’s rear-facing car seat. I took them out at the last resort when the kids were really cranky. In the organizer, there were I SPY sensory bottles, a wooden catch ball toy, lace and trace animals, and plastic straws (for the kids to play with and drink from). The kids played with all of these in the organizer.
I’ve mentioned several times in this series about a storage bin I’ve converted from a diaper box. The storage bin went in between the car seats in the back seat. It can be moved to the passenger seat easily if I needed to sit in the back.
What went into the storage bin?
In the top front part of the storage bin, I had coloring books, coloring pencils, glow in dark sticks for night driving, mini slinkies, and Coral’s camera. The middle part had Ocean’s baby toys (a Sophie the Giraffe, a ball with chain links, a rattle toy, and a Mickey Roadster car), and Duplos with Duplo people and animals inside. The back part had both kids’ books and the beaded cardboard loom. The kids played with everything in the storage bin except for some books left untouched.
The bottom part of the storage bin held most of the snacks and snack containers.
On the floor of the back seat, I had the cookie sheet lap trays with magnetic imagination patterns, a backpack with two iPads, cameras and chargers, and several of Coral’s Barbies. Coral didn’t even once touch her Barbies!
How did we use iPads in the car and which movies and games did the kids enjoy?
I wanted both kids to be able to watch a show or a movie on an iPad but Ocean is still rear-facing, so that means we have to take along two iPads. Originally, I planned on purchasing headrest mount holders. Since we don’t take long-distance road trips regularly, I chose not to buy the mount holders. The kids don’t typically watch shows or movies in the car, so it would be a waste of money. For this road trip, I needed to figure out how to temporarily mount the iPads up.
I thought I could just use zipped plastic bags!
Make sure you have the bag design on the bottom. Remove the headrest and mark on the bag where the holes should go. Poke the holes in the upper side part so the headrest would be able to go through the holes. Put the iPad in the bag and zip it closed. That’s it!
Both kids watched a lot of shows and movies on the iPads. I removed the iPads from the bags every time we stopped. When we got back home from the trip, the holes were a little bit bigger but they were still going strong!
I downloaded Little Baby Bum episodes off Netflix for Ocean to watch. He was obsessed! For Coral, I downloaded several movies and a couple of games. One movie she watched again and again during our trip was Next Gen.
She loved Toca Boca app games on iPad. She had been wanting the vacation one, so I surprised her with that for the road trip. By now, she has almost all of Toca Boca apps. Her favorites are the vacation one, the hair salon and Toca dance.
I also bought a couple of new trendy kid music albums for the kids to listen to.
I wish I took pictures of the kids watching their shows on the iPads.
I’d highly recommend you to take along most of the toys and activities I mentioned above especially the iPads and cookie sheet lap trays, I SPY sensory bottles, coloring books, and Duplos.
Other moms’ entertainment tips:
“Visit your local thrift shop (Goodwill Outlet is my favorite, you pay by the pound!) and buy a bunch of random toys and load up on books. Every hour, hand back something new to play with!” – Stephanie
“Simple games that the whole family can play while driving keeps everyone happy and makes time fly.” – Noreen
“Have a lot of car games available as they might not be as captivated by the landscape as we are!
We also try to schedule at least one activity per day that they choose to help them stay excited and as involved as we are.” – Rim
“Wrap small new toys (get several from the dollar store) and let your child open one every hour. I always do a few layers of tissue paper for the wrapping so it takes my toddler longer to open it.” – Alyssa
“We only let the kids use the iPads for a 5-hour drive or longer. When we do go on the trip we tell the kids they can’t use their iPads until 11 am, or whatever time we decide (typically 2-3 hours after we start driving), that way they stop asking to use them every 5 minutes, they know what to expect and actually look out the window and enjoy the ride and conversation until they get their electronic devices.” – Sarah
“Bringing kid-friendly music that WON’T drive grownups batty is a must!!!” – Flossie
“If you’re going to do screens (and I suggest you do!) download shows on the tablet in advance, so you don’t have to use data or in case you are in an area with bad service. Make sure devices are fully charged at the beginning of the trip and chargers are easily accessible. Snacks are a must, limit liquids as much as possible. Fill bottles/sippy cups half way and keep water bottles for refills. Mess-free activities are a really great way to keep little ones busy. Pack lots of wipes!” – Inez
“Podcasts that are kid-friendly always save us from debating over music. Or, we’d pick a book and listen to the audio version.” – Leah
After reading the feedbacks from other moms, I thought wrapping small toys and doing audiobooks were a great idea! I loved that, so I plan on doing that for the next time we go on a family road trip!
What road trip toys and activities do you plan on taking along on your next trip with kids?
Road trip with kids series:
- How to Best Prepare For A Road Trip With Kids
- How To Conquer Packing For A Road Trip With Kids
- DIY Convert Diaper Box To Storage Bin For Traveling In Car With Kids
- Quick And Healthy Road Trip Snacks For Kids And Adults
- Easy And Cheap DIY Car Trip Activities For Kids
- The Best Fun Road Trip Toys And Activities For Happy Kids
- Family Road Trip Checklist To Make Your Trip Enjoyable