Grab these free printable road trip activities for kids to keep your family busy for hours, plus 14 more kid approved travel activities!
If you’re preparing for a family road trip you may be concerned about how to keep your kids entertained on the long drive.
Honestly there are times when five minutes in the car with kids who won’t fighting or asking “are we there yet” is almost more than I can handle. Which makes the thought of an extended road trip feel completely insane.
With the right preparation and a little planning though, a long road trip with kids can actually be a lot of fun. This list of 27 super fun ideas will help make your road trip this summer a bit more bearable than usual!
My free printable road trip activity set comes with 7 different activities that will keep your kids busy and unplugged so you can focus on the road. Your whole family will come to love these printable road trip games when the kids are kept happy as you head out on your family vacation.
You can download all 11 pages for FREE at the end of the article.
I would suggest grabbing a few of these dry erase pocket sleeves and some dry erase markers so kids can mark up the activity sheets, then erase them when they want to play again. That way you can reuse the Road Trip Activities for Kids sheets you printed over and over.
Don’t forget to grab my free Road Trip Planner so you can stop stressing about the logistics of your trip and get organized!
1. Road Trip Bingo
Instead of someone calling out the letters and numbers, kids get to look out the window to fill in their bingo squares! Each picture on the bingo cards are something they might see outside on your road trip.
There are 4 different Bingo cards included in this set, so each child can have their own unique bingo card.
2. The License Plate Game
The license plate game is a classic road trip game! Simply search for license plates from all 50 states and check them off as you see them.
This game can last the entire road trip!
I’ve also included a sheet for us Canadian families to colour in Canadian provincial license plates.
We usually see loads of Americna plates when travelling across Canada, so bring both sheets with you!
3. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
For this scavenger hunt have your child check off the items they see as you’re driving along. This is a fun activity for kids of all ages.
Trust me, even the grown-ups will want to get involved!
4. Road Sign Scavenger Hunt
This road sign scavenger hunt is a twist on the other sheet. Rather than looking for objects, keep your eyes open for road signs.
5. Road Trip Packing List for Kids
While packing and getting organized for your trip, keep your kids busy with this checklist of their own.
6. Road Trip Journal
Use this travel journal sheet to get your kids to journal their experience. This journal sheet is sure to spark their interest in recording their thoughts.
7. Alphabet I-Spy
There are two fun ways to play Alphabet I-Spy.
The first way is to look out the window at billboards, signs, and license plates to find the letters of the alphabet. Try to find them in order!
The second way it look for objects that start with each letter and write them down.
If your kids love to colour in the car, I would invest in a kids travel tray. It helps to keep them organised with all their things within easy reach plus provides them a sturdy surface to colour on.
9. Sticker Books
All kids love sticker books. My kids love the reusable sticker books where they can reposition the stickers within a scene. There are loads of great options for sticker books that are sure to keep kids quiet and engaged.
10. Magnetic Road Trip Games
Maybe one of the worst parts of road tripping with kids is when anything they want falls on the floor of the car.
Enter magnetic road trip games to keep kids busy, with pieces that stay in place! There are many different magnetic games out there that kids will absolutely love – and you will too!
If your kids don’t get carsick from reading in the car, encourage some quiet reading time during the trip.
My kids love to read so we usually stock up from the library or Amazon before a road trip so they have tons of fresh reading material!
12. Audio Books
If your children are prone to motion sickness, then audiobooks provide a great alternative to reading. This is an activity all ages in the car can enjoy.
Audible is currently offering a free 30-day trial and offers thousands of audiobooks, podcasts and other content to keep your family entertained while you travel. You can cancel anytime before your trial ends and you won’t be charged.
Be sure to download a few favourites before the trip and test them so they are ready to go in the car. Don’t forget to charge your electronics before you leave!
13. Carry Case Toys
I think the perfect travel toys are the playsets that come in their own carry case as they are easy to clean up and stow when not in use. Playmbil has a fantastic range of carry case playsets that are high quality and really inexpensive for what they are that I recommend.
A great idea is to buy a few travel toys before your trip and keep them hidden from the kids. You can wrap them before you go to get the kids really excited. Then hand them out for good behaviour along the way.
You could also make your own road trip goodie bags filled with fun things from the dollar store as a reward for good behaviour.
14. Rubbing Plates
I loved playing with a set of rubbing plates my grandparents had at their home when I was a kid. It’s such a fun and creativity activity.
Each plate has a different design that you can mix and match with other plates in the set. You use crayons to rub the pattern onto a sheet of paper to reveal the design!
Kids can colour in the designs or just enjoy their artwork as is.
15. Magnet Tins
Magnet tins are a great way to give your kids a super fun activity they can take on the go. From magnet puzzles and play scenes, there is sure to be a magnet tin you can find that your kids will love.
An inexpensive alternative is to bring a cookie sheet and magnets you already own.
Again, the great thing about magnetic toys in the car is they are less likely to have pieces dropped and lost. Goals.
If you are less worried about things dropping, you could also put together your own busy bags.
16. Maze Books and Boards
Kids of all ages can enjoy mazes. Look for chunky maze boards for younger kids or maze books for older kids. They are sure to help pass the time quietly.
17. Hidden Picture Books
Remember how much time you probably spent as a kid pouring over Where’s Waldo? Load up on hidden picture books! Kids love these and it can keep them busy for quite awhile depending on how challenging the book is.
Get your kids an inexpensive digital camera and let them record your next road trip however they want through pictures and videos.
This might seem pretty obvious, but music can be an awesome distraction on a road trip that is often forgotten about in the shuffle.
Put together a family-friendly road trip playlist that won’t leave you going crazy after an hour drive and that will keep spirits high. I would suggest a mix of your favourites and the kids favourites.
My mom used to make us listen to Stan Rogers cassette tapes for 6 hours at a time. We would often grumble about it but would soon all be singing along like sailors to the sea shanty’s. Even now, when I hear a Stan Rogers song as an adult I immediately think back to a hot summer day driving through Ontario with hay rolled up in the fields as we passed on our way camping up North.
20. Healthy Snacks
If you’re about to embark on a road trip, don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks! Packing your own snacks will help save you time and money on a long car ride, and keep the kids from loading up on sugary junk.
Everyone loves road trick snacks, so try to pack plenty of fresh fruit, nuts, trail mix, granola bars and other healthy snacks. The dollar store is a great place to load up on things like nuts and dried fruit!
Don’t forget to pack plenty of water bottles for the trip too.
21. Screen Time
Your entire trip doesn’t need to be unplugged to be fun and memorable. Let your kids zone out and enjoy a favourite tv show or movie for a little! You will all appreciate the downtime.
You can download movies or shows on Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime onto your kids’ tablets.
Personally I adore Amazon Prime, for the cost of shipping one item a month I get free shipping on everything AND all the television shows and movies we can watch. They also offer a 30-day Free Trial.
Another option if your vehicle doesn’t come equipped with tv screens, is a portable DVD player.
DOWNLOAD THE ROAD TRIP ACTIVITY PRINTABLE SET
This 11 page, Road Trip Activities for Kids printable set is full of family-friendly activities to keep your kids engaged and happy during their road trip experience!
Grab this Road Trip Printable Activity Set for FREE and get ready to hit the road to use with kids of all ages.
The set includes:
- Road Trip Bingo (with 4 different cards)
- Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
- Road Signs Scavenger Hunt
- U.S.A. Map/License Plate Game
- Canada Map/License Plate Game
- Kids Travel Checklist
- Travel Journaling Page
- Road Trip Alphabet I-Spy
You may use this file for your own PERSONAL USE ONLY. File sharing, distribution, and commercial use of this file or of the printed work from this file are prohibited. You are welcome to print as many copies as you like for yourself. The designs can not be used for any commercial purpose or resold. You may NOT use these files for publishing on any platform under any circumstances.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!