How to Keep Kids Entertained on Long Car Rides

by Staff | December 23rd, 2019

Whether you are going on a multi-day road trip, or simply crossing state borders to visit family for the holidays, keeping small children quiet and content on long car rides can be extremely difficult. Even more so, it can make parents distracted and increase your risk of a car accident. That’s why the team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin have put together this guide to help keep Indiana family safe and happy as they navigate the roads.

What to Pack

In addition to any suitcases you might be bringing, it is important to have these items ready at hand, without needing to stop the car to get them from the trunk.

  • Kid-friendly books or activity sheets
  • Handheld game devices, a portable video player, or a smartphone or tablet loaded with kid-friendly games and videos — don’t forget headphones and a car charger!
  • Healthy snacks — you can even try making “snack jewelry” ahead of time by putting cheerios, candy, or dried fruit rings onto a piece of string.
  • Bring a cookie sheet to use as a lap desk for coloring — bring fun magnets and it can double as an activity board!
  • Bring toys that are easy to play with while seated and that won’t become trapped or lost under the seats if dropped.
  • Keep garbage bags, paper towels, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer nearby to clean up messes.
  • Bring small pillows that kids can place against a window to cushion their heads if they want to nap.

More Helpful Ideas for Parents

These tips can reduce crankiness and keep your kids quiet, calm, and safe.

  • If you have very young children, putting one parent in the back seat with them where they can see your face may help reduce stress.
  • If your child uses a car seat, double-check that it and they are secured properly. You don’t want to discover halfway through the trip your toddler figured out how to unbuckle themselves!
  • Let each child pack their own small bag or box with toys and books but keep it in the front seat with you. Give them a new item from their toy bag every hour to keep them from growing bored and give them something to look forward to.
  • If reading in the car gives your child motion sickness, make a visit to the library before your trip and pick out some kid-friendly audiobooks.
  • Make a “trip tracker” by printing out a map of your route, and let your kids place stickers on it as you pass landmarks, so they’ll know how close you are to your destination.
  • Always plan a bathroom break around twenty minutes after a meal break.

Road trip Games for the Whole Family

Story/Guessing Games

Team Storytelling

Everyone takes turns telling a story together, but everyone can only add one sentence to the story at a time on their turn. Your kids will love to see how crazy the story can get with everyone contributing!

License Plate Abbreviations

Using the license plate letters on the vehicles surrounding yours, players must try to come up with the funniest answer to what they might stand for. For example, a player might guess a license plate with the letters “DCC” could mean “dogs chase cats”.

Guess the Word

One player uses their finger to write a word (short words work best) on another player’s arm or palm, and then that player must try to guess what the word is.

20 Questions

Players must try to guess what another player is thinking of but can also ask yes-or-no questions for hints. For example, “is what you are thinking of small than a person?” or “is what you are thinking of purple?” You win the game if you can figure out what it is within 20 questions.

 

Alphabet/Counting Games

The Alphabet Game

Players compete to see who can find every letter of the alphabet first by looking at street signs, billboards, and other signs (license plates may not be used). However, letters must be found in order. For example, if you see a “b” you cannot count it unless you found an “a” first.

Alphabet Categories

Players choose a category (ex: food, animals, cartoon characters, etc.) then must try to find words for every letter of the alphabet for that category. For example, if the category is food, the first player might say “apple”, the next “banana”, then “candy”, and so on until they make it through the entire alphabet.

The Picnic Game

This is a memory game where players must try to remember a continually growing list of what to bring to a picnic, which each player adding one more item on their turn. Each new item must start with the next letter of the alphabet. For example, the first player might say they are bringing apples, so the next player would need to say they are bringing apples and bananas. Then the third player would need to remember apples, bananas, candy, and so on. The game ends once you reach “z.

A, My Name Is Anne

On their turn, each player must answer the questions, “What is your name”, “Where did you come from?”, and “What did you bring with you?” with words that start with each letter of the alphabet. For example, the first player might say, “My name is Anne, I come from Atlanta, and I brought a suitcase full of apples,” while the second player might say, “My name is Bert, I come from Boston, and I brought a suitcase full of bananas,” and so on. The game ends once you reach “z.”

The Counting Game

All the players must try to count to twenty together by taking turns saying the numbers aloud, but players go in no particular order. For example, one player says “one”, another player says “two” and so on. But if two players speak at the same time, the game starts over at one. The game also must start over if more than five seconds go by without anyone saying a number.

Download Our Free Activity Book

One a long car trip, the more things to do, the better. That’s why the team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin has put together a FREE activity book full of fun games to keep your kids occupied on your next car trip. Download our activity book and print it out to enjoy:

  • Coloring pages
  • Word searches
  • Mad libs
  • Mazes
  • Tic-tac-toe

You’ll only need to supply the crayons!

After a Car Accident, Call Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin

Car accidents can be scary any time they happen, but they are especially scary when your family is in the car with you. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you need to call an experienced car accident attorney right away.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we fight back when insurance companies try to reduce or deny the claims of car accident victims when their injuries were caused by another driver’s negligence. Let the experienced Indiana car accident attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin negotiate to get you compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering by calling today for a free consultation.

Connect With Our Attorneys Now