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How to Keep Kids Busy on Road Trips

If you’re planning a family road trip, you may also be considering how to keep kids busy and entertained on road trips. The truth is that road trips can be a fun experience…until the kids start complaining that they’re bored. So, to avoid temper tantrums and turn moans into giggles of delight, here are some of the best ways to keep your little ones busy in their car seats.

Activities for Kids to Keep Them Busy on Road Trips

Travelling with kids can be exhausting, but only because they’re bored! As soon as you hear “Are we there yet?” try one of the following ideas to curb their boredom, keep your kids entertained, and save you from a headache. From fun snacks to travel games and allowing them to draw on the car windows, these activities prove that you can keep kids of all ages entertained while still limiting their screen time.

For the Toddler

Toddlers are probably the most difficult age to entertain. They get bored easily, have short attention spans, and don’t fully grasp why they must sit still for so long. However, if you keep their little minds busy, their bodies will stay still!

1. Pack a Treasure Chest Together

Get kids to help you pack a box or Tupperware with all kinds of treasures. Consider a sticker book, small toys, treats—anything that could keep them busy. And if they help decide what should go in it, the excitement for the road trip will also build up, making them less likely to complain.

2. Travel Journal

Get kids excited about what awaits around the corner by giving them a blank book to fill with drawings, notes and anything else they collect on the trip, like slips or wrappers, for example. This is a special way for them to collect their memories and keep them engaged!

3. Hourly Gifts and Treats

Unfortunately, young kids get bored of what’s in front of them quickly. So, try and pack many little treats, which they can open every hour. Set an alarm, and they will wait in anticipation for the next one!

4. Make Snacking Fun

All kids love snacks, but instead of giving them a snack they’re used to, why not make it interactive and fun to eat? For example, create a bracelet from the snacks, which they can wear and nibble on.

5. Drawing on Car Windows

If you’re brave enough to watch it happen, buy markers you can easily wipe off, and allow them to draw on the car windows.

6. Travel Trays and Clay or Stickers

A simple plastic serving tray can let kids’ imaginations go wild as they decorate it with stickers or use it to build inventions from clay.

For the Tween

Tweens are in that in-between stage, making it a challenge to find the right thing to entertain them.

1. Interactive Apps

Some tweens might roll their eyes if they have to just stare at the screen and do nothing. Instead, give them a bit more of a challenge, like a game or a quiz. Or, even better, a story where they get to choose what happens next.

2. Magnetised Board Games

If your kids want to play games, choose magnetised versions to avoid them getting upset when things go missing or fall around in the car.

3. Brain Teasers and Riddles

Tweens might enjoy challenging the family to the same brain teasers and riddles after they’ve figured it out. The look of pride on their faces will be priceless when they get it right!

For the Teenager

Older kids are least likely to want to participate in family activities and might get overly annoyed with their siblings.

1. Music or Audiobooks and Earphones

Your older children will likely be happiest when they can switch off from everything else in the car and go into their own world. A good set of headphones and a phone with music or audiobooks could keep them engrossed during a long car ride.

2. A Popular Trilogy

Whether it’s Harry Potter or Twilight, if you give them an entire series to read through, it will keep them busy for ages.

3. Polaroid Camera

Give your teenager a polaroid camera so they can capture memories and get the gratification of immediately printing it. They can even start a scrapbook, sticking in these photos along with other souvenirs from the trip.

4. Colouring Pages

Although you might think colouring pencils are reserved for younger children, it has become a popular and very relaxing activity for all ages, and your teen is bound to enjoy it. Even better, they can do it while listening to music or audiobooks.

For the Whole Family

Everyone might not always be on the same page about what to do while on a road trip. However, here are some activities that the whole family will enjoy.

1. Car Karaoke

It can be difficult not to join in when a catchy song is playing, and even the sulkiest teenager might crack a smile.

2. Listen to Family-friendly Audiobooks

Tell them it’s a movie for their ears, and they might enjoy getting transported by the story. This also helps the conversation flowing over dinner, as everyone will want to talk about what happened.

3. Conversation Starter Games

There are plenty of interactive games out there, challenging how well you know each other, for example.

4. Road Trip Bingo

Keep everyone’s attention on the journey by introducing a game of road trip bingo! From how many trucks to convertibles they can see and in which colours, this will get everyone in the family invested in the game.

Stay Safe on the Road This Holiday

A road trip is an exciting time, and you’ll create lifelong memories as a family. However, it can be stressful too. Always make sure that you have the correct car insurance and that you’ve done all the necessary vehicle checks like your oil, water and tyre pressure to stay safe. Also, check that your car insurance includes roadside assistance.

Join the Prime Family for car insurance you can trust that offers support whenever and wherever you might need it, all at your fingertips. Contact us to get an obligation-free quote today!


The above article is meant to give general information to help you keep your family safe and entertained while on a long road trip. Please consider purchasing car insurance is an intricate process and should be done with much thought. If you are interested in buying car insurance, consider contacting a certified financial advisor for professional advice and to make sure the product is right for you.

Are you planning to purchase a car anytime soon? Contact PMD for more information regarding affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. T&Cs apply

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