Today I appeared on The Jason Show and sharing with you all five activities you can do in the car that will keep your kids busy enough so that you can save the screen time for the end of the trip. My parents live in Galena, IL, and as a result, we make about two or three trips to visit them each year. It’s a 293-mile drive and if you Google Map it, according to Google, is 5 hours and 14 minutes one way. Now, when we make this trip we have our three children and beagle with us and I would say that the average trip one way for us, with stops for potty breaks, changing diapers, getting out to stretch our legs and at least one lunch or dinner stop, takes six to seven hours. It can be a really long drive and it’s all dependent on how the kids are doing. I have absolutely no problem with tablets, DVDs, and screens while traveling; I just know that when things get desperate you need to have some more tools in your wheelhouse for the very end of the trip.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”N8k2F” via=”yes” ]5 Screen-Free Activities to keep your littles busy on a road trip. FREE printable included. #travel #kids @firsttimemommn[/ctt]
5 Screen-Free Activities to Keep Your Littles Busy on a Road Trip
- Pipe Cleaners – My friend, Kari, from church, gave me this little nugget of wisdom: Pipe Cleaners. I am amazed by how entertaining these are for my kids. I’m serious they will play with them for a solid hour; creating glasses, flowers, hearts, you name it.
- Purchase small activities and toys from the Dollar Store and gift wrap them. – It’s all about keeping the kids entertained, right? I like to go to the Dollar Store and grab one or two small toys or activities for the kids to play with in the car. Then I wrap them up and when the kids are getting ornery, voila! I whip out one of the gifts, they unwrap them and are easily entertained for an hour or so.
- Tape, Scissors, & Stickers – I don’t know about you but my oldest child is constantly stealing tape when we’re home. I don’t know what on earth he’s doing with it but he’s obsessed with tape so why not give him what he wants. I pack gift wrap tape, duct tape, stickers, kids scissors and used magazines. Then the older kids can play and create using all the tape their little heart desires.
- Podcasts & Audiobooks – I absolutely love podcasts; I listen to them all of the time and it’s kind of my way of tuning the mundane day to day tasks out. I also love children’s podcasts for their excellent story-telling capability and because my kids actually listen. A few of my favorites for kids are (in no particular order): The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel (middle school – it’s kind of like Stranger Things), Stories Podcast, Radio Rookies (teens), Storynory, But Why? and The Official Adventures in Odyssey
- Travel Bingo – I created these bingo cards for you to download and print for yourselves. I designed the game for elementary age kids but a younger child could probably figure out how to play and I know a tween or teen could definitely play. The rules are very simple: when you see something that matches a picture on the card put your place marker on the picture. If you have a laminator, you can laminate the card and use dry erase markers directly on the card. Then wipe clean. Click here to download.
Watch the segment below from The Jason Show and let me know what you do on long road trips with your kiddos!
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Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.