Fun and Games Traveling with the Kids

Make boring car trips a thing of the past!

By FamilyTime


Whether a road trip lasts two hours or two days, when the kids are in the back seat, it helps to be prepared.

Bring a few CDs or tapes the kids like to listen to. Older children will enjoy age-appropriate books on CD or tape--particularly an adventure story or a collection of comedy sketches. Many kids appreciate rollicking "oldies" as much as their parents do.

If your car is equipped with a DVD player, bring a few movies. Or charge up the laptop and let the kids use it to watch movies.

Pack non-sticky snacks and beverages in plastic bottles with screw or nozzle caps. And always bring plenty of paper napkins or a roll of paper towels.

While old standbys are good fun--20 Questions and I Packed My Grandmother's Trunk, for instance--innovative toy makers are always coming up with new travel games to help wile away the time.

Playing games as a family often is more enjoyable than watching a movie, where everyone is isolated from everybody else. For long car trips, a good balance of both works well. 

Here are some the best offerings on the market today:

  • Betty Spaghetty: A soft, "twistable" doll with her own backpack, camera, lipstick and more. Even a pet dog travels with Betty. Fun for young children. 
  • Kidsbooks Interactive Soft Cloth Books: Tote-along soft books with play items based on themes such as Get Dressed With Elmo and Frosty the Snowman
  • Felt Play Set & Portfolio: An expansive kit containing all sorts of soft-felt cut-outs that allow children to create scenes peopled with critters and items from the farmyard to the schoolroom and the beach.   
  • Chicken Run Activity Book Kit: Includes a coloring book, activity book, sticker book, story book, and paint book with paints (for when you reach your destination) plus crayons and paint brush. 
  • FanFax Stickers: Big, colorful rolls of 200 stickers featuring different animals. 
  • Are We There Yet cards: More than 500 cards with items for spotting on the road. Written in English, Spanish and French, the cards pack into a small box. Make up games as you go along. 
  • Geosafari Talking Globe Traveler: A hand-held version of the popular Geosafari Talking Globe, this game is programmed with more than 5,000 questions, which are easily answered by studying the small globe. Batteries required.
  • Travel Etch A Sketch: A smaller version of the original, kids love creating drawings with these toys. 

Finally, children love to hear family stories. Road trips are good times for sharing yours, be they tall or not-so-tall tales!