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Keeping kids of any age entertained on a long car ride can feel like it takes a miracle—but with the right games and activities, traveling with kids can be fun and (sort of) relaxed. If you have a family road trip in your future, you’ll definitely want to check out our list of the best toys, travel trays, video games and more from trusted retailers like WalMart and Amazon. Check out our list of must-have travel activities for kids to help you drive peacefully and minimize the dreaded cries of “Are we there yet?”
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Paint by Sticker Activity Book
Crayons and colored pencils can get boring after a while, but it’s hard to find a kid who doesn’t go insane over stickers. And what’s better for parents than stickers with a designated place to go and no mess to clean up? Not much. Keep your kiddos busy (and silently determined) in the car for hours with this Paint by Sticker activity book for kids.
The Nintendo Switch gaming console has the option to be taken on the go — perfect for long car rides! Simply remove the Switch from its dock for handheld mobility that will keep kiddos entertained for hours.
Convertibles, helicopters and stop signs — oh my! Keep their eyes on the road with these fun travel bingo boards designed around common road trip themes like country, city, vehicles and signs. Have your kids compete against each other for small treats, like a car-safe snack.
Model Magic is a mess-free alternative to modeling clay that your little ones can enjoy in the car without smearing or staining. The modeling clay can be put away for reuse or left out to air dry — and once their creations are dry, they are soft, flexible and crumble-free.
This latch board from Melissa & Doug will keep your toddler occupied — and engaged in skill-building — during your long car ride. The board challenges kids three and older to master six different types of latches and find the pictures hidden underneath.
Let your kids play a soft game of catch with a Koosh ball. You may have played with these in your own childhood, and now they’re back — the colorful, soft balls are safe to throw and easy for kids to catch, meaning no injuries or broken items to worry about.
Coraline Graphic Novel
Books are a classic way to pass the time, and graphic novels have a storyline told largely through imagery, making it easier for kids who get bored or experience motion sickness to stay focused. Coraline is a story kids love, and the spooky haunted house theme will make them glad they’re in a vehicle instead.
iPad Tablet Car Holder
iPads can pretty much do it all — except hold themselves up. If you have downloaded movies or shows on your family’s tablet, let your child enjoy them hands-free on your road trip with this convenient tablet holder and organizer that attaches to the back of a car seat.
Washable Chalk Window Markers
Let your little artists entertain themselves by drawing on the windows. That’s right — let your kids draw on your car windows. These washable, non-toxic chalk markers are designed for glass and come in 12 vibrant colors to make masterpieces that can easily be washed away and started again at the next rest stop.
Conversation Starter Cards Travel Game
Turn car time into quality time with these conversation starter cards designed for kids. Your kiddos can ask these questions to each other, or the whole family, to get great discussions rollings. The pack comes with 100 conversation-starting questions that are easy for kids to ask and answer, like: “What scares you the most and why?” and “If you had to choose only three words to describe yourself, what would you say?”
Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head is a classic game that can keep little kids entertained for hours as they arrange the plastic features of the Mr. Potato Head doll. This toy is ideal for toddlers and comes with 10 different pieces to mix and match for silly, wacky looks.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD Tablet
Amazon’s Fire HD Tablet for Kids comes with a Fire 10 tablet and a soft, kid-proof case to protect against bumps and falls. Easy-to-use parental controls make this a great choice for families with young kids. Fun capabilities like streaming Netflix and YouTube, playing games and taking photos and videos will keep your kiddos entertained for the whole trip.
Brain Quest Game
Brain Quest is a fast-paced question-and-answer game that helps children learn while having fun. The compact set of question cards makes this a great car ride activity to pack along, and if multiple children are traveling, they will have a blast testing each other’s knowledge. You can buy Brain Question question sets catered to specific ages and grades.
Car Seat Activity Tray
Attach this car seat travel tray to your toddler’s car seat to make entertaining them during a long drive so much easier. The travel tray can hold cups, toys, tablets and more, and the material has a spill-proof coating to protect against damage from snacks and drinks.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera
Help your child preserve their memories from your travels together with a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera. The photos print instantly for cute, retro keepsakes the whole family can cherish for years to come.
Magnetic Board Games
No more losing game pieces when you outfit your kiddos with these fun, magnetic retro game boards. The set comes with 12 classic games including chess, checkers, backgammon, auto racing, solitaire and more. The 5-inch game boards are super compact and easy for even the tightest travel space.
Whiteboard Activity Book Dry Erase
Let little kids practice their letters, numbers and more with this wipe-clean whiteboard activity books. The activity book comes with a special dry erase marker that can be cleaned away after activities are finished for kids to use over and over again.
Melissa & Doug Memory Game
Want to entertain your elementary-aged kid? This flip memory board from Melissa & Doug is a great way to keep them occupied! This toy is great for road trips and comes with seven double-sided, themed memory game cards and a board with 25 flip-openings to reveal the images. There’s also a scorecard at the bottom for two players to keep track of who is ahead.
Travel Journal Diary for Kids
Got an introspective older kid along for the journey? They will love this awesome travel journal, “I Was Here: a Travel Journal for the Curious Minded.” This travel diary is filled with writing prompts like packing lists and weather logs, as well as fun activities to complete during the trip to help foster observation skills.
Reusable Sticker Bundle Melissa & Doug
This bundle comes with three large reusable sticker activity books, with the themes Face It!, Vehicles and My Town. Each sticker book comes with 5 blank scenes and over 150 reusable stickers to design and decorate. The cling-style stickers can be positioned and used over and over again.
Magnetic Doodle Board for Kids
This mini magnetic drawing board for kids comes in a small size with a kid-friendly handle that makes it perfect for traveling. The portable board has a multi-color drawing surface an attached pen and two stamps. Your kids will get hours of drawing fun without any of the mess.
Travel Snack Containers for Kids
Imagine a finishing a kid-friendly road trip without a floorboard littered in a questionable mix of cracker crumbs and long-forgotten fruit snacks. These Munchkin Snack Catcher snack cups make it possible! Handles make it easy for toddlers to keep a hold of this snack cup, and a lid designed to make spilling snacks a thing of the past. It even has special “finger cleaning” bumps to help keep your kiddos hands crumb-free.
Kids Travel Desk
This kids’ travel desk doubles as a backpack for carrying all of their car ride entertainment. To make it a functional desk, simply attach it to the back of a car seat, unzip and enjoy the activity space and organizing pockets that hold colored pencils, markers, a sketch pad and more.
Water Activity Books
This six pack of Water Wow! activity books from Melissa & Doug will keep your kiddos entertained on the car ride without any mess. The books come with a refillable marker that holds water, and water-activated coloring pages that dry clear for reuse.