Traveling Tips: Entertain Your Kids In The Car

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My husband and I were just talking to the kids about activities they could do in the car to make the time pass while on a road trip.  My husband suggested that they download their favorite games on their iPad so they would be ready should we decide to take off for the weekend.  Being 6 and 12, they tend to argue, and it really  helps if they have something to keep them occupied while sitting in the car for long periods of time.  I was glad to see the following guest post in my email this morning and thought I’d share it with you in case you were also looking for traveling activities for your family.

Driving Home For Christmas: Entertaining The Kids In The Car This Year

It’s that time of year again.  Families from all over the world will be taking to the road to visit loved ones this Christmas.  With some families traveling for hours on end, finding ways to keep the kids entertained is extremely important.  Here, UK-based company, PassSmart, gives us a guide to some of the very best family car games. From those which you can find in activity books, to fun which you can have for free, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

I spy

We’re starting off with a classic which everyone’s played before.  Perfect for the older kids, I spy can provide hours of fun and at no expense!  It’s a great way to pass the time in a traffic jam, and the kids will have to become more and more creative!  See who can spot the most things in 30 minutes and let the winner pick the next game!


If the kids have their own iPod or MP3 player, get them to create a list of their favorite songs and load them on before you set out.  If they don’t have their own iPod or MP3 player, you could get them to choose one CD each to play for the journey.  That way, no one can claim they haven’t got to listen to what they want, and you never know, you might even like what they choose too!

Activity books

There are so many travel activity books out there, that there’s one to suit all ages and all interests.  From word searches to puzzles and sticker games, they’re designed to keep your little ones busy while on the road.  They’re a great alternative to expensive gadgets such as iPads and iPods, and they can swap books around once they’ve finished with them.  After all, you can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned book!

The license plate game

This game is great fun for creative little ones, and you can make your own rules.  Get them to think of as many animals, names or countries as they can using the first letter of license plates they spot.  Once they get the first few out of the way, the game will really get them thinking, and you can use it as an opportunity to teach them about new countries or animals that they may not have known about.

Dear Santa…

Ask them to write out their Christmas list.  Depending on how close to Christmas you’re traveling, you probably already know what they’re waiting for under the tree, but letting them write up their list for Santa will add to their excitement.  OK, maybe you don’t want an even more excitable child, but you could always remind them of Santa’s nice and naughty list if they get too lively in the back!

In-car bingo

One for everyone (except the driver) to play, a game of in-car bingo involves looking out for common objects on your journey, and crossing them off on your sheet when you spot them.  You can get creative and make the bingo sheets yourself, but make sure you use objects that you’re likely to spot on your journey, otherwise no one will get that all important full house!

Take a break

OK, so this one isn’t a game, but it is very important to remember to take plenty of breaks.  Tired, hungry and uncomfortable kids make for terrible travel companions, so make sure you stop off at least every couple of hours for toilet breaks and leg stretching.  Stop for lunch instead of eating in the car, and allow for tummies to settle before you set off again.


Take plenty of healthy, non-perishable snacks and bottled water with you to have in the car.  Fruit is a great alternative to sweets as it won’t leave them feeling sick and uncomfortable in the back after over-indulging!  Leave all the sweets and chocolates for Christmas day, and make sure they stock up on only healthy food on your travels.


Drive safely, wrap up warm and have a very Merry Christmas!

This guest post was written by Isabelle Guarella from; helping learner drivers to get on the road in the UK.

3 thoughts on “Traveling Tips: Entertain Your Kids In The Car”

  1. These are some awesome suggestions! We like to play I-spy, and traveling Bingo when we are on the road. I always pack a picnic, so we can get out at a park or rest area, and the kids can get out and stretch their legs. What really saves us and is such a lifesaver is our iPad. With the iPad, my kids can play games, read, watch movies, and even watch live TV through the DISH Remote Access app. A co-worker of mine at DISH told me about this app, and with a Sling Adapter hooked up to my DISH receiver, the kids have access to all our subscription channels live anywhere we can get a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. They absolutely love this option, and it keeps them quiet for hours. Along with those items, I have the kids pack a small bag of toys they want to take.

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