Our Favorite Road Trip Toys
We have been on the road most of the summer and with even more planned this autumn, we have honed in on some of the best road trip entertainment that doesn’t involve screens.
It is not a secret that we love our “movie van.” I’m happy to drive a few hours with the videos playing to keep everyone quiet, but I also like the kids to take the time to enjoy the drive and maybe even get some work done!
I love how something simple like paper and a pen can keep kids entertained but the mess from discarded paper in the car was a problem. The Boogie Boards are a great alternative to paper. These electronic drawing boards provide hours of entertainment for the kids. The Big Little uses the Magic Sketch and the Middle Little uses the Play and Trace. These two boards both have see-through screens allowing you to place anything behind it to trace. The Magic Sketch is smaller (travel size) and comes with a variety of double-sided stencils and different stylus tips.
The Little Little loves the Sketch Petz, which has a Boogie Board in a stuffed animal’s mouth. He thinks this is hilarious. He also loves to draw on it. The screen clears easily with just a push of the monster’s foot.
Rubber Neckers is one of our new favorite road trip games. It is a collaborative game, which I love for family road trips.
You pull a card and earn points by doing or seeing what is on the card. A parent could read the cards for non-readers, but our Big Little loves reading the card and keeping score (using his Boogie Board!).
Wikki Stix is one of my favorite on-the-go entertainment ideas. These wax sticks can be used to build all sorts of things. Typically, I jut throw some in my bag, but the traveler set is just perfect for road trips. The case holds a variety of sticks (144) and an activity book. Two pre-packed sets are perfect for bringing into restaurants.
This is one of my Middle Little’s favorite activities. He loves to create things with the sticks. In fact he even asks for this when we are not traveling.
Fidget Toys are always a huge win with my boys. I try to have a few in the car and also just in my bag for times where we need to sit quietly. This variety box has a bunch of great options that my kids just love messing with in the car.
I like to hand these out when we are doing a podcast or audiobook. It gives the boys something to do with their hands. The Middle Little particularly loves watching the Liquid Motion bubbler.
The snap and click snake is a favorite. It is almost like a travel building toy because you can make so many things out of them.
I had to nab this little pea squisher for myself though! I love it so much and it makes me happy to see their little faces pop up out of the pod. Plus there are three little peas, just like my Little Littles.
You can never go wrong with books for the kids in the car. The Big Little loves to read so he keeps his area stocked with some comic books (he reads Dutch Donald Ducks) and also his current read.
The Middle Little loves seek-and-find books, like Where’s the Penguin? I try to pick up a new one for him before long drives.
The Little Little loves the First Look & Find books. We have done enough of these seek and find type books with him that he knows the drill and can work on them on his own. That doesn’t stop him from shouting “hooray” every-time he finds one.
We are also super excited about Let’s Learn About Chemistry! It is an adorable book that turns basic chemistry into fun games for toddlers. Your toddler will spot differences and practice colors all while being exposed to early chemistry concepts like solids, liquids and gases.
We can never get enough of the Usborne books for the car! They have so many interactive options it’s hard to choose our favorites. On our last trip we brought along Muddle & Match, Find the Puppy, and Peek Inside Animal Homes.
You can never have enough hands-on activities! I try to have a few things my kids haven’t seen in a while (or that are new) to hold their attention.
Our fallback staples for the car are pipe cleaners. The dollar store always has a variety of them so I get as many different kinds as I can find. The Littles can create sculptures, glasses, flowers, bookmarks…whatever! They are a great “active” activity for the car.
I also pick up maps when we stop at welcome centers. The kids can draw on the maps or we can help them highlight the route we are taking.
The Little Little is obsessed with things that make noise. I picked up a few talking phones for him to play with. Our current favorites are the Paw Patrol Pup Pad and the Thomas the Tank Engine E-Reader.
The Middle Little loves cars and trucks and things that go, so I always tuck away a few fun ones to bring along with us. On this particular trip we brought along the ice cream truck.
He also loves to do activity books like Super Fun Dot-to-Dot and Sticker Hidden Pictures. These books are great not only for the car, but also for restaurants or other activities that require waiting.
I also always trying to sneak in some math practice so I packed the Harry’s Magic Tables book as well as the times tables Learning Wrap Ups. He recently found a Multiplication Machine at the thrift store, so I tossed that in the activity basket too.
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