When traveling by car with kids, it’s crucial to have enough road trip activities for toddlers planned, because, in contrast to short-distance trips like taking a toddler to the grocery store, screens and iPads don’t perform well on long-distance road trips. Apart from the fact that this isn’t really entertaining, keeping those tiny cuties hooked to a screen for lengthy periods of time is bad for their health and may have unfavorable side effects.
While toddlers are very easy to please, they also have a very short attention span. Having only a few activities will not be enough to keep them under control because they will easily get bored and quickly become distracted. You must have a sufficient number of toddler-friendly road trip activities to keep them occupied. Allowing your toddlers to breathe is important because keeping them always busy with activities may not be beneficial.
The greatest toddler road trip activities are listed on this page, along with information on what you should have them do, how to have them do it, when to let them breathe, what activities to avoid, and the optimum times to do each activity. Continue reading for the best kid-friendly car trip activities!
Best Road Trip Activities for Toddlers
You shouldn’t miss out on any of the toddler-friendly car trip activities available to you. The following are the top toddler road trip activities to engage your kids on a long drive:
Sing Along to Theme Music
Your babies have grown to appreciate and love certain toddler tunes. They may avoid anything and start shaking to the rhythm and singing along with the music player wherever they hear these songs.
One of the things on a road trip that toddlers will like is listening to music, which may be theme songs from their favorite cartoon theme shows, baby music, or even music they have grown accustomed to hearing you play over time.
They will be ready to abandon everything and sing along or blab an unintelligible tune in thankfulness and enthusiasm before you even ask them to put down their tablets.
You didn’t really believe that I would forgo screen time just because I mentioned that it might be harmful to toddlers, did you? Without some screen time, road trip activities for toddlers wouldn’t be complete. If you stay with them for a very long time without giving them access to their tablets, these kids will actually start yelling and stretching for them.
However, it is better if the screen time occurs later in the journey, following a number of amusing activities, as kids might not want to participate in additional activities once they have become fixated on their devices.
Of course, there is a ton of entertainment available on screens, so this is not even up for debate. Your toddlers are familiar with their tabs, so offer them access as you continue with your own road trip activities for adults.
Download more kid-friendly applications for them to use, or they can just keep using the ones they already know and watch some movies. It is entirely up to them how they wish to use their screen time.
Painting, Drawing, and Coloring
Remember to take crayons and magnetic coloring sheets when you pack your kids’ needs for a road trip! Toddlers are suckers for color and won’t miss any chance to get crayons and color all over their hands and clothing. Various painting activities are available, based on your child’s preferences.
You might follow the norm and purchase a toddler coloring book along with crayons or colored pencils. Water Wow books make excellent mess-free coloring road trip activities for toddlers on long car trips. A picture appears as they use the water pen to color each page. The picture vanishes as it dries, allowing for endless reuse. Another coloring option is a boogie board or whiteboard, which can help them get creative as they like.
Recreate Scenes with Stickers
What appeals to toddlers more than a car trip activity with vibrant sticky stickers? You could pack some puffy reusable sticker sets in your road trip accessories.
They are ideal for road trips with toddlers who love to get creative. Look them up on Amazon or simply purchase them in advance at your neighborhood shopping center. Your young children will enjoy acting out scenes on the given background (They have backdrops that they can stick on).
What better way to develop your toddlers’ creative imaginations at a young age than to keep them occupied for a very long period as they fight to make the best sense their small minds can muster?
Go Through Their Photo Album
In case you didn’t know, those pictures of your children that you’ve been capturing ever since they burst out of your womb looking red can come in handy on key occasions like road trips! Create a physical photo album containing the highlights of your toddlers’ lives, and take it with you when you travel.
You may assume that since they have seen it before, they won’t be interested, but here’s the surprise: kids will remain transfixed at a compilation of moments that feature themselves, familiar locations, and familiar faces even after viewing them a thousand times!
Giving the toddlers this opportunity to talk and point out pictures of themselves and familiar experiences in a photo book is therefore a great approach to keep them busy and excited.
Read Them Stories
Children don’t just like being read to at bedtime. They will enjoy storytime and may even want you to read their favorite bedtime stories to them while they are snuggled up in soft blankets. Don’t forget to pack their storybooks in an easily accessible carry-on bag for the car, and you can also give them a fresh story from your own mind. If you need them to unwind and sleep after the day’s adrenaline-pumping toddler road trip activities, this might work really well.
Take a Nap
If they don’t take a break from the entire activity and rest their brains, your toddlers will have chaotic fits or perhaps become unwell. A narrative and, of course, food are the best ways to effortlessly relax them. Yes, give them some nutritious travel snacks or lunch packs, if you forgot to bring a lunch, take them to a nearby restaurant and let them eat till they are satisfied.
Once they’ve finished eating, tuck them in and read them some stories. Soon, you’ll have a tranquil car to enjoy with your partner or any other traveling companion. You didn’t really believe that any well-deserved rest would be excluded from the road trip activities for toddlers, did you?
Once your kids have been put to sleep, you can go ahead to engage in some road trip games for couples, and don’t forget to go through these 100+ Thought-Provoking Road Trip Questions for Couples.
You should let them enjoy the moment even if they are just pleased to sit by the car window and watch the beautiful stretch of the site as you pass by. You could also stop, turn off the engine, and get out of the car with the young children to get a better look at any object that seems fascinating enough to awe your children.
Podcasts and Audio Books
Although you might not have enough time to read them a story, listening to podcasts and audiobooks might help them unwind and fall asleep. One of the great podcasts your children will enjoy is Little Bedtime Stories.
In addition to lulling children to sleep with stories, listening to audiobooks and podcasts in the car is a relaxing way to pass the time. Give your toddlers a pair of child-safe headphones, and encourage them to listen to their favorite books and kid podcasts until they grow bored or become sufficiently diverted to move on to other activities.
There are toys made for automobiles. Since they are typically magnetic, they won’t fly around or cause havoc everywhere. This buckle toy is one of these. It is ideal for a child who enjoys fastening and unfastening buckles. To sustain their interest, it includes several different colors and buckle styles. They can also keep some of their treasures in the small pocket at the top.
You can also give your kid some magnets and a cookie sheet to play with. A collection of Alphabet and Number magnets is perfect for toddlers who are learning their letters and numbers because it serves as both educational material and enjoyment. With other sets of magnet toys, such as dinosaur magnets, you can also get children to make anything they find interesting.
The best toys for toddlers to play with while traveling in a car can be found on Amazon or at your local mall. Without road trip activities for toddlers that involve toys and the making of magic with these toys, your journey will never be complete. When it comes to toddlers, toys never go out of vogue, therefore you should get car-friendly toys for your vacation.
Road Trip Games
There are road trip games for toddlers. You don’t think your toddlers are old enough for games? There are a number of road trip games for kids with a section dedicated to toddlers.
Check out some of the most interesting road trip games for your toddlers and get them to engage in these activities.
Snacks/ Food Actvities
Even if you don’t want the kids to leave food crumbs all over the car, some snacks and food-related activities should be permitted. One of those snacks that double as food is cheerio; it might be a terrific activity to hold their interest for a long. By constructing Cheerio necklaces and bracelets, you can combine eating with entertainment! Have your kid hang some Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner to create whatever they want to.
There are other foods or snacks that can foster your toddler’s creativity while also serving as food on a long car journey, your kids will love to play and create with these items, so get them. We have these Road Trip Food Ideas: Check out These Top 17 Meal Recommendations for Everyone!
Some Car Playtime with the Kids
Being on a road trip does not require forgoing a family activity or leaving the children unattended or with little supervision. Participate in some playtime activities with the youngsters as well.
Some of these activities could be creating a portable construction site – your toddlers will get wowed watching you move some make-believe blocks, (use tiny pompoms) with tiny toy trucks. You can also move pompoms from one container to the other using tweezers.
You might even compete against them in car races (just make car tracks on their travel trays and get them to watch you drive the toy cars along the tracks in a competition). They’ll want to try them out, so give in to their requests. Bring along toys like trucks, pompoms, and tweezers.
Along with these, you can participate in the following activities with the kids:
- Teaching them a new song.
- Playing madlips.
- Making a sound and getting them to guess which animal you are.
Road Trip Jokes
If your children are old enough to distinguish between different things and laugh at something absurd, they will enjoy some jokes about a road trip (tell the kid-friendly ones though). You can look up jokes for young children online or just browse through these comic road trip jokes to see which ones your children will enjoy the best.
You may make faces and sounds for the small toddlers to make them laugh until they cry.
Search and Find Books
These could pass for road trip scavenger hunts for toddlers. Get a few look-and-find books from the bookstore or dollar store before organizing a road trip with young children. Children are encouraged to look for hidden images in the illustrations in these books. Young toddlers who are unable to read will require you to read out the directions to them and demonstrate what to do; they will be more than happy to comply.
Your youngsters can therefore get busy looking for hidden pictures in the books while you drive around and unwind with some road trip games for adults as well.
How to Travel with Toddlers
To have a hitch-free long road trip with some toddlers in tow, you need to note these:
- Start the Journey Early: Toddlers are more active and excited in the mornings, they will be more excited to be going on the journey if you start early.
- Prepare your mind for challenges: that you have so many road trip activities for kids packed up in your sleeves, doesn’t guarantee a tantrum-free ride. Prepare mentally for the discomforts.
- Download some educational apps and podcasts ahead of the trip.
- Look up all the travel essentials for traveling with kids and pack all of them accordingly.
- Let each child have their own travel bag containing their favorite things. Don’t mix them up!
- Make stops at toddler-friendly roadside attractions along your route.
Even though a road trip might be especially challenging when you have young children with you, packing enough enjoyable road trip activities for toddlers that will keep them busy and interested for a very long time is ideal.
However, some of these activities are only appropriate for toddlers at different stages of development, and others might not be appropriate for those very young children. If they must participate, they should be well supervised to prevent mishaps.
To avoid having to deal with tantrums or eye strain that could have them yelping out of discomfort and disrupting your entire trip, causing delays and ruining everyone’s mood, these road trip activities for toddlers will prove very helpful.
This guide on traveling with kids should hopefully address all of your queries regarding the best activities for toddlers to do on road trips, what to stay away from, and how to travel with toddlers.
To aid your packing for your road trip, check out these tips for packing for a trip.