7 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained During A Road Trip

Based on the fact that kids essentially patented “are we there yet,” it’s in their blood to constantly question the car ride. Here are some fun tips to help you battle off the backseat boredom.

7 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained During A Road Trip

Last year, almost 1 in 13 Americans drove to their Thanksgiving destination. According to AAA, this year roughly 43.5 million people will be on the road in the days leading up to and the day of this festive holiday. That means a lot of miles will be traversed en route to the final destination. If you have kids, they’re almost guaranteed to get antsy on the way. It’s a fact. Based on the fact that kids essentially patented “are we there yet,” you know it’s in their blood to constantly question the car ride. However, the horizon can be seen ahead as you’re prepared to battle off backseat boredom. Keep the entertainment at an all-time high with some tried and true methods known for keeping kids in check, as well as some unconventional ones that might just work.

Is It Bigger Than A Breadbox

Those this doesn’t necessarily have to be a driving game, it’s extremely fun while driving and can keep you entertained for hours. The objective is simple: to guess whether an object you’re thinking is bigger than or will fit inside a breadbox.

The fact of the matter is, since it can be anything you can think of, the answers and guesses will become hilarious and downright ridiculous, especially with the thinker of the object only being able to answer yes or no until someone gets it. The more obscure, the better.

License Plate Game

There are many, many versions of the classic license plate game to play with your kids. You know, those games where your kids give you the “oh mom” or “oh dad” with rolling eyes look? Well, there are some that we find kind of boring (finding A to Z on plates you see) and some that we approve of as a way to actually stimulate your brain while on the road.

‘License Plate Lingo’ involves trying to come up with a phrase or sentence using the letters and numbers on the license plates you see during your trip. For example: JLP-K03 could stand for “Julia loves piccolos”. Turn it into a game by adding time, points, or rewarding the person with the most fun sentence. It doesn’t have to be perfectly on point, because in the end, you really just want to make it fun on the way to the destination.

I Spy

Another classic, I spy lets you stare out the window and enjoy (hopefully) the sites, sounds, and views of America without having to stare at a computer screen the entire ride. However, since most phones now comes with cameras included, you can turn I spy into a fun photo game by having everyone (except the driver) take photos of what’s along the way in a pseudo I spy scavenger hunt. You can make up whatever rules you want as long as there is some thinking and fun involved.

The iPad

Let’s face it, the iPad is a travel savior. The iPad will keeps occupied for hours on end, but there’s a price to pay for it, and maybe having too much screen time isn’t a good thing. We think that moderating time and allowing kids to have a points system for good behavior, chores, or any other Pavlovian method of getting them to behave is okay with us.

While getting an iPad isn’t the cheapest way of keeping them entertained, with thousands and thousands of family friendly apps out there, it could be a good way to get the whole family involved and keep the kicking, screaming, and fighting to a minimum. Technology is engrained in everyday life, might as well embrace it.

Stop Somewhere Fun on the Way

Because we live in America there are so many parks, recreational activities, and roadside attractions along our highways and byways that you can almost always stop along the way and find something fun and exciting to see. Take some time before the trip to plan a detour towards either the middle or latter half of the drive to refuel and see something that might interest your child or your car companions.

There’s an abundance of things to see in do in this awesome country, so don’t just drive by in a flash, take the higher road and score some brownie points.

Jello Game

If your trip involves a mountainous, curvy drive, why not make it fun for the backseat passengers? The rules to the game are simple and in the title: your body becomes “Jello” and you essentially go limp while hugging those bends on the road. It’s fun because it adds a rollercoaster feel to the backseat and it’s easy to play.


Yes, we know you’re heading to either a family or friend’s house to indulge in gluttonous behavior, but just like how those Snickers commercials can explain exactly how you become a diva when you’re hungry; they might be on to something. While we know eating isn’t necessarily entertaining—unless it’s a messy child—when we’re hungry we get upset, and cracking that code to keep kids happy is just as draining as providing entertainment.

Make sure you’re prepared with snacks, drinks, fruit, vegetables, and anything else that might satisfy a craving or keep down an upset teen in the back who can only think about their boyfriend or girlfriend back home. Having a snack stop somewhere along the road in a fun location can add enjoyment to the trip that forcibly stopping at a rest stop can’t provide.

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