11/19/20164 ways to keep your kids entertained while driving-- two children horsing around in back seat

There’s nothing like jumping in the car and taking a much-needed family trip, but it also isn’t long before children lose interest in staring out the window and look for something more engaging to do. As children are natural explorers and creative geniuses, it should be no surprise that they will seek out fun just about anywhere, even in a car.

If you’ve ever traveled with a child, let alone a car full of them, you know how difficult it is to keep your eyes on the road while a child is demanding your attention. Many parents have taken advantage of electronic entertainment in the car, offering kids everything from DVD movies to tablets and phones for game play, but not every parent wants their child’s face buried in an app for hours on end.

Thankfully, there are a lot of great ways to entertain children on road trips that do not involve more video games, and these boredom busters will keep the little ones entertained mile after mile.

Mark the Map

Kids love to be engaged in their activities, and if you want your children to get excited about seeing the same two lanes of asphalt, you had better give them something interesting to look at. Give each child an identical map of the area(s) you’ll be driving through, and let them scavenger hunt for milestones, roadside attractions, and interesting locations along your route.

All it takes is a pen/marker and a map, plus there’s the added benefit of finding some fascinating places to see on the way back.

Bag (or Book) of Tricks

Children love to learn, and inquisitive young minds need to be engaged in the learning process. It is hard to find a child who is not thoroughly excited and fascinated by magic tricks, so why not encourage their interests by allowing them to learn about and practice some magic tricks on the road?

Books on magic tricks not only require (and encourage) reading skills, but they also encourage children to practice their newfound skills for hours on end. By preparing a simple magic trick tool kit filled with magic essentials like playing cards, a magic scarf, and some hocus pocus, your children will look forward to the long car ride. They’ll also be glad for rest stops, where they can show off their magic skills.

Scavenger Hunt

By creating a scavenger hunt or bingo sheet of interesting sites and items, you can turn your boring car trip into an eventful ride. Depending on where you’re all headed, choose items that you are likely to see, as well as some rarities that will keep your kids on the hunt like not-so-common animals or landscape features. Don’t forget to have prizes on hand for the winners.

Want to ramp up the educational level? Prep some printouts with some facts and information about the unique sites to help your kids learn about what they are on the hunt for.

Turn Up the Books

Did you know that there are thousands of children’s audiobooks available, with everything from Harry Potter to The Magic School Bus? Audiobooks are engaging for people of all ages, and your children will delight in hearing their favorite books acted out. Moreover, you’ll love the voice acting by legends like Kelsey Grammar, Billy Crystal, and Anne Hathaway.