As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More
Family Road Trip Activities For Kids
Are you planning a family road trip with kids and wondering what road trip activities for kids to bring along? Everyone is excited to go on a vacation, but taking a road trip with kids can be daunting for parents. From the dreaded “I’m so BORED” or “are we nearly there yet?” to “I’m hungry” or “I feel sick.” There is a lot to consider if you want to simplify your road trip with kids. Packing a selection of car activities for kids will help keep your children busy as you travel, relieve their boredom, and keep your sanity intact.
When traveling with kids the journey should include activities such as craft or activity sets, sticker books, workbooks, printable road trip games, toys, travel games, coloring, books (including audiobooks and podcasts), music, screen time, followed by snacks, then rinse and repeat!
In this post, we share our favorite road trip activities for kids age 9-12. Don’t leave home without these non-mess essential travel activities for your kids.
If you have children of various ages you can read our posts about the 10 Must-Have Travel Toys for Baby, or must-have Essential Toddler Travel Toys, or the Best Travel Activities for Kids Age 4-8. We also have a Guide to the Top 25 Travel Gifts for Kids of all ages who love to travel, as well as lots of Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids that are suitable for travel.
What are the Essential Car Activities for Kids?
When taking a road trip with children plan to bring a few special surprises to keep up your sleeves such as a new activity or toy your child has not seen before. And don’t forget to bring the most important item of all – road trip snacks for kids.
Over lots of years and the many thousands of miles we have traveled with our children, there are certain items we won’t leave home without.
Essential travel activities for kids include:
- Craft or Activity Sets
- Sticker Books or Workbooks
- Printable Road Trip Games for Kids
- Travel Games
- Coloring Books and Crayons or Markers
- Books at your child’s appropriate reading level
- Audiobooks and Podcasts
- Music and Songs
- Family Road Trip Movies
- iPad, Tablet or Device with Headphones, charger, and travel case
Non-screen Road Trip Activities for Kids
We try our best to avoid too much screen time. We find our children cannot handle unlimited amounts of technology time and they will become angry and frustrated if we do not limit the amount of time they spend on a screen. With this being said you will find that the majority of travel activities that we recommend are non-screen options.
We prefer to start with non-screen activities first to help pass as much time as possible and then use limited technology time later in the trip as a reward. Otherwise, we find that if we allow our children to pick screen time as their first activity then it’s very difficult to break that cycle and get them off the screen without a fight!
Every family can choose what is best for you and your children, but we find the journey goes better with limited amounts of screen time.
What are the Best Road Trip Activities for Kids Age 9-12?
Here are our favorite road trip activities for kids age 9-12 years. This includes essential no-mess car activities for kids that can easily be packed in the car or a BE Family Travel Tray. These road trip activities are great options to entertain your tween while traveling.
Taboo Kids Vs. Parents Family Game is an excellent game for kids to challenge parents. The hilarious kids vs. parents game is a fun twist on the classic Taboo game. It includes a kids’ deck and an adult deck of cards. The kids’ deck features familiar Guess words and only 2 forbidden words. Get teammates to say the Guess word on the card without saying the forbidden words. Say a forbidden word shown on the card and opponents will squeak the squeaker and the other team gets the point. Race against the one-minute timer in this fun and fast-paced family game. This is a great way to entertain the whole family on a road trip with kids.
100 PICS Riddles Travel Game
The 100 PICS Riddles Travel Game is for kids who love a challenge. Kids can entertain and bamboozle themselves and others with these family-friendly brain teasers! Can be played alone but friends and family usually want a guess too! This handy travel activity fits neatly into your pocket or bag. Ideal for playing in cars, restaurants, planes, and trains. The 100 PICS flashcard games help improve vocabulary, spelling, and memory.
Friendship Bracelet Maker Kit
The IQKidz Friendship Bracelet Maker Kit keeps the threads separated and organized, and includes the braiding loom with movable pegs to hold the bracelet in place, along with step by step directions. This arts & crafts kit makes it fun and easy to create friendship bracelets alone, with siblings, or with friends. Comes in a portable fashion storage box for storage and while on the go. Kids can get crafty and create awesome bracelets while traveling in the car or on vacation. This is one of the most creative road trip activities for kids and ideal for 8 to 12-year-olds.
Toy Storage Bag and Play Mat
The Creative QT Mini SlideAway Toy Storage Bag and Play Mat means now you can say “YES” to bringing toys along! No ordinary toy bag, the patent-pending Creative QT Mini SlideAway stops the spread of kid clutter and keeps it contained while you’re out and about. Pour toys or art supplies right onto the integrated tabletop play mat, and let little imaginations run wild. Toys slide away for storage with a quick pull of the handles and a little shake. The Mini SlideAway is perfect for building bricks, crayons, toy cars, snacks and is a great way to store car activities for kids.
Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera
Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera is a 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot that offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly and automatically prints hi quality color or black and white photos directly from the camera body. Just point and shoot making it the ideal all-in-one solution for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever your child travels. The KODAK Printomatic Instant Camera All-in-Bundle is available with Zink Paper, Deluxe Case, Photo Album, 7 Unique Sticker Sets, Markers, Scissors, Border Stickers and so much more. This creative kit provides exciting road trip activities for kids who love to travel and is another artistic way for kids to document their family adventures.
Polaroid Originals OneStep
Polaroid Originals OneStep 2 VF – Summer Blue is a blast from the past! It will bring back lots of happy childhood memories as you reminisce and remember the fun you had with this as a child. It is easy to use: just point and shoot. Kids can compose their shot, press the red button and magic will appear! An instant print camera is a great way for kids to capture their vacation memories. You child can on a family road trip documenting their adventures in a Travel Journal for Kids.
Popular Activity Books for Kids
Road Trip Activity Books for Kids are a great way to entertain your tween as you travel. Here are some of the most popular travel activity book options.
Leather Travel Journal Daily Notebook
This Leather Travel Journal Daily Notebook is 6.3″ x 9.3″ so it works perfectly for your older child as a leather travel journal and diary, sketchbook, photo album, daily notepad, and so on. A handmade leather journal is a special keepsake for your child’s thoughts, plans, and ideas, durable for travel or outdoor adventure, and good for storage. The set includes a handmade leather journal, bookmark, and high-grade kraft packing, and is the perfect size suitable for most bags to take it anywhere. This is another road trip activity to help occupy your child’s time in the car as you travel.
Sudoku for Kids
Sudoku for Kids for Kids 8-12 years is a book that contains 200 sudokus with solutions. This helps kids to improve their memory and logic while having fun and helping to pass the time on a family road trip.
All You Need Is a Pencil
When headed on vacation All You Need is a Pencil – The Stuck in a Car, Plane, or Train Activity Book. Unfortunately, it usually begins with the family stuck in the car. And the kids yelling “I’m bored”. Fortunately, with these quizzes, puzzles, games, and doodles, the fun doesn’t have to wait, even if you do. And you can do them anywhere—no electricity needed—with just a pencil. Fill in travel quotes, writing in the name of anyone who says one of the phrases on the page—like “I have to go to the bathroom” or “I think we’re lost.” Play gomoku, a two-person game that’s similar to tic-tac-toe. Plan the ultimate vacation—a week anywhere in the world. Draw creepy critters, try tongue-tripping-twisters, and unscramble anagrams. It’s all so entertaining that no one will ask the dreaded question: Are we there yet?
Would You Rather for Kids!
- Would you rather Pet a baby lion or Pet a baby elephant
- Or would you rather Eat Dinner in a hot air balloon or Eat breakfast inside a castle
- Would you rather Be friends with Spiderman or Be friends with Batman
- Would you rather Have a swimming pool or Have a big trampoline
- And much, much more.
This is the perfect book for travel games for kids in your car while on long car rides! Would you rather books for kids are the best form of entertainment so you can keep your children occupied while they have fun pondering the silly and fun questions to themselves! Inside you will find 200 ‘Would You Rather’ questions ready to go, some of them include…
Maze Activity Book for Kids 8-12
Fun and Challenging Mazes for Kids 8-12: An Amazing Maze Activity Book for Kids is packed with mazes to entertain, stimulate, and challenge your kids. Jumpstart your child’s learning with this maze activity book for kids 8-12. These mazes can help improve fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and visual perceptual skills. Various types, themes, and shapes ensure your child won’t get bored which makes these the perfect road trip activities for kids. This big book of mazes includes mazes in a variety of difficulty levels from simpler to more advanced. This maze book is educational, entertaining, and sure to get kids thinking!
Survive Your Road Trip With These Activities For Kids
As tempting as it may be to push through and keep driving to your destination, it is important to take regular breaks. Every few hours throughout the road trip allow your children (and you) the opportunity to stretch, move around, and visit the bathroom. Make sure stops have plenty of space for kids to run around for 20 minutes or more before getting back in the car.
Plan your family road trip to include some attractions along your route. You can use these as incentives to help your kids ride just a little bit longer. Fun pitstops that kids enjoy include:
- Parks and Playgrounds
- Picnic spots
- Walkable downtowns
- National Parks
- Historical sites
- Scenic overlooks
The more you travel with children the easier it will become. Being prepared with these road trip activities for kids will give you the confidence to adventure in the car while making the journey more bearable for you and your children.
And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,