Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Tree Top. All opinions are my own.
With our new travel trailer, we love road trips more than ever. We’ve been making great memories exploring our home state of Texas taking road trips to places like the Children’s Arboretum in Dallas. As much as they love the fun when we get there, the actual traveling part of the road trip can be a challenge for the kids. Who wants to be stuck in a truck or van all day? I’ve been working on finding ways to make road trips fun for kids. With these four simple tips I’ve been showing them that the fun can be in the journey and not just the destination.
Easy Ways to Make Road Trips Fun for Kids
A few hours into our road trip the kids are beyond asking “Are we there yet?” and have moved on to stir crazy and just ready to get out of the van for a bit. One of our easy ways to make road trips fun for kids and for everyone is if we don’t make it a mission to beat an arrival time and “push through”. Instead we plan a short stop into our trip every few hours and adjust our time.
Yes, it takes us longer to get there, but for us it’s about an enjoyable journey and not just getting to a destination at a certain time. It lets the kids burn off some built up energy from sitting in the car and stretch their legs. It’s also a great way to discover some farmer’s markets, parks, nature centers or museums.
The stops are small so that we don’t spend too much time. We usually plan the stops ahead of time but have been known to pull over for spur of the moment great finds too. A short but fun stop to move around has us on the road again with content kids. The stops also give them something to look forward to.
Get Them Involved
I’ve found that when kids have ownership and are involved in the planning they are more likely to enjoy a road trip. Another of our ways to make road trips fun for kids is that I give them a few options of topics related to where we are heading. I then let them choose what they want to learn about. I then print handouts I find on Pinterest or even buy pamphlets like the ones below. They can choose from topics like
local history or nature for stops on the way. I then give them a few options for stops as I mentioned above. They can choose a local museum or park and use the materials we printed for fun hands on learning. One of their favorite stops was our hike in Petit Jean Mountain Park on our Arkansas road trip below. When we are doing things the kids were involved in choosing they look forward to the trip.
Snack stashes are a great way to keep kids occupies on a road trip. Bringing your own snacks can also be a time and money saver as well. If you are bringing your own then you are not making extra stops to buy snacks. It is also cheaper to pack your own rather than buy individual ones from convenience stores. I want the snacks to be healthy and mess free because kids are messy enough on road trips am I right?
The kids love grapes and trail mix and one of our other go to road trip snacks is Tree Top applesauce pouches. The kids love the variety of fruity flavors and I love that there’s nothing artificial and they are mess free to take on the road. A 12 pack will last us a whole road trip. I pack them each their own little cooler with drinks and healthy snacks like Tree Top apple sauce pouches and it saves us time and money.
Make It Fun
Our van has a DVD player and both kids have Kids Kindle Fire tablets but as a mom there’s only so much screen time I want them to have even on road trips. Instead I find other ways to make road trips fun for kids. I bought them these little travel desks which are great for coloring, puzzles, or playing with small toys.
I love to include educational books or coloring books to keep them occupied on road trips. They’re having fun but they’re learning too like with these awesome Texas books that were in our box from Tree Top. The books are perfect for our Texas road trips.
The kids also love the license plate game, car bingo, or scavenger hunts in the car. I had my friend create one for the kids and they loved it. They could mark each item off as they found it and I gave the person who found all the items a little prize. Full disclosure I gave the runner up a little something too to keep the peace.
We loved our printable road trip scavenger hunt so much I’m sharing it here for readers to enjoy on their summer road trips too. You can print yours here. We love road trips and with a little preparation with healthy packable no mess snacks like Tree Top applesauce pouches and fun activities like the road trip scavenger hunt, they can be enjoyable for everyone!