Hey friends! It’s been almost 4 years since we have done any substantial road tripping. We are not currently fans of driving more than an hour due to Ryan and Sara getting car sick. We had a beach trip planned with the whole family early March 2020. We looked into flights from Houston to the Florida panhandle and they were far more expensive than we wanted to pay for all 6 of us to go, so road tripping it was. I am an over planner so I started planning months in advance.
I started a whole Pinterest board with more than enough activity ideas. I’ll say that I like to be creative but I don’t like to spend a ton of time on something that my kids will probably lose or destroy in a matter of minutes. Car organization on road trips was also something I was looking forward to succeeding at this time. I can’t say I succeeded because I’m also an over packer. I need to bring everything I might possibly ever need, hahaha!
Back of the seat organizer
I saw a lot of behind the seat organizers, so I started there. I got these seat organizers and some hooks for the head rests to hang things like backpacks or trash bags. These were great for keeping kids toys and snack kept up off the floor and where I could easier grab them.
Individual snack and activity container
The kids each got a tub of snacks and some new little toys or books to keep them entertained. Initially I liked the idea, but then we got in the car and I sorted it all into the seat organizers and realized I didn’t really need the tubs anymore, although Tyler liked his because he sits in the front and was able to keep his stuff all together.
Cookie sheet for Magna Tiles, Playdoh, and coloring
I got some cheap cookie sheets at Walmart (or these from Amazon) to give the little kids a hard surface for things like coloring and playdoh. They were great at keeping crayons from rolling away on to the floor, which is basically a black hole. We also packed our magna tiles and they could build with those on the cookie sheet since the magnets would stick to it. We do not actually have the “Magna Tile” brand but these Playmags off Amazon. They have been awesome and we have been playing daily with them for years now.
Post-it Notes & Pipe Cleaners
Post-it notes and stickers were great also because they stuck them to the windows or all over the cookie sheet. *Reminder- go clean all the stickers off the windows* We also made all sorts of things with pipe cleaners, from jewelry to animals. I tried my best with the animals, but the kids were not very impressed. At least we got some laughs out of my failed attempts.
The big boys mostly played on their Nintendo Switches or Amazon tablets. They also consumed their weight in snacks. I did my best to pack healthy snacks like string cheese, hard boiled eggs, sandwich stuff, and fruit. We use this cooler for the back seat. They had a few candy treats in there that of course got eaten first! We try to avoid any food dyes so we had Annie’s fruit snacks, Black Forrest snacks, and chocolate for treats. I had a hidden little bag of my favorites for middle of the night driving that included Trolli sour gummy worms and Sour Punch bites to help keep Marc and I awake. They were so yummy and they definitely worked at keeping me awake!
- Back of the seat organizer 2. Play-doh Toys, Play-doh 3. Pipe Cleaners 4. Mess Free Coloring 5. Playmags 6. Stickers
Overall I think we had enough activities the keep them engaged, and when all else fails give them food. We did plenty of stops the stretch their legs and let them run off some energy. We also tried to keep our driving days shorter so we had time to stop or extra time at the hotel swimming and relaxing. We’re finding that you need to have some sort of plan but at the same time be flexible when the kids need a change. I hope that helps you with some ideas for your next road trip!