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Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained on Long Car Trips

Roadtrips can be a lot of fun, whether you are going to visit family for a holiday or going on vacation. But when you are traveling with small children, long car rides can also be frustrating. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we know what it’s like to have small children get cranky after long hours in a car, and how trying to keep them happy and entertained can keep parents distracted from the road.

To help keep Oklahoma families safe, and to help keep roadtrips fun, check out our advice for how to help keep kids entertained on long car rides.

Must-Pack Items

  • Kid-friendly books and activity books
  • A handheld game device or portable video player — don’t forget headphones and extra batteries or chargers!
  • Healthy snacks — try making a “snack necklace” with string and circular snacks like cheerios, pretzels, or dried apple rings.
  • A lap desk — cookie sheets make a cheap and easy alternative.
  • Toys — avoid small toys that might fall under the seats and are not easy to retrieve without stopping and getting out.
  • Garbage bags, paper towels, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer to clean up messes.
  • A travel pillow

Easy Ideas and Helpful Tips for Parents

  • If your child uses a car seat, double-check it is secured properly. A 2015 study found that 95% of parents have made a mistake when installing a car seat.
  • If you have very young children, consider having one parent sit in back with them so they can see your face and involve you in games.
  • Give each child a small bag or box and let them pack what toys and books they’d like to bring for themselves.
  • If reading in the car gives your child motion sickness, try kid-friendly audiobooks. Library apps let cardholders check out audiobooks directly to their phones.
  • Try portioning out toys and snacks every hour so they continually have something new to look forward to.
  • If your kids like to ask, “are we there yet?”, have your kid track your trip progress with a printed-out map and stickers.
  • Always plan for more bathroom breaks than you think you need.

Roadtrip Games for the Car

Story/Guessing Games

Guess the Word

One player uses their finger to write a word (short words work better) on another player’s arm or palm, and the player being written on must try to guess what word it is.

20 Questions

Using only yes-or-no questions, players must try to guess what another player is thinking of. For example, “is what you are thinking of an animal?”, “is what you are thinking of blue?” You win the game if you can figure out what the mystery object is after asking 20 questions about it.

Team Storytelling

All players tell a story together, each taking turns to add one sentence. See how crazy your story can get as each player takes the story in a new direction!

License Plate Abbreviations

Players must use their imagination to guess what the letters on license plates they see on the cars around them might stand for. For example, a license plate with the letters “TJH” might stand for “tigers jump high”. The player that comes with the funniest guess wins.


Alphabet/Counting Games

The Alphabet Game

Players must try to find every letter of the alphabet, in order, by searching road signs, business signs, and billboards (license plates cannot be used). Players who are searching for the same letter cannot use the same sign toward their own count. Whoever finds every letter first, wins.

Alphabet Categories

After choosing a category (ex: food, animals, cartoon characters, etc.), players then take turns trying to come up with items in that category for every letter of the alphabet. For example, if the category is food, the first player might say “apple”, the next “banana”, then “corn”, and so on until they get to ‘z’.

The Picnic Game

Players take turns describing what they would bring to a picnic. On every turn, a new item is added, and everyone must remember all the items before it when they add one. For example, the first player might say they would bring apples, so the next player would need to say they are bringing apples and bananas. Then the third player would need to remember apples, bananas, corn, and so on until either someone forgets the list or they reach “z”.

My Name Is

Players must come up with answers to the questions, “My name is”, “I come from”, and “I have a suitcase full of” with words that start with each letter of the alphabet. For example, the first player might say, “My name is Arnold, I come from Arizona, and I have a suitcase full of apples,” while the second player might say, “My name is Betty, I come from Boston, and I have a suitcase full of bananas,” until they get to “z”.

The Counting Game

Players must try to count out loud from one to twenty together, but players don’t take turns counting. Anyone can speak at any time, but if two players speak at the same time, they must start over at one, and if more than five seconds go by without anyone speaking, everyone must start over from one.

Download Our Free Activity Book

The team at Parrish DeVaughn has put together a free, downloadable activity book with more fun games to keep kids entertained on long car trips. Simply download the book, print it out before your trip, and pack some crayons! Our book includes:

  • Coloring pages
  • Word searches
  • Mad libs
  • Mazes
  • Tic-tac-toe

After a Car Accident, Call Parrish DeVaughn

There is little more frightening than a car accident, especially when your family is in the car with you. If you, your spouse, or child have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, it can affect your life, and your finances, for years. Let the experienced Oklahoma car accident attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and we’ll work hard to get you and your family the compensation they deserve for their injuries and pain and suffering. Call today for your free consultation.