It's always super fun going on a family road trip, but usually, this means a long trip inside a long care ride. You might be worried about how your toddler will behave, which is a total legit worry. I get it! But your toddler doesn't have to be bored when you present to him or her with a ton of road trip activities for toddlers! In fact, there are a lot of fun things you can do to keep your little one entertained while on the road. Here are some ideas to get you started!
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Car Activities for Toddlers Without Needing Anything
How many road trip games for toddlers can there really be? I mean, they're just sitting in a car seat, right? Wrong! Just because your toddler is confined to a car seat doesn't mean there aren't plenty of activities to keep them occupied. Here are a few car activities for toddlers that don't require any special materials or toys:
Look for shapes in the clouds.
Look up in the sky and find shapes in the clouds. You can also look for animals or things that start with a certain letter.
Listen to music and sing along.
Make up your own songs or play some of your toddler's favorite tunes. Singing is always a hit with kids!
The Quiet Game
Here one of the road trip games for toddlers you love…it's perfect for when your toddler needs to wind down and take a break. The object of the game is to see how long everyone can be quiet. You can start the timer as soon as everyone is seated and try to see who can last the longest without making a sound. The winner gets a prize!
This classic road trip game can be easily played by toddlers. You can start by saying, “I spy with my little eye something that's (color).” If your toddler doesn't know colors yet, you can describe the object in other ways, like its size or shape. The first person to spot the object gets a point!
The License Plate Game
This road trip game is perfect for toddlers who are just learning their letters and numbers. Every time you spot a license plate, call out the letters and have your toddler tell you what number it is. You can also do vice versa. The first person to reach 20 points wins!
The Alphabet Game
Similar to the license plate game, but instead of numbers, you're looking for letters of the alphabet in order. For example, you would spot the letter A on a sign, then B on a building, and so forth. The first person to reach Z wins!
Toddlers love to imitate adults, so why not turn it into a game? Every time you do something, have your toddler imitate you. For example, if you make a silly face, see if your toddler can do it too. If you sing a song, have your toddler try to sing along. This game is sure to get some laughs!
Make Noises (vroom, honk, etc.).
You can make noises and have each other guess what they are. Or find something around you and make the noise! Or you can look through an animal book and make animal noises for each one. You can also make up your own noises! This game is sure to keep your toddler entertained for a while – I know it does mine when we're laying down trying to sleep!
with a blanket or toy.
This game is perfect for when your toddler is getting sleepy but you're not quite there yet. Just cover up your face with a blanket or toy and say “peek-a-boo!” and pop back out. Your toddler will giggle every time!
All you need is your hands and a little imagination! You can make all sorts of animals or objects with just your hands. Your toddler will be fascinated by the shapes you can make.
This one is always a hit with my toddler. Just start tickling each other and see how long you can last without laughing. The first person to laugh loses! You can also play Q & A and if he answers incorrectly, he gets tickled!
This is a great activity for when your toddler is getting sleepy but you're not quite there yet. You can make up a story or read one from a book. If you don't have any books, you can always tell a story about the things you see outside. This is also a great way to pass the time if you're stuck in traffic.
Make a list of things for your toddler to find outside. It can be anything from different colors to shapes to objects. This is a great way to keep your toddler's mind active and engaged.
This one is great for when your toddler is just learning to count. You can count anything – license plates, animals, trees, etc. The first person to reach 100 wins!
This is a great way to pass the time and review the alphabet with your toddler. Just sing the alphabet song and have your toddler point to the letters. You can also make up your own words to the tune of the alphabet song.
The Wheels on the Bus
This is a classic song that toddlers love. You can sing it as is or make up your own words. This is a great way to pass the time and keep your toddler entertained.
This is a fun way to pass the time and keep your toddler entertained. You can sing along to the radio or make up your own songs. Your toddler will love it!
These are just a few ideas for road trip activities for toddlers without really needing anything. With a little creativity, you can come up with even more.
Activities and Road Trip Games for Toddlers
You might want to pack a toy bag or goody bag of fun things to do when you're on your long trip. Here are a few that come to mind, and that we've also done when we've traveled the roads (and airplanes!) with my toddler.
This is where you look for objects of a certain color, shape, beginning of a sound or letter, or anything else you can think of and put it on your bingo card. For example, if you're playing with a green bingo card, you would look for things that are green and put a mark on that square.
Tic Tac Toe
This road trip game is perfect for when your toddler is feeling a little competitive. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil to play. Draw a tic tac toe board on the paper and give each player five pieces (Xs or Os). Take turns placing your pieces on the board until someone gets three in a row.
Picnic In the Car
This is a great way to have some fun and eat lunch at the same time! Just pack a picnic lunch and eat it in the car. You can even play some games while you're eating, like 20 Questions.
You can fingerpaint on a piece of paper or even on your toddler's back! Just use some washable paint and let your toddler go to town. This is a great activity for when you're stopped at a rest area or just taking a break from driving. And just use a wipie or washable cloth when you're finished!
This is another great activity for when you're stopped or taking a break from driving. Just pack some crayons and coloring books and your toddler will be entertained for hours.
My toddler loves sticker books. So much so I got him one for Christmas as a Christmas present – a thick book of Baby Shark stickers and activity pages to put the stickers on! If you don't have a sticker book, just use some regular stickers and put them on a piece of paper or even on your clothes!
Read A Book In A Series
Do you have a favorite book series? Start reading it to your toddler on the road trip! Not only will they love hearing the stories, but they'll also be excited to see what happens next in the series.
Make A Road Trip Journal
This is a great way to document your trip and create a keepsake for your toddler. Just have them draw pictures or write down things they see and do on the trip. You can even add in your own photos and mementos from the trip.
Printable Scavenger Hunt Version
You can do this without the paper one, or you can do this with the activity sheet!
On your road trip, see if you can find…
- A state sign
- A rest stop
- A gas station
- The biggest truck you can find
- The smallest car you can find
- A school bus
- A dog
- A cat
Your tot will love it!
Got older kids? Take your road trip a little further with this 50 States Unit Study!
Your child will learn all 50 states and capitals with this fun – massive – geography resource!
This is a road trip game that my toddler loves. I just make up a story about dinosaurs and he pretend roars and growls along with me. It's great fun and really gets his imagination going. You can even use small dinosaur toys and pretend the car is their land!
Play Cars with Hotwheel Cars
If you have some Hotwheel cars, this is a great road trip game to play. You can make up a course for the cars to race on using anything in the car, like books, purses, and even people! You can also get MAP with roads or rivers, unfold it, spread it out as best you can, then drive to different places. Show him where home is and where you're destination is! Just be creative and have fun with it.
These are just a few that come to mind, but I can you think of even more!
Download these free printable road activities for toddlers to take with you on your next family road trip!
Here's a pack of printables you can take with you on your next long car ride with your toddler! I even included this list in this blog post for you to take with you! Click on the image to download the printable road trip pack for toddlers!
Included in this Toddler Road Trip Pack are:
- Scavenger Hunt activities
- Bingo cards
- Would you rather? cards
- I Spy cards
Must-Have List of Fun Road Trip Activities for Toddlers
So, whether you’re hitting the open road this summer or just dreaming of warmer weather, make sure to download our free printable list of must-have road trip activities for toddlers. With this handy list, your little ones will be entertained (and hopefully quiet) all day long. And who knows? You might even have a little fun too!
What are your favorite road trip games and activities for kids? Let us know in the comments below!
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