Does your family have any road trips coming up? Maybe you have a summer vacation planned, or you are traveling to see family for Memorial Day. Whether your trip is 3 hours or ten hours, keeping kids entertained in the car can be a real challenge. Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones come in handy when it comes to keeping your child busy, or to break up the incessant bickering that road trips seem to bring out.
But sometimes you want your kids to take a break from technology. Or, maybe you’ve decided not to let your toddler play with technology yet. Whatever the case, giving kids a break from technology can be beneficial for their cognitive development. Activities, games, and sensory boxes stimulate your child’s senses, strengthen their attention span, and boost their imaginations.
Here are some of our favorite non-technology activities for your next road trip.
If you’ve never seen a sticker book before, it’s exactly what it sounds like. A book that comes with a variety of stickers that kids can stick and re-stick on the pages. They are typically themed, so you can find one based on your child’s favorite movie or show. Sticker books are great for the car because they are a no-mess activity. If you get one for each of your kids, they can even switch sticker books to keep the fun going longer.
You can order sticker books online or buy them at Walmart.
Snacks might be the golden rule of road trips. When kids get cranky or bored, personal-sized snack boxes can hold their attention for a few minutes. Get a container with multiple compartments for different snacks, and fill them with whatever you want. If you have multiple kids, giving each one their own box may even reduce their fighting over snacks. Here’s a list of some snacks to include: a handful of M&Ms, popcorn, grapes, carrots, crackers, raisins, pretzels, dry cereal, gummies, and anything else you can think of!
DIY Magnet Fun
All you need is a cookie sheet and magnets for this technology-free activity. Your kids will have a blast playing with magnets without having to worry about dropping them on the floor.
Listening to books is a great way to pass time on a road trip. Listening in the car allows the whole family to follow the same story, which gives you more to talk about once you finish a chapter or two. Going through a book as a family gives everyone a common interest. It can also help strengthen kids’ attention and auditory learning skills.
Car games, coloring books, and play dough are just a few more activities to pass time on a road trip. Don’t forget to give yourself a break if the trip doesn’t pan out as you had imagined. If your tablet is the only thing that will keep your child busy, let him use it! The most important thing is that you enjoy time as a family.