Preparing for a road trip holiday with kids can be very overwhelming. There is SO much to think about and so much to pack. Today I’d like to share some car activities for road trips with kids to help inspire you as you prepare for your next adventure! Traveling with kids will always be hard work, but I hope that this blog takes away some of the planning so you can get going.
Last month, we set off on a big two week road trip with our 7 year old, 5 year old and 3 year old. We drove from Brisbane out to the Gemfields at Rubyvale and up to Arlie Beach where we stayed at the Big4 Adventure Resort at Airlie Beach. It was quite the adventure and meant we spent a lot of time in the car on our travel days, often up to 6 hours in the car each day.
On the weeks leading up to our trip, I began collecting bits and pieces to pack in the car with us on those travel days.I wanted to make sure I had a few new activities mixed in with some old favourites from the Busy Bags we’ve created over the years as well.
What activities did we pack?
I ordered some see through zippered pouches from Amazon (US, AUS) which I used to sort activities into. They came in a variety of sizes but I used some of the bigger pouches to create an activity pack for each child with a Faber-Castell colouring book, an activity book and a Avery Sticker book from Officeworks. We also added colouring pens to a smaller pouch which we placed inside. These were a great little handy bag to hand back to the kids throughout the trip!
We also found some great activities at The Reject Shop! They had these little Scratch Surprise activity books (also at Big W) and we also found some A4 sized scratch paper from Officeworks which we cut in half so they would last longer. These were a big hit on some clipboards with some coins. All three of the kids loved trying to scratch off the entire design!
I also found this fun Magblock Drawing Board toy (Amazon US, The Creative Toy Shop) which I KNEW the kids would love. I’d actually seen them before at a few toy shops but I had a giftcard to spend so I grabbed one to see what the quality was like. The kids often argued over who would get to play with it and I found it pretty mesmerising too!
We used A4 clipboards for quite a few of the activities including a little Road Trip Bingo activity I made as well as the Mini HeyDoodle reusable placemat (Little Toy Tribe, The Creative Toy Shop). The HeyDoodle mats are SUCH a fun idea – I think I’ll grab some more to keep in our nappy bag for those times we need to keep the kids occupied on the run!
One of my favourite activities for road trips are dot sticker activities. I packed some blank A4 paper into a document wallet with a few sheets of dot stickers (Amazon US, Amazon AUS). I just used our markers to draw patterns and lines for colour matching which kept the kids amused for a good 30 minutes on one stint.
We also found some ready-made Dotty Art sheets at Officeworks which were a huge hit too. The pictures had varied sizes of dots in all different colours so it was a bit more of a challenge but very much loved.
One of the activities that we used both at our campsites AND in the car was our new Chameleon Reader (US, Little Toy Tribe, Creative Toy Shop). You can record yourself reading any book and use their stickers and recording pen to create audio books that your children can use anywhere! You can bring the books with you or record them onto sticker playlists. I’ll be writing a blog post more about this product soon but it was very loved throughout our trip even though we only packed two books!
How we used the activities
Rather than packing all of the activities into the front of the car, I also kept a crate in the back of the Ute so that I could rotate around the activities we had in the car each day – kind of like a mini toy rotation but in the car! On the first leg of the trip, I had the activities in a little tub at my feet but it took up SO much room and made things pretty squishy. After the first leg, I moved the activities into a fabric shopping bag which was much easier to dig through when the kids needed something else to keep them busy.
If we only had two children in the back, I probably would have popped a crate of activities between them on the back seat. We have three little people all across the back seat so this made things a little trickier. We actually ordered some back seat organisers from Kmart (here are some on Amazon AUS and Amazon US which are similar) which helped the big kids keep a few special things within arms reach in the car. Elliot and Lilly kept a lot of their fidget toys and small activities in the pockets with their drink bottles.
I also packed a totally different crate for our camping days which I’ll share in another blog post soon. It was great having the activities separate like this because it definitely helped keep things fresh and exciting for them!
We were SO nervous about how the kids would go in the car but it was such a pleasant surprise. They all did SO well especially with frequent snacks and stops to stretch our legs. If you’ve been wanting to do a road trip with kids, just do it! We had put it off for so long but they were such great little travelers. Setting up a camper trailer every few days with 3 little people in tow…well…that’s a whole other story for another day 🙈
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