Few things say “summer break” like taking a long, scenic road trip somewhere special. But whether you’re headed to the Grand Canyon or Grandma's house, every parent knows that no road trip is possible without an arsenal of snacks and activities.
While most kids would be happy to watch Netflix or play on a tablet for a few hours, this can be a good time to give them a break from the screens and introduce other types of fun that help them learn (that's the dream for all of us parents, right?). Here are five simple ways to put an end to the incessant “Are we there yet?” questions without relying on screens.
1. Pick out a few hands-on games and activities that are mess-free — yes, they exist!
You already know that interactive playtime is the most engaging, but of course, no parent wants to lug messy supplies or a 100-piece game into the car. Instead, look for crafts and games that have a creative and tactile elements (which are also handy for tuning up fine motor skills), but are also clutter-free. Think magnetic play boards, crafts you need just one or two supplies for, and no-strings-attached finger puppets! Getting absorbed in an interactive activity will help the time pass faster for kids, and the quiet, uninterrupted playtime will give you a little break, too.
The activities below are all car-friendly options that are designed to captivate young minds, without tiny pieces that get wedged between the seats with the cracker crumbs.