Road Trip Activities For Toddlers to Teens

As promised in 14 Essentials For a Mostly Wonderful Road Trip, it’s time for a round up of all the fun activities that keep the miles rollin’ by for my kids. For toddlers to teens, this list covers all sorts of interests – you don’t need it all, but a handful will definitely add a little excitement to the back seat.

Now, for starters, I am all for a little boredom in the car. More than once I have told the tale of my childhood car rides … “no screens, no electric windows, and, potentially the worst of all, no air conditioning”. They hardly believe me!

The trips that birthed my love for adventure though, were heavily in part to my mama’s preparation. She is the queen of fun! When we took three days to drive to Yellowstone in 1994 she packed surprises in brown paper lunch sacks and every hour or so we got to open a new one. Sometimes it was a snack, sometimes a new toy or activity. Basically, she made that long drive a dream! Obviously, I was only seven years old and I remember those brown paper sacks just as much as I remember Old Faithful.

Ok … ready for what my kids have been loving on our road trips? Here ya go! All tried and true!

LCD Writing Tablet

These LCD writing tablets are a huge hit! We only have two and I should definitely get another set. Currently on sale for just $12 for two.

Penny Passport

We’re always on the lookout for pressed pennies. Then, while we drive, the kids like to organize their collection in this penny passport book and reminisce about where we’ve been before.

First Sudoku Book

This is the best starter sudoku book – solid $4 activity!

The Land Before Time Collection

If you’re going to buy/download/stream a new series for the road, let it be The Land Before Time … so timeless!

License Plate Game

We’ve tried a few variations of the license plate game and this wood one from Melissa & Doug is the best.

Cat’s Cradle

Flashback city! Cat’s Cradle is still so much fun!

Water Wow!

Even though Charlie has smashed up a couple brushes, the peace that Water Wow! brings is worth replacing ever now and again. Highly recommend for no mess car fun.

Mini Yoto Player

I cannot say enough good things about the mini Yoto player for travel. We have two that the kids share and it’s the best activity for screen free listening. Easy enough for Charlie, who is two, to use, and still engaging for Jem who is almost 13!

Shop here for 10% off your first purchase.

Mad Libs

I loved these as a kid and, surprise, my kids love them too! Mad Libs for life! We currently have this Star Wars Mad Lib, but there are gobs of options to choose from.

Would You Rather?

This travel edition of “Would You Rather?” is themed appropriately. We also love this printable Disney variation from Getaway Today. And, I just discovered that they have a Harry Potter and Star Wars one too! I’ll need to put those together ASAP :)


We listen to ALOT of audiobooks on the road. If you need a few recommendations, give these couple a try:

  • The Penderwicks series (five books in all)
  • A Wold Called Wander
  • Wildoak
  • The Year of Miss Agnes
  • 26 Fairmount Avenue
  • Tilly and the Bookwanderers
  • The City of Ember
  • Wishtree
  • The Saturdays
  • Wonder

Paint By Sticker

Eli, who is five, especially loves Paint By Sticker books. I love the no-mess factor.

Family Road Trip Trivia Podcast

We just discovered this amazing podcast on our last trip and now we can’t get enough of it! Stream it through your favorite podcast app and get ready to have a blast!

Story Cubes

Technically we don’t play Story Cubes in the car, but we do take them into restaurants. They’re fun, compact and definitely induce laughter.


Tuck all those little activities, pens/pencils/crayons, snacks, and more in one of these Stoney Clover-esque bags.

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