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How To Keep Children Happy On A Trip

Updated on July 9, 2013

Before The Trip

This method takes some planning. At least a week is recommended but more is great. The main reason that kid get restless on road trips is because they are confined with limited resources to keep them entertained. How do you solve that?

As soon as you know you will be traveling start buying small toys, or items of interest for each child. I recommend the dollar store, thrift stores, dollar bins at retail and craft stores. As you buy them wrap them and store them. Store them in a bag for each child or wrap them differently so you know what "presents" go to which child.

The idea here is that as they get bored and restless you can give them each a present from your present bag. They unwrap it and are entertained for a bit. Sometimes minutes and sometimes hours.

Each child should have a tote to put all their new toys in as the trip progresses so they can replay with their favorites.

You might think that they would just want to keep opening and some do so you set a rule that they only get one an hour or so. Most get so involved with their new toy that they forget about the next present for a while. This is why it is important to give them presents that they will be interested in.

Bring The Favorites and The Forgotten

Make sure that you pack an activity bag for each child. If they are old enough they can pack their own. Include their favorite stuffed toys, electronic games and gadgets and books.

The forgotten toys and games are great too. Like the coloring book that came in the stocking this year that got pushed into the shelf and forgotten or the toys that are still in the package from the last birthday party. These items become new all over again and finally get played with.

Travel Games

Travel Games are a no-brainer. As parents that are busy packing all the important items we forget about these time tested ways to pass the time.

Finding license plates from all the states, Slug bug, Travel Bingo, Show tunes, I spy are just a few of the fun games that the whole family can get into to pass the time away.


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    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 4 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      I agree... we had beds before seat belt laws too.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Our kids loved slug bug. When they were young we made a bed for them in the back seat they could move around and didn't have car seats. Now days it seems so hard for children strapped into and car seat for long trips but much safer than the way our kids traveled. You have good advice. Voted up.

    • mepperly profile image

      Shelly Epperly 4 years ago from Vancouver,WA

      Yeah this is geared towards the younger set. Mine are almost 11 and 15 so they are pretty good at entertaining themselves at this point.. This method is what my Sister in Law did with her 6 and 3 year old from Portland Oregon to Anaheim California and it worked like a charm.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great idea for tots. For older kids, I might need to employ more resources, like gadgets, video games etc.

      Thanks for sharing. Voted useful.