Ten Family Road Trip Must Haves for Kids

We have been planning our next road trip for months, January actually!  This summer will take us on several road trip adventures.  This is a sponsored post about our road trip must haves but all are truly items we have and use on road trips.  On our list of travels this summer, we will be headed back to St. Louis in August as well as Orlando & Chicago.  It will be a full summer packed with great memories!

While I am often an over-planner, over-packer, this summer I am going to take a minimalist approach.  We have to have clothing and other kid gear but my main focus is going to be on providing the children with a great variety to keep them engaged and entertained.  Our longest road trip this summer just happens to be the one I am taking on solo, 18 hours actually, with three children.  So, yes, that would be why I am interested in keeping the kids entertained and the “are we there yet?” at bay!

road trips for kids

  1. Mini Lego packs!  So, some may reason that these are not practical for in the car but my kids love them!  (Stay tuned for an update on how we keep them together.)
  2. A couple of new DVDs.  We will be taking the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Around the Clubhouse World & Littlest Pet Shop: Strike a Pose movies, as well as a few favorites.
  3. Stickers from the Dollar Tree.  The Dollar Tree has a great selection so I grab a few sticker books that require the kids to match up the stickers to certain places in the books as well as just some for fun.  My kids can spend forever with stickers and a notebook.
  4. Workbooks – While the kids don’t really want to feel like they are in school, they love workbooks with mazes, search and find and anything with numbers.  If you pick them up at the Dollar Tree, you won’t break the bank buying a nice variety.
  5. Interactive magnetic toys such as the Imagine I Can: Character Mix-Up!  My children are really getting into role playing and these are great ways for them to create storyboards and make up a story to tell each other.  The best part?  They are magnetic and can be used over and over again!  These sets come in a slim, metal suitcase that are perfect for traveling and fit right onto your child’s lap.
  6. A tablet or learning toy such as the LeapPad2.  If we can, I try to add a new game or two onto their tablet.  They are given a time limit to play (almost all are learning games) so they really enjoy it when it is their turn to play.
  7. Snacks.  With kids, need I say more?  I shared 25 of our favorite on-the-go snacks here but we also try to purchase several “special” treats the kids don’t get often.  One I would suggest would be lollipops!  I try to have a few YumEarth lollipops hidden away in each bag.  They can truly be a lifesaver when you need a few minutes of quiet and will usually keep the kids busy for at least a few minutes, sometimes more if they are counting to see who gets more licks from their lollipop.
  8. Happy Baby Pouches.  These fall into the snacks category above, but they deserve a mention.  We love these for the baby when traveling but they also are great for toddlers and older children (even adults can enjoy them).  They are an easy way to get a serving of organic fruits and veggies in a fun way.
  9. Sunglasses.  When spending time in the car, almost all of us wear sunglasses, our children’s eyes are actually more sensitive than our own so it only makes sense they have their own.  For your little ones to teens, Real Kids Shades has you covered!
  10. Sunblock.  You never know what cool thing you will want to stop and explore along the way.  Pack some natural sunblock to keep you and the kids happy and burn free while on the go.

These are just a few of the items we will be relying on this summer to keep the kids engaged.  Do you have any tips to share?

What are your family road trip must haves?

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