On the Go Activities for Kids
We recently took a 7hr road trip from Phoenix to Colorado! We also had 3-5hr stretches of drive within the state as we visited five different cities during our three week vacation. With three children to entertain during these driving hours, it was time to make a travel activity bin for our on the go days!
You can view our first post of on the go activities for toddlers here. Our 2.5 year old is now 9, and we have a 5.5 year old and an 18 month old! So road trips look a little different these days. We do have iPads for each child, and will list some of our favorite apps at the end of this post. But movies and app games aside, here’s what we brought along and the kids enjoyed most in the car on our Colorado adventure. Look for links to find these on our Amazon store too (affiliate links).
We found some fun family activities for the road! Mad Libs is always a hit, and even our five year old could contribute with nouns and verbs. The road bingo is best for interstates and popular highways and again, good for non readers because of the photos.
Rubber Neckers was a random Amazon find from my husband. Similar to road bingo, there’s specific things to look for on cards, with points attached. The first to read 100 points wins! We enjoyed this game, with some patience. Younger ones may find it difficult to hold all the needed cards as well. But it was something kids and parents could play together!
The two audio CD’s are from Focus on the Family. Adventures in Odyssey was a favorite when my husband and I were kids! This set was about American history, a perfect tie in to our recent school studies. Focus on the Family also does fabulous radio dramas. They do a wide range of familiar novels, from Anne of Green Gables to The Chronicles of Narnia to Les Miserables. These are also great for quiet time.
Any guesses what activity from this collection that our 18 month old enjoyed the most? It was the magnetic draw and erase, and kept her busy forever! The sensory bottles were homemade from water beads, Legos, and other various small items we found around the house. I also brought along other small toys like the Fingerling monkey. (Note that we didn’t glue down the lid on the sensory bottle, just tight. You might want to glue if you have an older child.)
She also had along her favorite stuffed animals, a few electronic toys that are always in the car, and her iPad with Peppa Pig. Always Peppa Pig.
Yes, we do playdough in the car! This bin was stuffed full of various items that we loved from other kits, and our 5 year old and 9 year old enjoyed passing the time with these. See links below for each business. Bring along a flat lid (Tupperware types works great) for using the playdough too. This was also a favorite for quiet times at our Airbnb’s.
The other photo shows three activities specifically for our 5 year old. On the left is two kits from Littlebug Learning, a new businesses to Phoenix that offers preschool and kindergarten learning kits. We LOVE them! I packed a few activities from the first kit, Dinosaurs, and some ones he hadn’t seen from the new Space kit.
The Goodnight Colorado book is a great way for young ones to learn about a new state; and the Hidden Pictures has simple activities. Our 5 year old claimed the latter was “too easy”, but it kept him busy for large portions of time.
Our 9 year old is a great road tripper. She packs her own activities with books and drawing, but I also brought about some new reads. The road trip atlas is amazing!! It has actual road maps I remember pouring over as a kid, as well as fascinating info on each state.
Last, but not least, are these activities that both older kids enjoyed. The mini Bop-It was a hit! I didn’t know it was a mini version when purchased, but the smaller size worked out great for travel. The Tangrams set was loved as well. The booklet has over a hundred designs, and the pieces magnetically attached to the back board.
We also brought along activity booklets from our recent visit to the Hall of Flame Fire Museum in Phoenix, plus markers and pencils. I would advise against bringing crayons. They melt too easily in warm/cars!
Screen time rules vary from family to family. Road trips and plane flights are probably the times our kids play iPad games the most! If you’re looking for some extra fun or education games, try this list of our favorites. Note that all might not be available for Android.
- Toca Apps – there are so many of these apps, all which focus on free play in different setting. There are hair salons, a hospital, school, pets – you name it, they have it! Our kids favorite is Toca Life World. So many details for creating!
- Stack the States and Stack the Countries – learn state and country facts, shapes, and more with this fun combo of quizzes and careful shape stacking to reach the marker! The country version is a good challenge for older kids (I mean, even as an adult I can’t name all the countries in Africa!) Great for geography on the go!
- Pet Bingo – this is another educational app that we love. Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division and answer problems to get bingo. Bingo earns you a cute pet! You can name, feed, and watch the pet grow as well.
- Teach Your Monster to Read – our 5 year old loves this! It’s helped his letter and sound skills tremendously with games and little stories.
- Sasquatch – this is a new app for our kids, and they will play it non stop. The sasquatch (otherwise known as a yeti) has various tasks to complete – but watch out for the ranger! The ranger and other people can catch you.
- My PlayHome – this is like a dollhouse in an app! So simple and fun, including a hospital, grocery store, and school app.
- Sago Mini – love these apps for toddlers. The little animals animate and do different (simple) actions, like get in to a car and move down a road, or play with toys. If your kid can tap and swipe on a screen, they will LOVE these apps.
- Stardew Valley – build the farm of your dreams! Easy to navigate, but with multi-level tasks.
- Don’t forget you can also download movies or shows from popular companies like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Disney+!
Wondering where we went in Colorado? Browse these blog posts for our top things to do with kids in Durango, Georgetown, Aspen, and Telluride! Also, we shared the top places to stop along the drive between Phoenix and Colorado. (If no links, blog posts are in progress.)