It’s summer, so that means family road trips. This year we have a few trips planned and I have been gearing up for too many hours in the car with 3 kids under 6. To avoid the “are we there yet” and temper tantrums I have a few things up my sleeve. Here are some of my road trip must haves for kids and what we always bring in the car with us to help keep the kiddos happy.

Snack Box

My kids love snacks, the more snacks the better. When I first gave them this fun snack box they were quiet for what felt like hours. What I love about this is there is a variety of things to taste and that they can close it up and save some for later. Here is the box we use.

EXTRA: bring a piece of yarn and have them make the snack items into a snack necklace (snacks that can work are lifesavers, pretzels, cherrios)

Cookie Sheet Activities

This road trip must have for kids is tried and true. There is so much you can do with just a cookie sheet. You can use it as a table for eating and drawing. You can bring magnets or add magnets to your favorite puzzle pieces. You can also add some chalk paint and use it as a fun chalkboard. Make a scene with chalk and use your favorite cars or figurines to create an imaginative adventure.  For my older girls I bring the magnetic letters and their sight word cards and let them practice their spelling. There is really so much you can do with just a cookie sheet.

Sticker Books

I swear sticker books are my best friends. My girls can play with them for hours. I especially like THESE which are reusable stickers that have matching scenes. This promotes imaginative play and really one of my favorite road trip must haves for kids.

Water painting

If you have younger ones than this book is for you. They get to be creative without any of the mess.

Window Markers

I would suggest this for your older children because it can get out of hand but window markers are so fun and come off easily with some water.

Family games

We love playing games as a family that are easy, require no added pieces and are appropriate for all ages. Here are a few of our favs:

Categories – everyone names an item in a specific category until someone is stumped

Two truths and a lie

Looking for the letter – Look at signs, license plates, billboards to find the alphabet. Start with a and work your way through the alphabet. We usually work as a team but you could make it a competition too.

The rhyming game – pick a word and try to rhyme it

Telling jokes

I spy

Car bingo

Training potty with plastic bags

No matter how many times we try to prevent it, we always have someone needing to use the potty at the most inconvenient times. We like to keep a training potty in the car for those moments. We use plastics bags as a liner that way we can just through it out at the rest stop.

Movie soundtracks

Want to have the whole family signing and laughing on your next road trip? Try playing the soundtrack from their favorite movie.

Wikki Sticks

My girls love playing with these. They are simple and mess free and inexpensive. I love seeing what my kids create, sometimes they really surprise me.


It’s not my first choice but on those really long trips I pack the girls tablets as a last resort or a reward for really good behavior. One of the ways I feel better about the screen time is knowing I have some great educational apps downloaded. Some of my fav apps are: Endless alphabet

Sago Mini

Letter school

Reading Eggs

Here is the tablet my girls use. We love the extensive parental controls and the great price. We purchased this cover which has come in handy quite a few times.

Goodie Bags

One idea I really love but haven’t tried is the idea of a goodie bag that your kids could open after each big milestone. You could do this a couple of different ways. You could have them open one each hour or after passing each state or city. Fill the bags with snacks or little toys from the dollar store

Trip Timeline

Another really great idea I want to try is the the trip timeline. Create a timeline (I plan on using road tape) that you hang on the ceiling and find a lightweight toy car. Put tape on the bottom of the car and tape it to the part of the timeline that corresponds with your trip. That way if your kids ask “are we there yet” you can point them to the timeline on the ceiling.


I’ve partnered with a few of my mama blogger friends to share a few more tips:

Lydia from Lydia Louise Blog says: “I like playing the question game with my toddler! Asking her what kind of sounds the animals make.”

Casey from Collectively Casey says: “bring extra bowls and snack bags in the car so you can give your kids a handful of snacks at one time without having to hand the whole bag of goldfish.”


So there you go! Our favorite road trip must haves for kids. We hope this helps you prepare for your next road trip. If you are looking for more resources and items we love check out our AMAZON STORE.

Have a travel item you cant live without? Leave me a comment and let me know what it is!

Read about more of our travels HERE.