Embarking on any road trip is a brave task for some people. The journey is long, the space is small, and the destination might be exciting but there’s still a lot of time before you get there. Setting out on a road trip with kids, however, is a feat that some people can’t even imagine! How can you make a long car ride with your little ones more endurable for both you and them?
Well, you can do that with a little DIY magic of course! Try creating a “road trip kit” that has everything you could possibly need to keep your kids entertained. If they’re very young, make the kit for yourself with them in mind. If they’re a little older, make a kit specifically for each kid. They’ll love getting a present at the beginning of the journey and it’ll quickly become their survival kit during long hours!
Here are 15 things your DIY “road trip kit” should absolutely include before you settle your kids into the back seat!
(Photo source: Growing a Green Family)
Even if your kids would rather have pop, water is the best thirst quencher. It will help headaches and keep away fatigue. Give each kid a fun new refillable, BPA free water bottle that they’ll enjoy using along the way. Water bottles with straws, like these ones, minimize the chances of little ones spilling on their clothes. Being able to fill it at rest stops will save you money!
2. Flavoured drinks
(Photo source: Frugal Couple Living)
Bringing juice, pop, or Gatorade along gives the kids something to drink when they’re tired of water. Especially if you don’t get them fun drinks often, they’ll be pleased with the treat. Juice will also keep their blood sugar stable if the stops between meals are long. Be careful with juice boxes and very young children; remind them not to squeeze!
3. Healthy snacks
(Photo source: Flossy Fuel)
Choose snacks that are yummy but still nutritional. Kids who eat too much junk on a road trip might become tired and cranky or hyper and hard to calm down. Look for things that are easy to eat with their hands and individually packaged to minimize garbage and mess.
(Photo source: Enchanting Autumn)
Road trips are fun and you want your kids to stay excited about the experience. There’s no harm in packing them a few treats! Individually packaged chips and chocolate bars make for yummy breaks between more nutritional snacks.
(Photo source: Gresswell)
As long as no one feels queasy when they read in the car, books are the perfect way for the kids to keep occupied and for you to enjoy a bit of quiet time.
6. Drawing and colouring
(Photo source: Tenplay)
Drawing and colouring is a great, creative way to keep the kids’ hands busy and their minds occupied. It’s also perfect for kids who are too young to read on their own or don’t like to. They can draw something related to your road trip or colour in a new book you got them just for this long ride!
7. Writing activities
(Photo source: Homeschooling Ideas)
Writing is another way for kids to use their imagination while they’re cooped up in one place. If they’re not avid writers of they’re too young, try simple writing activities like puzzle books.
8. Hands-on games
(Photo source: Creative Jewish Mom)
Origami, card games played on a tray, and other card friendly activities that will keep your kids concentrated are life savers for both of you. Choose things that don’t have many pieces or that can be contained easily.
(Photo source: Metro)
Whether your kids bring personal listening devices or you bring tunes for the stereo that everyone will love, you’ll be glad to have them! Sometimes, after hours of driving, conversation wears thin and people get tired. Music fills the silence in a nice way and still keeps you entertained.
(Photo source: The Unread Book)
Audiobooks are a great alternative to music and they’ll let kids rest while remaining entertained. If your trip is very long, start a new audiobook that no one has listened to and hear it together as a family!
11. Travel projects
(Photo source: Jessie Amadio)
Starting a project at the beginning of the trip and finishing it at the end can be lots of fun! It also gives kids something to concentrate on throughout the whole ride, but in digestible chunks of time. Try giving them an envelope to collect trinkets and little keep sakes in or a scrapbook to journal in along the way.
12. Garbage bags
(Photo source: Modern Parents, Messy Kids)
It’s a simple fact: where there are kids, there’s probably garbage of some kind. Snack wrappers, tissues, and so on will pile up in the car if you don’t bring somewhere to put them. Include a few garbage bags in your own travel kit or consider investing in or making an actual travel garbage bag!
13. Tissues and napkins
(Photo source: Divas and Dorks)
Messy faces, sticky fingers, and runny noses are inevitable on a long car ride, so prepare for them! If you’re worried you won’t have room for a full box, put a travel pack in each kid’s kit and a couple in the glove compartment too.
(Photo Source: A Spoon Full of Sugar)
Giving the kids something soft to sleep on will encourage them to get as much sleep as possible. This might keep everyone from getting cranky! If you don’t have room for full sized pillows, consider investing in or making travel pillows instead.
15. Active toys
(Photo source: Schoolyard Play)
At each rest stop, give the kids a chance to run around, kick balls, jump rope, and just play. The more they move, the calmer they’ll be when it’s time to sit again. Give them toys in each kit that they can play with together!