Easy Ways to Keep Kids Entertained in the Car

Ways to entertain the kids when you need it most

It’s time to take that long distance drive with the kids. Are you fretting the dreaded ‘Are we there yet?’ question repeatedly being asked? You aren’t the only one!

Every parent at some point needs to take that extended drive with children. Sometimes it is easier than others but it’s always good to have a back-up plan just in case. Here is how you can keep them entertained and enjoy the ride.

It’s no secret that kids can become rowdy when couped up in the car for hours on end, which is why it is important to be prepared both mentally and physically. By physically I mean have a number of activities up your sleeve. Here are just a few that have always proved successful in the past.


Dare I say it but electronic devices can be an absolute saviour to this generation of children. Not to mention there are so many different types to choose from.

Tablets / iPads – These are a fantastic choice because they can watch movies, play games or even read on them. You probably limit screen time while at home but while venturing on long hauls across the country, it isn’t uncommon for that care factor to be reduced to zero, let them play it!

DVD players – Whether it be a headrest mounted one or a portable option, these are a lifesaver! Grab a handful of DVD’s and you are set. Don’t forget the headphones though so you and your passenger can still talk without having to try and listen over the movie being played. These have also become quite cheap to purchase so if you don’t already have one they won’t break the bank.

Cameras – Let the kids bring cameras of their own so they can snap some shots of what they want to remember. Often kids find the beauty in simple things and they are memories they will treasure.


Activity books – This extends to sticker books, colouring in books, puzzle books and so much more. You can generally pick these up from your local $2 shop. These are a great option for younger children; get a pencil case with crayons and they will be entertained for hours.

Notebooks - For older children, a blank notebook will allow them to document interesting things they see along the way in addition to anything else they may want to write about. Write a story, a poem, even sketch.

Books – Everyone loves a good book and if your children are book worms they could be easily entertained for hours with just one book. If travel creeps into the night, do not forget a book light for them so you can enjoy the peace and quiet for that bit longer.


Magnets – Get yourself a small whiteboard and some magnetic numbers, letters or even animals. While driving ask your children to make certain words or find particular letters. It is not only fun but also educational.

Toys – Whether your child is into Matchbox cars or Barbies, allow them to bring a handful of them to play with on the journey. They can swap and change between a few different toys and will remain occupied for longer.

Thumb wrestles – 1, 2, 3, 4 I declare a thumb war!

The ABC game – This is a fun game for kids that know how to spell or are learning. The rules? Everyone takes turns saying a name of a person, fruit, car, etc. One person starts with A, the next takes on B, following with C and so on.

Scavenger hunt – Before you leave, write a list of things the kids need to find on your travels. When they find them they cross them off and the first one to cross them all off wins a little prize.

Who am I? – Remember that game? Well all you need is a pad of post it notes and a pen. Kids can write a name, animal, landmark or something entirely different and then they take turns asking questions until they guess correctly who / what or where they are.

I spy – It’s an oldie but a goodie. Just in case you don’t know how to play, the person who’s turn it is chooses an item they can see (they do not tell the other children or adults playing). They then say ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with.....letter or colour’. Everyone takes turns guessing what it could be until it is guessed correctly. It then becomes their turn to choose something.

Silent game – This is a favourite for parents. Whoever can make it longest without talking or making a noise wins! Who doesn’t win from this game?

Naughts and crosses - Such an easy game to play and kids of all ages can enjoy it.

Rock, paper, scissors – You don’t need to take a single thing to play it and it still provides endless entertainment. These days kids also have additional moves they like to throw in to change the game up a bit.


Food – What kid doesn’t love to eat? Bring a mountain of snacks! Make up a mix of lollies, chips, fruit, sandwiches, biscuits, etc. The more variety the better.

Music – Crank the music and sing along to some favourite tunes. It doesn’t have to be nursery rhymes, top 40 songs are just as good for kids.

Regardless whether you are driving from the early hours of the morning or departing late in the afternoon, your kids will get restless and need to be entertained. These games and distraction ideas will help you reach your destination with minimal fuss or effort on your behalf.

It is important to remember that you should take breaks intermittently, ideally every two hours. This will allow you a break from driving and keep you refreshed and a chance for your children to stretch their legs and breathe in the fresh air.

How do you keep your children entertained in the car? Tell us below

Kell Kelly


Tags: Travel
Kell Kelly

Kell Kelly is a mum, a wife to her childhood sweetheart and a writer. She shares her home in the picturesque Hunter Valley wine region with her husband and 4 children. When she isn’t working at home, folding laundry or chasing the kids to put on their shoes; she enjoys discovering her surroundings, taking in the great outdoors and spending some much needed time with her husband. Prior to...

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