Are We There Yet?: Keep Your Kids Entertained on Long Road Trips


Kids are excited to get to the destination, but most are not thrilled about the long car ride to get there.  However, kids can gain interest just as easy as they lose it.  Planning ahead helps parents and guardians make the best of the long trip.  Rather than asking, “Are we there yet?” they’ll be wondering “What are we doing next?”

Use Whiteboards

You’ll find whiteboards in boardrooms and classrooms.  However, manufacturers produce smaller versions of the boards, which comes in handy when entertaining children at the doctor’s office, cafe, or car ride.  Additionally, if you have a CD case, take out the musician’s artwork and replace it with a white piece of paper.  The plastic casing is great for writing and erasing with markers.  Voila, you have a makeshift whiteboard to play hangman, do math problems, or to ask riddles.

Make Stops

Depending on the logistics of the journey, you can make time for multiple stops.  Aside from the usually popular roadside destinations, do some digging and research to unearth interesting gems along the way.  For example, you can see awe-inspiring and oversized creations.  Canada is a country filled with odd and spectacular attractions.

Create Crafts

If you’re travelling in a roomy vehicle, such as a Dodge Grand Caravan, kids will have enough space to create crafts.  Supply them with small paper sandwich bags, felt cutouts, markers, and a glue stick (glue sticks are less messy).  Have them create puppets.  Later, tell them to write a scene that the puppets can act out.  The activity is triply time consuming; the kids need to make the puppets, write the scene, and then act it out.

Create a Watch-Out-For List

Similar to a treasure hunt, create a list of things to spot on the road.  It’s even better if you have multiple kids in the car; they can work as a team or compete to see who can spot the items the fastest.  You can make it easy, such as spotting a car with three passengers, or more difficult, such as spotting driving plates from different provinces.  You may want to make multiple lists in case the kids are too quick to spot all of the items!

Play the Name Game

The ‘name game’ can be played anywhere and requires enough thought to keep kids occupied.  Perhaps it’s best to choose a category that keeps kids’ interest.  For example, if they’re sports fans, start by saying a name of a major league player.  The next person has to think of a player’s first name that begins with the last letter of the previously mentioned name.

Prepare Snacks and Beverages

Kids may or may not enjoy playing games, but all kids love the idea of eating snacks.  When all else fails, whip out their favourite snacks and beverages.  This will keep their attention for a bit and give you enough time to prepare for and think about the next road game.  If you’re travelling in the warmer months, keep a cooler filled with beverages in the back or trunk of the vehicle.

Liam Jones is a Father of four who puts his wife, kids and the family dog into the car each Summer to visit family members. The first year he vowed never to do it again! But now he has some strategies which he shares online!