Skip to main content

The Hood Magazine

Fun Ways to Keep Preschoolers Busy in the Car

Jun 28, 2021 ● By Sanford Health
By: Sanford Health

If you are a parent of a preschooler, you are already aware of how difficult it can be to keep your child entertained in the car. But a road trip can be a fun, educational and sane experience with a little planning, creativity and preparation. Sure, electronic games, apps and portable DVD players are great distractions. But don’t overlook these family-friendly games and activities that can keep everyone happy as you travel.

Activity ideas:
• I spy: This is a fun game for children of all ages, and no supplies are needed. Use this game to help your child learn colors and shapes. You could say, “I see something green. What is it?” or “I see something tall and skinny. What is it?”

• Journaling: Find a sturdy notepad, or make one from construction paper, hole punches and yarn. Have your preschooler draw pictures of what he or she sees out the window along the way. This encourages fine motor and creativity skills.

• Baking sheet: Use a baking sheet as a hard surface to color, write or play games on. Have crayons, paper, small games or alphabet magnets ready for your child to play with.

 • “Box” of tricks: Find a sturdy cardboard box and paint the top with chalkboard paint. Fill the box with chalk, crayons, pocket-sized coloring books and other toys and activities. This box serves as a chalkboard as well as storage for creative play items. Watch your preschooler’s creativity shine!

• Night ride: Grab some glow sticks from the dollar store to bring along while traveling at night. Your child can make a little glow light show in the back seat.

• Scavenger hunt: Before embarking on your journey, make a picture list of items for your child to try to find along the way. This is a great way to build pre-reading skills.

• Reading time: Bring a few of your kids’ favorite books, both in the printed versions and audiobooks. You can listen to the story as the kids read along. Any time your child can have a book in hand is great for building reading skills. As always, don’t forget the snacks. Be mindful of what your child can eat safely when you’re not watching. Road trips are a great time to put kids’ imaginations to the test to create puppets, masks, journals and more.