Summertime is vacation time for many families. Traveling with kids can be a daunting idea if you don’t know what to do to keep them entertained for long periods of time or in a small space – or both. If you are looking for some ideas besides a DVD player and hand-held video games, I’ve compiled lists of many games and activities suitable for travel.

Activity Books

Here are a list of some books that contain several different types of activities, from mini-mysteries, mazes, and crossword puzzles to coloring pages, connect-the-dot, jokes, and car bingo:

Free Games

Here are some common car games that don’t require anything but players!

  • License plate game: See how many states’ license plates from you can find on your trip.
  • ABC game, take 1: Starting with the letter “A”, look around and find a letter on a sign, truck, building, or license plate, say the letter (and where you saw it) and then move on to the next letter. The first one to get to the letter “Z” is the winner!
  • ABC game, take 2: My family still plays this game in the car! Someone thinks of a topic (like names of cities, countries, types of fruit, animals, movies, TV shows, celebrities, etc). The first person to start has to name something corresponding to the topic starting with ‘A’, the next person gets the next letter of the alphabet, and so on around and around the car. If it’s your turn and you can’t think of anything for your letter, you are out. If you get to ‘Z’ and play is still going, go back to ‘A’ and keep going – but no repeats are allowed. Play continues until there is one person left – the winner! (My sisters and I are huge fans of the TV show Friends and so one time our topic was “anything related to Friends”!)
  • I Spy: One person picks an object they can see either in the car or along the road. They give others a clue such as, “I spy with my little eye… something blue.” The person keeps giving more clues until they can guess what it is.
  • 20 Questions: One person thinks of something and the other person gets to ask 20 yes/no questions to try to figure it out.
  • Fortunately-Unfortunately: Neat game described in full on (Scroll down 2/3 of the page.)

Travel Games

Here are some of your favorite games that come in a travel size:

Card Games

Here are various card games:


Here are many types of books to keep kids entertained:

Creative Activities

Here are a few creative activities suitable for travel:

Small Toys

Here is a list of small toys your kids might have that would be easy to bring along:

Drawing and Coloring

Here are some travel-friendly items for drawing and coloring:

Educational Activities

Here are a few educational activities:

Personal Comforts

Don’t forget your child’s personal comforts:

  • Favorite stuffed animal or blankie
  • Music player (MP3 player or iPOD type device with headphones) Disney Mix Sticks is one brand


Here are a few other things you might want to consider bringing:


  • Use pencil bag or box to store crayons and markers to keep them from going everywhere.
  • Bring triangular crayons as they can lay flat on a tray and not roll around like regular crayons.
  • Give each child their own suitcase (on wheels) that they are responsible for packing and carrying.
  • Check their toys and veto anything that may annoy yourself or other passengers.
  • Find inexpensive items at the dollor store or Target’s dollar spot (post it notes, calculators, etc. can be great fun).
  • Bring out a “new” item every half hour or so to keep things interesting.

Other Sources

Here are some other places for you to find travel tips and information:

Wendy – Parenting Tips 365

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