How I Keep My Kids Entertained on Long Trips {Ready 4 Summer Kids Linky Party}

It was another great turn-out for Tuesday’s summer recipes party!! The linky will be open all
week, so feel free to jump in at any time.

PLEASE remember to
ONLY link up themed posts. Thank you!!

Summer is the time when lots of families hit the road for a fun vacation. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a flight across the country, you have to get creative to find ways to keep your kiddos entertained (and keep them from killing each other!).

Here are some tips that I have used for keeping my kids happy on the way to our vacation desitnation!

Scour the Dollar Bin
I start scouting the dollar bins and clearance aisles at Target for little silly activities and books a couple of months before the trip. Some of what I’ve collected so far:

  • Coloring books
  • Activity Packs
  • Magnetic characters
  • Stickers
  • Small toys
  • Mini Dry erase boards
  • Small pouches
  • Small Books
  • Color Wonder Paper & markers

If possible, have the items be related to the trip. For example, this summer we are going to the Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii, so I picked up some Mickey Mouse coloring books and some Hawaiian themed note pads. I’ll be on the lookout for some more Hawaiian items to add.

Small, Individual Portioned Snacks (and lots of them)
I have a few special treats that my kids don’t get very often, and these always come on long trips with us! Pack individual portions in snack size ziploc baggies for easy distribution.

  • Sugar free lollipops or Dum Dums (take a while to eat – I always give these when we are taking off and landing to help with their ears)
  • Fruit snacks
  • Granola Bars
  • Goldfish
  • Snack Mixes
  • Juice Boxes

DVD Player & New Movies
Being the iPad age, you can just put movies in your iPad, but if you don’t have one of those (like me) I would definitely recommend a cheap DVD player. I got ours for about $50 at Christmas time, and we only use it on long trips. We have another one in the car that actually has two small screens and that was about $75 at Best Buy. Totally worth it! Pick up some of the $5 movies at Target, or that new movie your kids have been wanting to see.

A New Backpack!
Placing a few of their new goodies in a cool new backpack is even more exciting!

I always watch for Pottery Barn Kids clearance, because when they do go on sale or on clearance, the prices are pretty good. Of course, you can always find backpacks at TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Target. I get the kids’ lunch pails from PBK as well.

A Couple of Tips:

  • If you’re taking a long car trip, take the time to wrap each of the items in gift wrap or even newspaper. Adds to the excitement and keeps them interested a little longer. If you’re flying, however, the airlines won’t allow this. 
  • Purchase small zippered pouches or tote bags to place like items in. For example, all crayons/markers in one pouch.
  • Make sure to have addtional items stored in your luggage for the return trip.
  • Keep most of the new treats in your own bag so they can’t pull them out at will. Then when they start to get restless, let them reach in and pull out a surprise.

The key to keeping your kids entertained is having NEW things for them to do. I’ve taken car trips to Arizona (about four hours long) by myself with my two kids and we (almost) have no problems!

I’ll admit, I am a little nervous to put both of my kids on a plane. The first time I traveled with a child on a plane, it was only Cooper and he was two and a half. But I had my mom and her BFF along and we could take turns entertaining him. That’s three to one. This time there’s two kids, my mom and me. That’s a ratio of two to two, which, in kid terms, kinda means we’re outnumbered!

How do you keep your kids entertained on long trips? I’d love some more tips!

More fun ideas for the kids can be found at these participating blogs:

My Fabulous Co-Host: 

Our Lovely Guests:

How do you keep your kids entertained during summer break? Come party with us!! Here’s how it works:

Link up your summer, kid-related post(s) below. Your links will appear on both of the host blogs!

Please be sure to link to the hosts with either a text link or by grabbing a button: 

Thanks for partying along with us!!


Owner at Yellow Bliss Road
Hi! I'm Kristin, the creative mind behind Yellow Bliss Road where you will be inspired by tons of easy to follow recipes, lots of free printables, and a little sprinkling of life thrown in for good measure.
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  1. says

    You are so right, the Target dollar isle is PERFECT for stocking up on goodies! I just love Target 😉 Great tips, I’m totally going to come back here and double check myself before heading out on a summer road trip.

  2. says

    The dollar bin is a great place to check for little toys and activity books to keep the children occupied during road trips. Thanks for sharing!

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