You’re going to love these ideas for road trip activities for toddlers and preschoolers. We have spent years trying out different ideas for ways to entertain a toddler on a long car trip. Actually, we’ve been doing it for 25+ years. We’ve taken nieces, nephews, and our own kids on long trips. And, it’s been the best thing ever. We love traveling with kids. Sometimes we’ve made DIY busy bags and created our own activities. Other times we’ve purchased fun toddler travel toys.
One of the biggest things we’ve learned … you can’t use the same road trip activities for toddlers that you do for older kids. They have a much shorter attention span and have greater limitations, too. Don’t think it’s hopeless, though.
Here’s the thing …
Most people don’t realize that toddlers can be great travel companions. We started taking road trips with our kids when they were babies. They got used to traveling and became great traveling toddlers. There are many ideas and tips that will help you have the best trip possible. Check out some of our travel ideas for toddlers, below.
I am including a lot of pictures of things you can find at Amazon, which makes it so easy to order.
Road Trip Activities for Toddlers
You may not realize it, but your snacks are actually a great activity that will help break up the trip for your toddlers. Try to pick their favorites and choose snacks that they can open and manage themselves. You don’t want anything messy.
- Applesauce pouches
- Pirate’s Booty
- Cheese sticks
- Apple Slices
- Sliced Grapes
- Mini bagels
- Don’t forget a water bottle, too.
Related Reading: 70+ Road Trip Snacks for Kids – That Will Make Your Trip 10X Better
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There have been many times that we were a long ways from a rest area or gas station when one of the kids exclaimed, “I need to go potty!” And, you know how it is with toddlers … when they gotta go, there’s no waiting.
That’s where one of these potties come in so handy. Just pull over, set it up on the floor of the backseat and let them do their thing.
We always lined it with a couple of plastic bags and paper towels to collect the mess. When they’re done, tie it up tight and put it aside to throw away at your next stop. Carry some hand sanitizer and hand wipes, too.
For me, there’s nothing worse than having to reach back every 5 minutes to hand my kids something, open something, or pick up something for them. Drives. Me. Batty. (I actually have a dirty word for the passenger seat up front, I’ll let you guess what that is, haha.)
I combat this by having everything they need within their reach.
Keep a few things at their seats, then when you stop for rest areas, either rotate them through the kids or switch them out from your stash in the back.
The best toys have multiple activities, are self-contained and are something that will hold your kiddo’s attention! Be sure to limit the number of things that make noise.
Try to pick activity books that are completely different from what your kids get to do at home. Below, you’ll see toddler activities using water pens, invisible ink, stamps, and soft-sided books.
When it’s time for your little one to zone out on a movie or have some tablet time, you’ll want these helpers. It was always frustrating for my kids to wear headphones because they just don’t get made very well for small kids’ heads. That’s why I love the idea of these ones that look like ear muffs. They’ll think they’re fun and it’ll help drown out outside noises, as well.
We have the 5-way splitter, below, and it’s been so helpful. Multiple kids can watch the same movie, listen to an audiobook, or enjoy music together.
Did you realize that you can get a bunch of different kids books and music from Audible? A road trip is a perfect time to try Audible and get some great books for your toddler — and yourself, too. Start your free 30-day trial HERE.
Extra Road Trip Helpers
Just a few extras to make your trip a little easier. Some of my kids have been known to need Dramamine and it makes them very sleepy. You want to make sure they’re nice and cozy for their little snooze.
Be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Family Road Trips here. You’ll find lots of free articles on ways to stay organized, Entertain your Kids, Eat Meals on the Road and even Pack a Hotel Room Cooking Box.
Have a great time planning your next road trip and share with us some of your favorite ideas for toddler road trip activities.