Looking for road trip activities for toddlers? Find 30+ convenient and mess free toys and activities to keep kids entertained on the road.
Are you heading out on a family road trip soon? Do you dread the inevitable are we there yet whines? Are you searching for anything and everything to keep your little kids engaged, entertained, and (dare I say it) quiet for those long stretches?
These road trip activities for toddlers are the answer!
If you’ve ever been on a road trip with a toddler, you know how important it is to plan. Plan when you leave, where your stops will be, what snacks you’ll have. And, perhaps most importantly, what you’ll do to keep the kids busy.
No one wants to be stuck in hours worth of traffic when they realize they didn’t pack enough entertainment. This list is the perfect solution.
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Complete with digital entertainment, sensory stimulation, fidget gadgets, arts and crafts and more, your kids will never be bored again with these road trip activities for toddlers.
Plus, almost all of them are mess free, meaning your life as a parent isn’t about to get harder just to have a few hours of peace on the road.
30+ Road Trip Activities for Toddlers
The Melissa and Doug Water Wow books provide hours of entertainment without the mess. With each book, children use a water filled brush pen to reveal a colorful picture once painted. The best part is, though, once the water dries and the color disappears, kids can start all over again! Each page features hidden items for kids to find, too.
No mess coloring pads are perfect for little artists. As kids color with the single magic pen, a colorful scene will reveal itself on each page. The best part is that the marker is clear, so it’s impossible to stain fabrics in the car or at home!
Crayola’s popular Color Wonder kits are the ultimate road trip activity for toddlers. Children can choose their colors and draw with freedom; mess free ink, however, only works on the specially formulated color wonder paper. Kits come with coloring pages, 25 color wonder markers, stickers, and a convenient carrying case.
Reusable sticker books keep kinds entertained for hours, over and over again! Plus, parents won’t be scraping stickers off of car seats and windows since these only cling to the provided “paper” backdrops. No arsenal of road trip activities for toddlers is complete without reusable stickers!
We certainly love all of Melissa and Dog’s On the Go activities – they truly make some of the best travel and road trip activities for toddlers and kids. Older toddlers will enjoy using the scratch pen to reveal pictures and patterns.
Similar to reusable sticker pads, travel felt boards provide endless fun! Felt, though, is often easier to manipulate for young toddlers who are still developing fine motor skills. An ideal option for very young toddlers.
Paint by sticker books require a bit more concentration and fine motor skills, making them one of the best road trip activities for toddlers who are on the verge or outgrowing toddlerhood. Our four year old has loved his sticker by number books for the last couple of road trips.
First Look & Find Book
Baby Einstein’s First Look & Find contains seven adorable scenes that even the youngest explorers can use all on their own! Find shapes, animals, and more, all while building early literacy skills and having fun!
Touch and feel books are great road trip activities for toddlers because they’re interactive; kids who can’t yet read, can still enjoy using a book! We especially love the noisy books because they provide even more sensory input for kids!
LeapFrog LeapStart Preschool kits and books interactively begin teaching reading and concepts in a convenient and child-led manner. Then, they pack up for easy storage making them perfect for road trips!
The Amazon Kid’s Fire HD Tablet is a lifesaver on long car rides. Complete with fun, educational, and engaging apps, this single device provides endless road trip activities for toddlers, right at their finger tips. Parents can customize control settings to require download permission or ensure only age-appropriate apps populate.
Download a couple of digital picture books or get a children’s e-book subscription as a companion to your child’s tablet. In addition to games and mindless entertainment, you can sleep at night knowing your toddlers are at least reading, or being read to, as well!
An LCD writing tablet is evolutionary, inexpensive, and provides hours of fun, making it an awesome and space saving road trip must have.
The original Magna Doodle, similar to a modern LCD writing tablet, provides hours or writing and drawing fun. Plus, there’s something nostalgic about this old fashioned toy!
Our preschool busy book is one of our most frequently packed road trip activities for toddlers because it’s educational, both of our kids enjoy it, and it packs up conveniently. Using velcro pieces, kids interact with various pages to learn shapes, numbers, letters, weather, opposites, planets, and more.
It’s no secret that some of my favorite road trip activities for toddlers are educational and often literacy focused! Any opportunity to interact with letters and words is welcomes, and these wooden reading blocks are the perfect way to make letter learning portable!
Toddler flash cards can introduce letters, numbers, colors and more so your little ones can master their concepts all from the backseat! I especially love some of the others below that conveniently store on a ring!
Lacing cards exercise fine motor skills, and because they’re not exactly easy for little fingers to master, they take a bit of time, too. With nothing other than large cards or shapes and a few shoestrings, they aren’t cumbersome or difficult to clean, either.
Magnetic mazes combine the elements of mazes and puzzles into one mess free toy! Plus, little ones can work on coordination and small motor skills.
Practical and fun, buckle toys are some of the best road trip activities for toddlers on the younger end of the spectrum. Our youngest loves anything that clips, buckles, fastens, etc!
Portable busy board activity cubes are perfect for calming the fidgets. With buckles, ties, gears, mazes, and more, this is one of the most comprehensive road trip activities for toddlers. If you’re looking to pack light, this is a great option.
Finger puppets are another great analog toy that make for some great road trip fun! Encourage dramatic play and motor skills, or simply let your kids tell stories to their finger puppets.
I’m not sure what makes the original dimpl toy so exciting, but it’s one of the most popular on the go / road trip activities for toddlers. It’s so easy to throw in a suitcase, activity bag, or diaper bag to make sure there is always something to keep little ones busy.
Build anything from structures to abstract creations with Clip Connect pieces. Toddlers will be using their logic skills, develop dexterity and motor skills, and exercise problem solving skills with these easy to use STEM pieces.
Magnetic building blocks are some of my boys’ favorite toys at home and on the road. The can follow the suggestions in the guide or build their own creations.
Travel tangrams are perfect for older toddlers and preschoolers who have outgrown the more simple toys. With a magnetic board and shapes, kids can create hundreds of images and patterns.
Suction toys are great for trips because the options are endless. Create using the window of your car, a window or mirror in a hotel, or in the bath. Or with nothing added at all!
A Few More DIY Road Trip Activities for Toddlers
Road Trip Kit
Create your own DIY road trip kit full of your favorite road trip activities for toddlers. Print off some tic tac toe sheets, a scavenger hunt, or simple mazes. Add some doodle sheets, dry erase pictures, or old fashioned crayons and coloring books. The options are endless!
The best thing about a scavenger hunt is that you can do it on the fly. Kids getting fidgety? Quickly glance out your window and pick a few things you can easily to see for them to find!
Freeze Dance Party
Dance parties and freeze dances are some of our absolute favorite ways to break up the monotony of the car. There’s just something about music that injects laugher and fun back into a long drive.
What are your favorite road trip activities for toddlers?
What would you add to this list? Are there other road trip activities for toddlers, preschoolers, or even babies that you’d recommend to our other readers? Let us know in the comments!