Screen-Free Road Trip Ideas for Toddlers & Children

In the past 2 years we’ve put more miles on our car than I can count. We’ve driven from Oregon to Texas, Texas to Oregon, Texas to Tennessee, and adventures all over the state of Texas, as well. With 4 little boys in tow, I’ve learned that having a plan for hands-on, screen-free activities for the children while on the road is a must.

Here are some of my favorite Screen-Free Road Trip Ideas for Toddlers & Children

*Affiliate Disclosure: I do have affiliate links in this blog post. If you purchase something from my link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.  This comes at no cost to you, but is paid by the company.  I do not take becoming an affiliate with any company lightly.  If I am, it’s because I believe in the company and their product.  I can not thank you enough for your support

Audiobooks, Podcasts and Books

We love audiobooks in our home. Chris and I listen together up front on one of our phones while the boys listen in the back over the car speakers. It’s such a great way to learn together as husband and wife while the children are engaged in a beautiful story while taking in the scenery around them. Our children’s favorite books to listen to are the Narnia series, Winnie The Pooh and all of the Thornton W Burgess books (free when subscribed to the Canon Plus app).

Podcasts are also another great way to listen to engaging content while on the road. They’re shorter, more bite-sized stories that serve well for a change of pace when we are getting close to our next stop! Our go-to is Lamplighters.

We also always have books in the car, whether we’re on a road trip or not. They are a car staple in our home. I Spy books and Where’s Waldo books are a fun change from our normal rotation while on a road trip.

Hand Activities

Keeping their little hands active while sitting all day helps to engage their body in at least some way shape or form. We like etch a sketch, Melissa & Doug water wow pads, LCD writing tablets, pop its, engaging coloring books of the United States, and paper airplane making, to name a few.

Road Trip Binders

During our most recent road trip we created these road trip binders to help keep us somewhat on top of our schooling. They included a pencil pouch with pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener as well as a few markers. Then there were tabbed section with their bible verse copy work, explode the code pages that I tore out of their book and hole punched for the binder, math worksheets and logic worksheets. I also included a map of the US with our road trip route on it. This allowed them to have a visual of where we were at and where we were headed. They loved getting to keep track of our trip!

Screen-Free Road Trip Ideas for Toddlers & Children

Educational Songs

We’ve found such value in using songs to teach our children all sorts of things. From the 50 states, the books of the Bible, and even the timeline of history, we’ve learned them all together as a family using songs. It’s so fun to see how quickly ideas and concepts stick with put to a tune.

Here’s a link to the songs we have used thus far to teach our children: Using Songs To Teach Your Children

These can be so fun to add to the car ride to break up a lull in the trip. We like to refresh ourselves whenever necessary while also finding new things to learn!

Learn A Language Together

This is something that we did on our most recent road trip and it was fun to practice together. We used Pimsleur French and Spanish on Audible based on a recommendation that it’s most like how Charlotte Mason would teach language. We started with French because it seemed so elegant. However, my husband, being more the realist, suggested we switch to Spanish since we tend to have more opportunities to use the language on a more consistent basis than we do French. So we switched.


This can make or break your road trip experience. Having yummy snacks that your children don’t get any other time makes the hours that feel especially long feel a little bit sweeter. Our go-to’s are applesauce pouches, Made Good granola balls, apple chips, jerky, dried mangoes, and crackers. We also always keep peanut butter and honey sandwich fixins on hand. We will often break up long days with an hour at the park and that’s a perfect time to whip up some sandwiches for everyone to enjoy. This is not a time to regulate food. If someone’s struggling and none of your activities are sufficing, throw them a snack and a water bottle and that usually helps tremendously.

Those are our Screen-Free Road Trip Ideas for Toddlers & Children. Would you add anything to our list?

Join The Happy Healthy Havenly Community

Get inspiration and encouragement in your inbox to creating a happier, healthier life and a home that feels like a haven

Thank you for subscribing!

You might also like

No Comments

Leave a Reply