Boredom Busters

Anyone who has ever taken a car trip with a kid knows that after a while, everyone is ready to be done. Here are some ways to kill time in the car that my kids will vouch for:


Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids

Travel Scavenger Hunt for Kids – a card game for the car. Luke and Ellie like challenging each other to find the items listed on their cards before the other one. Most of the time, though, it becomes a family event.

“Mom, tell me if you see a fire hydrant.”

“Dad, I’m looking for a cow in a field. Does that horse count?”

“I see a green car! Awesome!”


landmarks coloring

Historic American Landmarks coloring book

Coloring Books – Of course, any kind of coloring book works, but I really like the selection from Dover Publishing. Their books are a great way to sneak a little education into a “fun” activity. This book about Historic American Landmarks would be a good way to get your kids excited about your destination. They also have coloring books dedicated to historical events and people, great pieces of art, and a variety of animals.




Tip: Colored pencils don’t melt in hot cars.

Colors – I love crayons as much as the next mom, but be sure to use colored pencils in the car. Trust me when I say that crayons can melt in a car parked in the sun in the summer. (Please don’t ask me how I know.) Don’t ruin your trip by having to deal with melted burnt sienna on the upholstery under the car seat. Colored pencils come in more colors now than they ever have before, and the don’t melt or break as easy as their waxy counterparts. Remember to stick a small pencil sharpener in a pencil bag so that your kids can keep on coloring.



license plate

A classic car game.

The License Plate Game – another big hit in our family. The kids (and grownups) are on the lookout from cars from other states as we drive down the road.  There is no need to buy a fancy game board unless you want to. You could simply print out the names of all 50 states on paper for each child so they can all have their own list going. Or, if you are looking for something a little fancier, there are free printables that you can find online.




Dual screen DVD players only come out on long road trips.

DVD Players – We don’t let our kids watch a whole lot of TV at home, but we do let them watch in the car. We don’t have a car that has built-in screens, so these portable DVD players are a necessity. I understand that there are some stretches of road (especially those that we’ve driven often) that are just boring. I do insist that they unplug if we are somewhere new or scenic, but there are times that a movie helps the time pass. I will also mention that Matt and I often have our best uninterrupted conversations in the front seat of the car while the kids are watching a movie in the back.


What are your must-haves in the car to combat the long, boring miles?

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Robin took her first flight before she could walk. Because of her airline-employed father’s benefits package, travel was a way of life for her from an early age. A graduate of The University of Texas with a B.A. in English, she is a certified teacher who uses her degree everyday as she homeschools their two children. Her hobby is planning their next trip, which she is always doing.

Robin DufilhoBoredom Busters

Comments 1

  1. Lindsay Sharp

    Audio books! The library is a great resource for books on CD and downloadable audio files. If you can get your hands on any of Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater audio dramatizations, they are fabulous. Some of our favorites are The Chronicles of Narnia, but they have a long list of titles (from biographies to children’s literature to mysteries). Classical Kids has a series of audio CDs which interweave the biographies of composers with their music. We’ve only listened to Beethoven Lives Upstairs, but the whole family enjoyed it. Thanks for your ideas, Robin. I love to learn from the best!

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