Whether your family is headed out of town or out of state, time in the car means finding ways to keep everyone entertained and happy. It’s tempting to break out the iPads and smartphones, but there are plenty of screen-free printables to keep kids engaged while you travel. Use the printables below and other road trip games to help kids pass the time so you can stay focused on the road.
To get even more out of these printables, compile them in a travel binder and customize them to suit your kids' ages and interests. Many of these activities teach skills like math and writing while others can be played as a group for the entire family to enjoy. Keep your DIY travel binder in the backseat of your car and refill the pages as your little ones complete them.
To create your DIY travel binder, gather these supplies:
- Three-ring binder (at least ½ inch)
- Hole punch
- Plastic or paper bag
For more options, include additional art supplies or attach a dry erase marker tied to a string and use sheet protectors to get multiple uses out of the printables.
- Pencil pouch
- Sheet protectors
- Dry erase marker
- Duct tape
Travel binder printables to get you started
The best part about a travel binder is that each kid can have their own unique activities. As they learn and play on each trip, you can replace the completed activities with new printables to keep them entertained.
To get started, insert a title page in the front of your child’s travel binder and have them decorate it with crayons or stickers. Next, car coupons will allow your kids to “buy” snacks or treats during your stops, whether it’s from your special bag or a convenience store. They can also practice counting and math to figure out how much money they need. Then print out several of the tic-tac-toe challenges to create a championship match among your family. Lastly, your child can track their travels using the state map, coloring in stops as they go.
Activities for preschoolers
Preschoolers can practice fine motor skills, counting, matching, and imaginative play from the safety of a car seat. The above puzzle encourages them to problem-solve to construct the car and can be used over and over again. Other activities listed below include coloring, pre-writing practice, and color recognition.
More activities for preschoolers:
- Counting Car Colors
- Matching Car Park Game
- Car Connect the Dots
- Car Heads and Tails
- Alphabet Letter Tracing Road Game
- Car Coloring Pages
- Transportation Memory Cards
Activities for grades K-2
Keep your kids on the lookout for landmarks, natural features and types of transportation with this scavenger hunt activity. Even if they don’t find all the items on this trip, they can pick it right back up next time. Other activities include road sign bingo and printables to practice coloring and drawing. To teach kids the rules of the road, check out this other printable road safety game.
More activities for grades K-2:
- Road Trip Drawing Prompts
- Color By Number Racecars
- Road Sign Bingo
- Car Quiet Book
- Vehicle Printable Pack
- Car Maze
- Restaurant I Spy
Activities for grades 3-5
For advanced learners, encourage creativity with these travel journal pages. Your kids can fill one out for each trip to start a collection and look back on their memories. Other activities include the classic license plate game and conversation starters for your family adventures in the car.
More activities for grades 3–5:
- Would You Rather Conversation Starters
- License Plate Game
- I Spy Nature Game
- Road Trip Word Search
- Connect 4 Printable
- Mini-Passport Book
- Road Trip Word Scramble
Traveling by car means you get to be close to your family and make countless memories on the road. Although long trips make children restless, a travel binder can help keep them entertained with new and exciting activities. While you’re updating their travel binders, make sure your car insurance policy is up-to-date and on hand, whether you’re taking a road trip or just running a quick errand. Stay safe and protected on the road while your kids stay happy in the backseat.