How to Entertain Your Kids in the Car


Whether you’re out for a short car ride or a lengthy vacation, entertaining your kids in the car can be a challenge, and the last thing you need to deal with as you’re trying to safely navigate traffic is the sound of kids complaining about being bored. However, making sure that you have what you need to keep them entertained will help everyone stay calm, stay sane, and stay safe.

An excellent option for entertaining your kids in the car around town or for long trips is a DVD player. The most convenient option is a DVD player built into your car. These systems offer options for several screens, audio through your car’s speakers or headphone jacks, and even multiple players for the different screens. The downside of these systems is that they are obviously something you must order when you buy your car or have them installed after-market. Also, if any part of the system needs repairs, your car may be unavailable while the repairs are made. Another option is to purchase either an individual DVD player for each passenger or a DVD system that can attach to the backs of the seats in front of your passengers. Kids can watch movies, their favorite TV shows, or educational programs as they ride. If you have a single system that shows one movie but have more than one child, use choosing the video that will be watched next as an incentive for good behavior.

While watching shows can be a great way to keep kids entertained in the car, it’s not the only option. Kids also love music, and the same system of choosing the next movie can work with music. Before the trip, have each child select a playlist of his or her favorite songs and put them on an mp3 player or burn a CD of each one. Alternately, each child could have a personal music player.

Hand-held electronic games are another possibility to help keep your kids entertained in the car. Consider making these devices a special treat only for the car so that they will not lose their novelty. If you have more than one child, you might consider buying just one of each of the above devices; then they can trade off during the trip.

Plenty of options for keeping your kids entertained in the car involve less technology and less money that hand-held games and DVD/mp3 players. Many games can be played with little more than a pencil and paper. Consider getting a notebook for each child so that they can play games like tic-tac-toe and hangman. Make hangman more fun by having kids use the names of places you have been on your travels. Other pencil and paper entertainment includes having kids mark down which states’ license plates they’ve seen, makes, models, and/or colors of cars, or even fast food restaurants. Mad Libs are another fun paper and pencil option for the ride.

Consider having an ongoing tournament/contest with the games above and other games specially designed for the car. Keep track of who wins which games, and construct the tournament to take as much time as possible.

With advance planning, keeping kids entertained in the car can be a manageable task. If you have a variety of options and a plan for keeping the fun organized, your next trip can be your best ever.

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