Things We Love

Car Travel Hacks For Bored Kids

Okay guys, if your kids are anything like mine, they get bored within like 10 seconds of getting in the car. It drives me absolutely crazy, because the days of looking out the window and letting your mind drift are completely a thing of the past. When we were kids, the answer to our boredom was staring into space and letting our imagination take over. Or, if we were really lucky, playing our Gameboy or Walkman until the batteries ran out. If i were to tell Emma to “let your imagination wander”, she would give me this totally blank stare, with a side of disgust. Not cool, mom.

So, instead of fighting the process, i cave, but in a screen free and financially efficient way. I know a lot of moms out there struggle with the decision of “to give screens or not to give screens” to their littles, for the sake of their sanity during travel times. I want you to know, you’re not alone. These moments get me everytime, and before i know it, one of them is watching Blippi or JoJo Siwa on my phone. I knew i had to make a change.

Before i start to divulge all of my tips and tricks, I want to have it known this has been a trial and error process. I’ve had everything in my car from new toys to old, Barbie dolls to books and more. Nothing seems to hold their attention for longer than a minute. Our I Pad has been a staple in our car when regular toys have lost their luster. I was over the screen addiction and need to fight over the I Pad every time we went somewhere. With our move to Utah coming soon, I knew i needed to start fresh and develop healthy habits in the car, so i wasn’t showing up with zombies to my destination. I searched Target, as well as a few low cost stores, for some essentials i think everyone could use.

For my first stop, I headed to The 99 Cents Store. They have the best selection of storage containers, bins, and baskets. To avoid the girl’s things getting lost or mixed up, i wanted to store their items in a container, so they knew what to look for. I found some adorable baskets that would also double as the perfect beach toy holder! I got two different colors so not to get them mixed up in the car. The 99 Cents Store is also a great place to purchase coloring books and crayons! You can’t beat the dollar price tag, and that also makes it easier on the wallet to restock when necessary.

After my trip to the 99 Cents Store, I hit up The Dollar Tree and Target. The Dollar Tree may contain the same price tag as The 99 Cents Store, but it carries completely different merchandise. I love to go to The Dollar Tree for office supplies and small toys to entertain the kids as well. These Wreck It Ralph oversize playing cards make a perfect starter for an epic game of car “war”. I also found this little container in their storage section, which holds their crayons perfectly. They have the coolest art supplies as well, like these neon crayons Emma loves!

Finally, it was Target’s turn. I didn’t want to start there, because all of my money would be gone in minutes! I used Target to add to their baskets and fill in spaces that was needed for my mission. The dollar section at Target is the PERFECT section at the moment, because it’s all Summer and travel based. They had the coolest clipboard that actually doubled as storage inside for spare paper and stickers, and it was only $5. I snagged these “Road Trip Bingo” cards for only $1, and they had some great spiraled notebooks to color in for only $3! Total mom score and I dint have to go very far to find all of these items!

After collecting all of the items, I went home and divided them into their baskets. I put them in my car and gave myself a pat on the back. Once the girls saw their new “entertainment system” i had installed in the car, they were overjoyed! They proceeded to color for the entire trip to dinner that evening, while I enjoyed the beautiful sound of silence. All was right with the world again. This process is super easy to copy and create for yourself! Even if you don’t have these stores I listed readily available to you, you can find travel coloring books and word searches on Amazon. Add some blank paper and stickers to the baskets for moments when they want to get extra creative. Add books from your home library, so they can read on the go. We love our book box subscription company, Early Moments Books, to entertain us on both long and short rides in the car. All in all, we just need to get to our destination in one piece, smiles encouraged. So whether it’s a plane, train, or automobile, take my advice and prepare ahead of time.