20 No Screen Road Trip Activities for Little Kids

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #roadtripoil  #CollectiveBias

Just like  proper midwesterners, my husband and I like to pack up our kids in our minivan and go on summer road trips.   Long summer road trips are just a right of passage for little kids.  So far this summer,  I have traveled 5 hours to Chicago, 7 hours to Wisconsin,  and 2 hours to Iowa City a few times too.

As you might believe already, it is not easy for these little guys to stay still for long periods of time.  Still, they really look forward to going on trips.  These guys love being outdoors and finding new adventures to go on!

Great looking bunch aren’t they?  I love being the mom of these three boys.  🙂

Walmart has everything you need for your next road trip!  You can drop off your car at the Walmart’s automotive department while you shop for everything else you need.  I  like to get a big cooler of fruit, plenty of water and I always stock up on extra diapers before we leave on a trip.

Preparing, and getting everything you need before leaving on a trip saves us tons of money while we are on vacation!  If your car has over 75,000 miles on it, you will want to use Pennzoil Platinum®: Full Synthetic Motor Oil with PurePlus™ Technology.   We have one car that is over 75,000 miles and one car that only has 25,000 miles, so we usually get both kinds. I really like that Pennzoil cleans out the sludge that other oils leave behind.

And I actually refuse to put my kids in front of a screen while we are in the car.   I think that learning to sit and entertain yourself in an important skill for kids to learn.   Plus, we might as well us the time in the car together to connect as a family.   Isn’t that what family vacations are for?  I love playing ” get to you know you” games with my kids when we are in the car.  I just love hearing what they have to say.  Plus, I like packing books and toys for them, for when they want some quiet time.

Here are 20 activities/ games to entertain little kids in the car.  no screens!

1.  Play 20 questions- Even though my older boys are only three and five.  They really love playing 20 questions!  We usually like to think up a person for the other people in the car to guess.  Since we have a big family, with lots of cousins.  We can actually play this game for a while.

2. Complement Game- This is a fun game, we actually play this game on the way to school too.  We think of people we know.  Family, friends, teachers etc.  And we all think up complements we could give them.  I love playing this, and it heightens everyone’s attitude when things get a little testy.

3. Listen to Musicals- My husband and I have found that listening to musicals really keeps the kids attention in the car.  Musicals are something we can listen to as a family, and I love how they get to listen to a story without watching a screen.  Some of our favorite musicals to listen to are: Finding Nemo, the musical, Peter Pan live, Hamilton, and songs from Moana

4. The Animal Game- This game is like 20 questions, but with animals.  This is a great learning game.  My kids love it.

5. Sing Alongs- I have three little kids.  They love singing kids music.  We like to pass the time in the car by singing together.  Everyone can always use family singing session.   Some of our favorites are Wheels on the Bus, Row your boat, Sing a song of sixpence, ABC’s, and Jack and Jill.

6. Tell Jokes- My kids have several joke books and a few favorite jokes too.  Plus I like to read jokes on my phone too.  ( remember, the kids can’t have screens.  I can though :).

7. Read Books- My two older boys sit in the very back seat of our minivan.  I keep a bin of books between them.   I try to pack the books that will hold their attention the longest, like books with lots of flaps to open.  They will read books for a good hour or two when we are on a road trip.

8. The Name game- ” Evan, Evan Bo Bevin. Banana Fanna Fo Fevin. Fe Fi Fo Fevin. Evan!”.   My kids love that rhyme.  We will sing that sone to everyone we know.  It makes them laugh so much!

9. Coloring- We always pack some coloring books and crayons.  It is also good to have these supplies around for when we stop into a restaurant.

10. The Color Game- “What to you see that is blue?”  We love playing this game.  I always realize that they pay more attention to things, then I give them credit for.

11.  The Question Game- This is a game that we kind of made up.   We take turns asking a question, and everyone answers.  It is a fun way to get-to-know each other better.

12. Play Action Figures- I always let my boys each choose a few action figures to bring in the car with them.  Not too many, just 2 or three each.

13. The Alphabet Game- We go through the alphabet and the kids think of words that start with each letter.

14. I spy ” I am thinking of something green”  This is my oldest son’s favorite guessing game from when he was little.

15. Listen to Audiobooks- We like to check out audiobooks from the library before leaving on a trip.

16. Would you rather? We love playing would you rather.  Kid version.

17. Two truths and a lie- kid version of course.

18. Cloud Shapes- The kids look at clouds and decide what each cloud looks like.

19. Play Hot Potato –My kids like to play using a bean bag.  Mom and dad control the music.  We always have fun with this one.

20. Animal Noise Game- I don’t know why, but playing this game just cracks my kids up.   They make animal noises, and the other one has to guess what it is.  I guess you have to be a little kid to appreciate this one. 🙂

We have such a great time reconnecting as a family on our vacations.   When you prepare your car correctly, it will be one less thing to worry about!

Check out the Walmart’s automotive department .  You can also visit Pennzoil® on social media.  They’re on Facebook and Youtube.



  1. whenever me and my husband used to go for a road trip in the car along with our two children,they hardly allowed us to focus on the road.Your article proved to be a great help as now when we go for an outing,My husband drives and I play all the games which you have listed in your article with my two kids.Thanks for sharing.

  2. i have two children and they become very excited when we plan a trip.But during driving its very difficult to keep a watch on them and drive simultaneously.Thank you for sharing this article.I will DEFINITELY try all the games with my children when we go for the next trip.

  3. We did all of these when we were young. My family had an RV and we went on a road trip for vacation. We are not using the RV anymore. My father is now looking up at some RV storage service to keep it for a while.

  4. My kids are going to love it, i hope anyways thanks for the tips 🙂

  5. I will surely try these games with my kids, I hate it when they keep on playing games on the phone and not watching the senary outside. thanks for sharing this 🙂

  6. I am so saving this list! With my oldest going to college 4 hours away, we are going to be doing two road trips in the next month to get her moved in and will need all the help we can get with the little kids.

  7. OMg these are great ideas for road trips. I think we should go back to the golden days and kids do not always need a table/phone to make the roadtrip better.

  8. my Teen Guide

    These are all great ideas to still have fun without gadgets. Just like those days when I was a kid. Me and my siblings would play “name game” or “spot a volkswagen” It was fun, actually.

  9. Those are great ideas! I have to say I need to be better about playing games in the car and not using devices. The kids need more electronic-free time.

  10. these are such fun ideas. road trips with young kids was so stressful but now reading your tips make me nostalgic.

  11. These are such great ideas. My kids mostly watch their ipads and I hate it!

  12. Great ideas for roadtrip entertainment! Our little guy is getting old enough to start playing some of these games, so I’m totally going to keep these in mind for our next trip. And thanks for the heads up on the Pennzoil Rollback right now, too! #client

  13. I’ve gotta try my hand at the Animal Game! That is absolutely brilliant!

  14. Turn off the electronic devices, I can hear the whining and complaining now. Seriously I think all you ideas are wonderful and the kids would get into them after they are done whining.

  15. I love posts where people suggest other ways to entertain the kids without the screen. I think they need to take some RESPONSIBILITY to entertain themselves, but I also think it is a great family time! I will be using a lot of these on our next trip.


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