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I love a good old road trip. As a kid, I went on many road trips, and as an adult, I’ve continued to enjoy them. Even with two young sons now, I still enjoy them. It can be a challenge to keep the kids from becoming too restless on a road trip, but I’m a firm believer in not caving in to screen time. I want them to appreciate the true essence of road trips and the scenery and not have their heads buried in some electronic device. Certainly though, there are times where a toy can help stave off the restlessness. Below are some great, non-screen toys for road trips.
Aquadoodle is a water-based drawing toy, which is great because it doesn’t create a mess. As it dries, the image fades and you can draw again. All you need is water, so it’s incredibly convenient.
Water Wow! is similar to Aquadoodle as it’s also water based. Rather than drawing though, it’s more coloring. You use the water brush to reveal an array of colors and hidden images for each picture in a pad. Each page lists items to find in the picture. Once the page dries, the colors fade and you can do it again. There are lots of pads with different themes such as farm, vehicles, numbers, letters, dinosaurs, and more.
A kid friendly camera can certainly be a great road trip toy. (Yes, these have screens, but I don’t feel it qualifies as a screen time toy.) There are many brands, such as VTech, but most are pretty similar and user friendly. While it may be a bit difficult to take pictures through a window while driving, my son often just likes to take pictures of the family or things in the car. Of course, it can be great for those driving breaks when you’re out of the car.
Crazy Aaron’s Magnetic Thinking Putty
This magnetic putty can be so much fun. Check out this video. It can be played with like regular putty, but because of its magnetic nature, it adds other elements of creative and engaging play. This is best for older kids and definitely not something you want to give to kids who may put toys in their mouths.
Magnetic Fun – Cars Planes and Trains
Magnetic books can be great for road trips. I felt the one above is an appropriate one for road trips :-), but there are lots of different ones out there such as this Dollhouse one. Some of these do have many pieces though so you may want to think about how to organize them or even not give our kid all the pieces at once.
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pads
Kids love stickers, so reusable sticker pads can be a great travel road trip toy. Of course, there are ones in addition to Melissa & Doug, but I’ve found the Melissa & Doug ones to be of high quality. The reusable aspect is important for travel as it allows the kids to create different scenes, which helps keep them entertained.
Boogie Board Color LCD Writing Tablet
I debated whether I should include this since it is a screen. But when I think of screen time, I think of shows or games. This is simply a writing tablet that is more convenient for the car than regular paper and pen. Kids can spend a lot of time scribbling, drawing, and writing.
Wikki Stix are basically waxed yarn that allows you to bend and twist them to make all sorts of creations. It offers creative play for kids and can definitely be entertaining for kids on road trips. There is also a Wikki Stix Lil’ Traveler Playset geared towards younger kids.
Travel Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Sometimes it’s hard to beat a classic. In this case, the classic scavenger hunt can be a winner on a road trip. I typically modify games like this for our son where we’re just looking for the things on the card. It works better for us than the formal rules playing against one another. For example, we may use Travel Bingo cards as more of a checklist than trying to get Bingo.
Know Any Other Great Road Trip Toys?
Do you know other great toys for road trips? Please share via the comments below!