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It’s not long until we go on holiday and I have to admit, I hate sitting in the car with the kids for long periods of time. Holiday car entertainment is a widely discussed topic for parents so I thought I would share what works for us and give you a little freebie to help you stay sane on the journey!

One thing I will say, we bring the iPad as a last resort or if we are going particularly far, but we try to avoid it! When we are on holiday we do our best to stay technology free because we are otherwise a very tech orientated family. So, these are all non-tech ideas for holiday car entertainment or keeping your kids entertained on a road trip.

If you’re just here for the printable, that’s okay, here it is: *if you want more tips and ideas, keep scrolling and it’ll be available at the bottom too

CLICK HERE FOR FREE PRINTABLE (or click the below image)

I have to say, my little guy is generally well behaved but you can only expect so much of a 6 year old, and he tends to lose his patience. So, we deploy a range of tactics including:

1. Snack Bribery

Exactly as it sounds! But, it’s a treat for him because he’s normally not allowed to eat in the car. So we pre-make a lunchbox up for him with car-suitable snacks that we hope won’t go everywhere!

2. BYOT (Bring Your Own Toys) 

It seems that their own toys become infinitely more interesting when they are taken to a new place. This comes in handy for holiday car entertainment. Our guy loves cars so they are fairly small to travel with and he’s allowed to take a handful in his bag in the car. Sometimes he will bring other toys or books of his choosing too.

3. The Navigator

Depending on the age of your kids you can give them the map (digital or otherwise) and help them to orientate themselves and give out directions. This only works if there is another passenger to help but it can be a really good way to teach direction (something I’m notoriously awful at!).

kid holding a map as holiday car entertainment

4. Traditional Games

Obviously these have made the list and they are perfect even if you’re on your own. Time wasters and silly ideas include:

  • ABCs (Pick a subject, e.g. animals and the first person thinks of one beginning with A, the next beginning with B and so on)
  • Eye Spy (a classic)
  • Spelling Bee (Pick some tricky words and the kids have to pick some for you too!)
  • Two truths and a lie (this can be hilarious, but I would say 5 and over to understand it)
  • 20 questions

5. Printables

The key one we do, and the reason for this blog post, it that I tend to print out puzzles and activity sheets from fellow bloggers or online. If I have time and I’ve been very organised, I make my own. Colouring pages are always a huge hit, because you can pack a huge book or a tray for them to lean on and a few pencils (NOTE: I SAID PENCILS – not pens) and you’re away. (Click here for some winter colouring pages)

But, I thought this might be a cool idea as a sort of game of Bingo, particularly if you’re on a road trip and have plenty of routes to take! If you want to make your own, they’re really easy to make, and if you want to make it more difficult, remove the pictures or add in the make and model of a car!

CLICK HERE FOR FREE PRINTABLE (or click the below image)

In my experience, keeping kids entertained in the car can sort of depend on how you entertain them at home! Whichever you choose, I wish you a happy summer and a safe car journey! 

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