10 Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained on the Road in Your RV
Keep the 'Are We There Yet?' Refrains from Coming
Road trips are one of the great American pastimes. Loading up into a vehicle, jumping on the road, and just going until you reach a place you want to stop—what’s not to love?
As it turns out, for kids with short attention spans and for whom boredom is always just creeping around the corner, there’s a lot to not like about being on the road. Even if you’re traveling across the country in an RV, you’ll still hear the classic kid cliche: “Are we there yet?”
Even though you’re in an RV, keeping your kids entertained on the road is important. This is partly because kids can’t be up and roaming around the coach while you’re traveling. They should be seated and buckled in as much as possible, simply for safety reasons. (Remember, even though you’re in a rolling house, it’s still hurtling down the road at 60 mph.)
Luckily for everyone, it’s easy to keep kids entertained. Here are just a few ideas.
Road Trip Games
Invented alongside the road trip were road trip games. Things like I Spy, where kids pick a certain object and give clues or Road Trip Bingo: print cards ahead of the trip, and have kids mark off the things they spot on their trip (a license plate from a certain state, a broken-down car, etc.). There’s always tic-tac-toe and hangman as well, to mix things up a little bit.
Exciting Pit Stops
Do a little planning ahead of time, and see if you can find some pit stops along your route. Build them into your travels, and it’ll give the kids an opportunity to stretch their legs and give them something to keep talking about once you’re back on the road.
Your stops can be anything from museums that tell the history of the local area, to “tourist traps” which sometimes simply amount to a bunch of mushroom-shaped rocks along the side of the road. They’re all part of the fun of a road trip.
Odds are, you’ve got at least some kind of TV hookup. If you’re in the motorhome, there’s likely something to use, and if you’re in the truck towing a trailer, you can utilize any type of portable DVD player. If not, bring along a laptop or tablet and throw on some movies or fun shows for the kids to watch.
For a long time, a core component of road trips have been simply watching movies. Streaming apps like Netflix and Disney Plus mean you don’t even have to pack a load of DVDs anymore if you have a tablet or laptop to use.
Smartphone and Tablet Games
Depending on their ages, your kids may already have smartphones or tablets. If not, download a couple of versatile, fun apps for them to use.
There are plenty of educational apps where you can be sure your kids will learn a little something while you’re traveling. You can also find plenty of games that are perfectly kid-friendly.
Books & Audiobooks
You may not want your kids staring at a screen all day while you’re traveling. Books are a nice, quiet way to give them something to do that also stimulates their brains. E-readers make it easy to bring along more than one book while keeping things light, too.
If your kids aren’t really “readers” but still love a good story, you can listen to an audiobook as a family. Libraries and a lot of roadside stores will let you rent audiobooks, or apps like Audible download them right to your device.
Card and Board Games
Otherwise, pack a couple of travel-sized board games as well. Things like Monopoly or Settlers of Catan can keep them going for hours at a time. Even checkers or chess can be great options if you have the right set.
Crafts and Coloring
Crafts on the go are not always the best option, but the right kind of crafts can make for the perfect way to keep kids busy on the road. Think of things that they can do while sitting down, like decorations for any upcoming holidays or birthdays.
Otherwise, coloring books are always a good idea. A coloring book along with a big package of crayons or colored pencils can keep kids busy for hours.
In that same vein, let them unleash their inner Picasso. Leave the paints at home, but colored pencils, markers, crayons, and a few sheets of paper, and your kids can create landscapes they see out the windows, draw portraits of one another, or give them a still life to mimic.
Even a simple pad of paper and a pencil and an idea of what to draw can keep a kid occupied for a while. Let that artistic side flourish.
Road Trip Storytelling
Stories aren’t just something to tell around a campfire. And in fact, the whole family can get in on the act. Have someone start telling a story (it usually begins “Once upon a time…”), and then the next person fills in the next sentence.
See how characters develop among one another, the adventures they go on, keep everyone on the edges of their figurative seats until someone wraps the story up with “The End.”
Is there anything that screams “road trip” more than a nice singalong? From the latest hits on the radio to classic camp songs like “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” and “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea,” they’re all great ways to pass time in the RV.
If any of your kids are musically inclined, have them play along—or better yet, encourage them to write their own future classics.