Find the best games and activities to entertain your toddler on a road trip

Find the best road trip games and activities for your toddler

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Great games and activities to entertain your toddler on a road trip

A road trip with a toddler can be a huge challenge.  To help you survive your road trip with your toddler, I have created a list of games and activities for the car.  

Keep your toddler occupied on a long road trip.

How to choose the best road trip games and activities for your toddler

Things to avoid

On a road trip, you need games that are not too messy and that can’t be thrown.  Here is what to avoid when looking for road trip games and activities.

  • Glitter – I don’t want it in my house, and I definitely don’t want it in my car!
  • Stamps – It only takes a second for a toddler to stamp themselves from head to toe.
  • Beads – Too many small things that can be dumped out and lost for years.
  • Clay/playdough – Can you imagine the mess you’d have to clean if it got on your seats?
  • Paint – NOPE NOPE NOPE!
  • Anything to throw – No balls or paper airplanes to hit anyone else.

What to look for

Your road trip games and activities take certain elements into consideration.  Here are a few things to look for when comparing different games and activities.

  • Individually wrapped or an easy container
  • Little to no mess
  • The fun will last for more than 10 minutes
  • Easy to clean up and put away

How to keep your toddler occupied for longer on your road trip

To keep the fun lasting longer, only give your toddler one game or activity at a time.  A great way to do this is to give one game or activity every hour you are in the car.

  • Keep a box or bag with all the games and activities.
  • Choose one game or activity each hour.
  • Keep a few snacks in the box/bag to help keep the toddler Drama Lamma at bay.
  • Make sure you pack enough for the tip back home.

 

Games and activities to entertain your toddler while on long car rides or a road trip.

The CMM (Crafty Melo Mommy) Start Scale

The Crafty Melo Mommy star rating is based on four different factors – messiness, car friendly-ness, length of fun-time, product reviews, and price.

Games for your road trip

CMM rating

3.5/5

  • Low mess
  • Easy for your toddler to play without much supervision
  • Mostly good reviews on Amazon

  • Only has magnets on one side of the pieces
  • Pieces are very close on the board

CMM rating

4.5/5

  • Comes with 4 different cards
  • Encourages your toddler to look out the window
  • Easy to pack and store 
  • No pieces to break or loose

  • Only one customer review on Amazon

CMM rating

3/5

  • Thin and easy to store
  • Lots of different games to choose from for toddlers
  • Most games are easy for your toddler to understand

  • The box is not hinged together
  • Magnets are not very strong
  • Some games have a tiny die that can get lost easily
  • Most games need 2 or more players
  • Some contain a lot of pieces that can be easily lost

CMM rating

4/5

  • Easy for your toddler to play
  •  Spinner is easy to use
  • Strong magnets
  • Bingo cards are a good quality

  • Chemical smell when you first open it
  • Need 2 players

CMM rating

4.3/5

  • Easy for your toddler to play
  • 70% 5 stars on Amazon
  • Good magnets
  • Helps children develop creativity and problem-solving skills 
  • When the cards are used in order, the puzzles build skills to help them with harder puzzles
  • 30 puzzles in all

  • You have assemble the magnets to the pieces yourself
  • Some of the shapes are small for the more challenging puzzles 
  • Somewhat expensive

Keep your toddler busy during a long car ride with these fun games and activities.

 

Activities for your road trip

CMM rating

3/5

  • All pieces are made with wood
  • Great way for your toddler to match colors
  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision

  • Magnets aren’t very strong.
  • No lid to the box
  • You would need to buy something else to store it in for a road trip.

CMM rating

3.65/5

  •  Comes with an additional scene
  • Lots of different magnets
  • Magnets seem to be a good strength
  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • Different themes to choose from

  • All the magnets will not fit on the scene at the same time
  • Customers report the picture quality on the magnets isn’t good

CMM rating

4/5

  • Mess-free
  • Can also be used for games like tic-tack-toe
  • Comes with a money back guarantee
  • No small pieces to lose
  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision

  • The screen is not very big – which could be a good or bad thing based on your child’s age

CMM rating

3.8/5

  • Includes 20 worksheets
  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • Includes both a whiteboard and a chalkboard

  • Lots of pieces which could result in a big mess
  • Some customers report the magnets not being strong enough

CMM rating

4.25/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  •  Comes with a special marker that will not mark most other things
  • 24 pages
  • Can be thrown away when done
  • Lots of different books to choose from
  • Fairly good price

  • Can’t be reused
  • The marker makes it a little hard to store
  • Markers dry out fast (try submerging the tip of the marker in 91% alcohol for 5 minutes, then allow the marker to sit for 30 minutes with the cap on)

CMM rating

4.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  •  Comes with 5 special markers that will not mark most other things
  • 24 pages
  • Can be thrown away when done
  • Crayola makes lots of different sets to choose from
  • Fairly good price
  • Markers can be used with other sets

  • Pages cannot be reused
  • The marker makes it a little hard to store
  • You may want to have a pencil pouch to store the markers 

CMM rating

4.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  •  Comes with a water pen
  • Reusable
  • Lots of different books to choose from
  • Fairly good price
  • Markers can be used with other sets
  • Low mess

  • The marker makes it a little hard to store
  • Some water pens leak when stored flat
  • Not a lot of room for creativity

CMM rating

4.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  •  No glue required.  All parts are stickers
  • Ket comes with 10 different animals to make
  • 30-day money back guarantee 
  • Non-toxic

  • Need to purchase container to store

CMM rating

4.9/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • Safe material
  • 24 different patterns
  • Each comes individually wrapped 

  • Paper backing on stickers might cause a small mess.

CMM rating

4.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • 5 different pictures
  • Low mess
  • Each comes individually wrapped 

  • Some customers report the stickers are hard to get off

CMM rating

3.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • 16 different pages
  • All pages are in one book
  • Low messy-ness factor

  • Very small
  • Might not keep your toddlers attention for very long

CMM rating

3.5/5

  • Your toddler can play with this game without much supervision
  • 5 different scenes
  • 140 Stickers

  • 140 Stickers might cause a mess
  • Need to purchase a container to store
  • Might have to wash stickers if dust and dirt get on the back

In all the searching I did, I didn’t find a whole lot of road trip games for toddlers.  Most games start with a suggested age of 4 or 5.  Also, a lot of games and activities with magnets don’t include strong enough magnets for the car.   Based on my research and CMM star ratings, the following are my top 6 favorites.

Another great item to have on your road trip is a tray for your toddler.  The DMoose Kids Travel Activity Tray is the one I chose for my toddler.  We have used the tray a few times for longer trips and our toddler really enjoys it.

  • Mesh pockets around the outside to hold drinks, crayons, markers, and small items
  • Has a strap to hold an iPad or tablet in place
  • Great quality
  • Easy to clean
  • A little difficult to store in the car
Which game or activity is your favorite? Do you have a favorite not listed above?

Fun games and activities to keep your toddler happy when traveling

Road trip ideas for kids with fun activities and games. Great for long car rides.
Great ideas to entertain your toddler on during a road trip.
Keep the drama llama away during long car rides with these fun activities and games for your toddler.

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