Turning Off the Tablet: Unplugged Travel with Kids

"Two Kids and the Sea" by Kevin Krejci is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Two Kids and the Sea” by Kevin Krejci is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Memorial Day weekend is here and that means lots of backseat screen-time for the little ones. Traveling with kids is not easy, and sometimes everyone in the car can benefit from a Disney DVD. But if you’re looking for ways to cut down on the screen-time try out some of these activities for an unplugged journey.

Presents Galore

Little hands love unwrapping presents. Gift wrap toys for the younger kids to unwrap along the way. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be new toys. Individually wrap up some of their stuffed toys, coloring books, crayons, and give out the “presents” throughout the trip. 

Go Back In Time

Growing up, every road trip we took was screen-free and we turned out just fine, right? Why not recreate those good old days with some old-school toys? It’s amazing how fascinated kids are with them. The last road trip with my son, we made it through three counties with just the click, click of a Rubik’s cube coming from the backseat. Finger traps, Etch-a-Sketch, sliding puzzles, Water Ring Toss…stock up before heading out and let your kids play just as you did. 

Hand Over the Camera

Let your kids play Official Road Photographer. Okay, this one is kind of cheating since technically there is a screen on the camera. Of course, you’re going to have photo after photo of blurry road signs and small feet, but giving kids a job while on the road will let them forget about their favorite app for a little while.

Wear Them Out

Road trips are tough for little kids. If they’re getting restless, instead of passing back the tablet consider a quick detour and find a local park to let them run out some energy. I know sometimes I get so caught up in the destination that I forget about the journey and have to remind myself that this is the kids’ adventure too. What better reminder than to watch them meet new faces and discover new playgrounds? 

Ready to take on the road with your kids? Check out these tips to get them excited about the trip. Have any tips of your own to add? Comment on our Facebook page and share your favorite road trip activities for kids.

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