Top 10 NON-Tech Boredom Busters for Long Road Trips

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This post includes several toys that we have received free samples of over the years and have fallen in love with. It also features toys that we have purchased ourselves. All opinions are 100% our own.

Think the only way to travel across the country with kids is to encourage endless screen-time? Think again! Here are some excellent road trip boredom busters – no chargers required!

You know by now that we love traveling and hit the road as often as possible. A few years ago we drove from Pennsylvania to Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) and back during the summer and then later that fall we drove to Disney for a week at Fort Wilderness. We have made the Disney drive a few times now, along with multiple trips to the Outer Banks, NC.  And while we certainly allow the kids ample time on screens, non-tech toys are ALWAYS (ALWAYS!!) offered as boredom busters.

Screen-Free Boredom Busters

In this digital age, it can be tempting to hand over a tablet or smartphone to keep kids entertained during long road trips. But there are plenty of advantages to good old-fashioned non-tech boredom busters. These activities can turn a monotonous drive into an adventure full of imagination and creativity.

Activities like classic car games, coloring books, and travel-sized board games encourage kids to engage their minds, foster patience, and create memorable family moments. Plus, these unplugged options often spark conversations and laughter, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination. So, next time you hit the road, pack a mix of non-tech boredom busters and watch as your kids discover the joy of simpler pleasures!

Favorite Road Trip Boredom Busters

The kids and I put our heads together and came up with our top 10 very very very favorite non-tech toys that have kept them busy and entertained in the backseat over the years.

In no particular order, here’s what we chose:

Tangle Toys – Not just a boredom buster, but also a total stress reliever – Tangle toys are so much fun to play with!  I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we opened the packages.  The kids were immediately excited about these toys because Lily recognized them from school. We took Tangles on a road trip a couple weeks ago and the kids played with them a bunch of times during the drive.  The Tangles came with us to our hotel room and the whole family kept gravitating towards them!

Tangle Toys Zuru

Speed Cubes – A classic puzzle toy that my kids can’t get enough of!  Pick up some different shapes and patterns for an extra challenge.

Pipe Cleaners – I know what you’re thinking.  Pipe cleaners?  Boring old pipe cleaners?  YES!! Hand each kid a pack of colorful pipe cleaners.  My kids love designing all sorts of shapes and creations.

pipe cleaners

WikkiStix – Did you have these when you were a kid?  I can still smell them!  These waxy sticks are similar to pipe cleaners and are so much fun to bend into cool shapes and designs.

Spot It!  – You’re probably already familiar with the game Spot It!  (Basically a fun new version of the traditional game, I Spy.) There are many different versions of this game these days, available in dozens of different themes.

Magnetic Tile Toys – Thousands of possibilities, hours of fun.  We got a set of these tiles for Christmas and both kids love to build with them.

Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pads – I have lost track of how many of these awesome sticker pads we have had over the years.  There are so many themes to choose from!  We have had the construction vehicles, dinosaurs, fashion dolls, bakery sweets set and more.  These pads come with so many stickers and also colorful scenes to decorate.  Bonus: the stickers are reusable!!

Playfoam Go! –  No mess, but oh-so-much fun to shape and mold!  This set in particular comes in a handy travel case which makes it an ideal road trip activity.

Matty’s Brik-Kase – Have a LEGO fan?  Now he or she can build on the go!  Grab a brick case for easy LEGO play while traveling. It stores bricks, has a building surface, and works with all major brands!

Pop It – These toys are everywhere these days! Lots of fun, so many different shapes and styles and designs, Pop Its are fun fidgets to play with.

Pop Its

That’s our top 10!  We know that the old saying is “getting there is half the fun,” but let’s face it, occupied kiddos make the whole car happier. Let us know if you have favorite travel boredom busters that aren’t on our list!

One more suggestion – unclutter the backseat with a car seat organizer!! These organizers are inexpensive ways to keep your road trip “stuff” off the floor and easy to find.

Okay okay, last one. For real… on extra long road trips, I love putting together snack boxes!! Pick up compartmented plastic cases and fill them up, putting different items in each section! This example was purely post-Easter candy for the kids to eat over 2 weeks, but you could also do shelf-stable snacks or refrigerated items that can be kept in a cooler.


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