For car trips with kids, I make a "no boredom bag". It can be a backpack, or any bag, but ones with pockets are good. It depends on what age as to what you put in it, but I usually put the following for my 9 year old :4-5 coloring/activity books, a book to read, a small pack of crayons, a small pack of markers, a small magnadoodle, various snacks, a spillproof cup, wet wipes, some car games, and an mp3 player. Most of it can be bought at the dollar store, and can be mixed and matched according to the child's preferences and ages, and it solves the "are we there yet?" and "I'm so bored!" comments.
By blueflye from Idaho
I have used something similar to this idea where I bought the small brown lunch bags and put a different new toy or book or puzzle in a different bag enough for every day that we were travelling. After lunch, our child would get to pick out a bag from the stash and discover whatever was in there. It made the afternoon of driving so much more fun for everyone.
I have done the same as pwsmith. We drove 1,000 miles (each way) across the country when my daughter was 3 years old. When my mother-in-law goes to McDonald's, she buys Happy Meals for herself (she doesn't eat much), and saves the toys for us. We very rarely go to McDonald's, so the toys are new and exciting for our daughter. I had a stash of these toys, an assortment of stickers I had accumulated along the way, and printable activities I found online. I put them in paper bags (I found cute blue ones on markdown), and made two bags for each day of our trip (one for the start of our drive, and one for after lunch). I made sure to staple the bags shut. We ended up not needing each one, but having that option for a toddler was good.
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