Road trips can cause so much anxiety and be such a scary thing for parents. When our kiddo was a baby, I wanted to make sure that they didn’t mind traveling so we could go adventuring all the time. Honestly, we have some good travel days and then some really bad travel days. Something that makes it a little more stress free are road trip boxes!
Road trip boxes are containers full of road friendly toys and activities to keep your kiddos entertained while traveling. We personally don’t use screens while traveling so our toddler will sing, dance, look at the scenery, and yell “CARK” when he sees a cool truck drive by; which, by the way, is a great way to combine the words “car” and “truck” so he’s never technically wrong. However, there’s absolutely no shame if you choose to use screens. You know your kid’s limits just as I know mine.
I like to create themes for each box depending on where our road trip is heading. For example, if we’re heading to the aquarium, I theme the road trip box around what he might see while at the aquarium. My kiddo really loves all things transportation right now (planes, trains, cars, trucks, boats, etc.), so I do a lot of road trip boxes just based around transportation. We also have a lot of toys, books, and activities based around that because he loves it so much making it easy to do over and over again. However, mixing it up is really fun for the both of us. I recommend coming up with themes based on what you already have around the house and what your kiddo really enjoys. Here’s a few box theme ideas:
- A specific color
- Farm Animals
- Vegetables and Fruits
What to put in your Road Trip Box
First things first, you don’t have to overcomplicate it. Use some toys your kiddo already has. Most of our boxes are built around the random things we’ve accumulated over the past few years. It’s also a good idea to have a variety of items in your boxes. Here’s what we place in our boxes:
- We have a Literati subscription and get some really awesome books that Liam loves. We often get activity books, flip up books, and educational books along with really great story books. However, some of our favorites for our Road Trip Boxes are these travel Eric Carle books. They are so packable and there are so many different ones making it easy to use in different themes. We’ve also used thrift store finds and library books on countless occasions road tripping.
- Highlights Magazine
- We received this subscription as a gift and again, it is really great. Each one has a new theme and there are so many activities, stories, and songs throughout each one. Our kiddo loves to flip through these during road trips.
- Activity Book or Activity Boards
- I will say, unless it’s winter, we don’t pack crayons in our Road Trip Boxes. It gets real hot here and often during the shoulder months so, we don’t want to find melted crayons crammed somewhere later on. Here, I’m mostly talking about sticker books and other items to keep your little traveler occupied. Some activity boards are pictured throughout this post like the Transportation theme or the Farm Animal theme.
- Figures, Animals, or Cars
- Depending on the theme that I’m basing the box on depends on the items I put in. However, we typically always put in Hot Wheels because our kiddo is in love with those right now. But, I just add two to four (though he always packs more somewhere else). I like to add little people, plastic animals, little stuffed animals, little planes, plastic dinosaurs; really anything I can find to make his boxes fun each time. You might even see your kiddo really excited to play with something they haven’t in a long time because it’s in this new space!
- Pop-it Fidget toys
- These are the coolest things on the planet. They can be so peaceful and playful all at the same time. You can find them in so many different shapes and colors that it makes it easy to adapt to any theme you want. Road trips can be so boring for kids, but sensory items can really relax anyone (even Mom and Dad!).
- Sensory Tubes
- Same with Pop-it toys, sensory tubes are super cool and a lot of fun. They can make a lot of noises, but they are so versatile! You can string them together, you can twist them up, make different shapes with them, and play them like a little trumpet. Hey, your kiddo is happy and entertained! That’s the goal, right?
To be honest, some road trips our kiddo is super into his box and others he couldn’t care less it’s right beside him. However, giving them the option to play, tinker, or read will only be good in the long run, right? Give it a try and make it your own! Let us know what works for your little traveler so others can give it a try, too. We’re all doing our best to raise good kids and sharing the knowledge only helps.
See y’all out there!