How to Keep Kids Entertained While RVing — Without Screens

“Are we there yet?!” Without a doubt, traveling by RV with kids, whether you’re heading to a campsite nearby or on a multi-day trip across several states, can bring moments where they’re flat out bored in the back of the camper or backseat of your tow vehicle

Sure, you can queue up another video on the iPad or hand your child your phone to play some rounds of Fruit Ninja. But when it’s time to take a break from screens, consider some of these games and activities to keep them occupied. Some of these options can be enjoyed while you’re kicking back and relaxing at the campground, too. 

Audiobooks

If your kids are like mine, they might get a little queasy reading books while in a moving vehicle. Audiobooks, where they can listen to a narrated story, might do the job. Audible offers a 30-day free trial, so you can give it a whirl at no cost. Download the app to your phone or tablet, then you can broadcast through Bluetooth to your vehicle’s sound system. Or set your kids up with their own earbuds (or kid-sized headphones) to listen on their own. 

Check out this list of kids’ books from Audible. Other audiobook streaming services with children and young adult stories include Audiobooks.com, Chirp, and Scribd. Also consider the audiobook options at your local library.

Downloadable Travel Bingo Cards

Print bingo cards that have pictures of commonly spotted items along the highway (road signs, animals, mountains, construction vehicles). The first person in the car (not the driver!) to mark off five in a row — or the whole card — wins. Check out these free printables from The Travel Channel, Happiness is Homemade, and Crazy Little Projects. Moms Minivan has a whole bunch of printable travel games. 

Wikki Stix

These bendable yarn-and-wax sticks (about the same size as pipe cleaners) can be shaped into all sorts of objects and scenes — whatever is inspired by your child’s imagination. Wikki Stix can be used over and over again, and they don’t create a mess (no glue, no tape marks involved). These are easily packable, and great to take into a restaurant (when you’re tired of RV cooking!) to keep kids occupied until food arrives. 

Reusable Sticker Pads from Melissa & Dog

Another activity that can be used more than once is a book of removable stickers. These cardboard, themed pads from Melissa & Doug (a company well known for their wooden puzzles) allow kids to create scenes with easy-to-peel vinyl stickers on colorful backgrounds, such as jungles, cities, farms, and outer space. 

Classic Car Games

Of course there are the classics that you probably played as a kid: 

  • I spy: You say, “I spy with my little eye, something red,” and the rest of the car makes guesses as to what you see. Person who guesses correctly takes a turn spying next.
  • The license plate game: Try to spot all 50 states on license plates.The first person to see each one gets a point. Whoever has the most points after finding all 50 states (or a period of time) wins.
  • The alphabet game: Each person needs to find and call out the letters A to Z on road signs. Two people can’t use the same sign. Whoever finds all 26 letters first wins.

Here are a few more classic car game lists from Parents magazine, Bilingual Kidspot, and Today’s Parent

Have any screen-free games or activities you like to play with your kids while RVing? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Cindy Douglas
    11th June, 2021

    Are you permitted to stay nights

  2. Kimberly Crossland
    10th May, 2021

    I actually offer some road trip activities (and more are coming SOON) in my shop Cruisin’ + Campfires (cruisinandcampfires.com). The activities chosen are designed with campers and RVers in mind. 🙂

    1. Sam Leash
      15th June, 2021

      Thanks for sharing this here, Kimberly!