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Keep Kids Entertained — Sans Screens — On Your Labor Day Road Trip This Weekend

Labor Day is just around the corner and what better way to spend a three-day weekend than by taking a family road trip!

We’ve written on road tripping with kids before both here and here. Be sure to check out those posts for plenty of ideas and listening recommendations.

Today, we’re offering a fresh take on the topic — low-prep, easy, screen-free entertainment in the car.

Below, you’ll find 15 creative ways to keep kids busy — sans screens — while on the road this Labor Day weekend.

Let’s get started.

15 Screen-Free Ways to Keep Kids Entertained on Your Labor Day Road Trip

1. Bring along some dry erase markers. Let kids draw pictures on the windows, erase, and draw some more. This tip may not work for toddlers (you definitely don’t want marker on your seats!), but is super fun for bigger kids.

2. Pack books — and lots of ‘em. There’s no better time to dive into a good story than when on a long drive. If you bring a new chapter book series along, your kiddo will stay entertained for hours.

3. Crank up the jams. Good music keeps everyone energized and happy. Check out Pinna’s music collection for lots of kid-friendly tunes.

4. Stock up on yummy snacks. When kids get hungry, they get cranky. The term “hangry” comes to mind. Keep kids fed and hydrated with easy-to-reach snacks and drinks.

5. Don’t forget your little one’s favorite stuffed animal. Road trips are way more fun when they’ve got a friend along for the adventure!

6. Turn on a game show. Pinna has several the whole family can enjoy together — Don’t Break the Rules, 5 for 5 Trivia, ExtraBLURT, and ExtraBLURT Jr. are a few to check out.

7. Play road trip bingo. The Travel Channel has several free bingo cards you can print out and use.

8. Check out a new podcast! Pinna has something for everyone. Kids into science? How about comedy? Love a good mystery? Are you traveling with a car full of tweens? Whatever the case, Pinna’s got you covered.

9. Take some time to catch up with your kids. Need some conversation starters? Here are a few ideas.

10. Give your kids a notebook, crayons, and lots of stickers. That’ll keep ‘em busy for a while.

11. You can’t go wrong with Lego bricks. Hip2Save has an easy DIY tutorial for a car-friendly carrying case so your kiddo can build on the go.

12. Be sure to plan plenty of stops. Map out your route ahead of time and find parks or rest areas where kids can run around and burn off energy. Pro tip — bring a ball they can throw or kick around when you stop.

13. Stick a joke book in your bag. If your kid is reading independently, they can tell jokes and keep everyone entertained.

14. Start a binge-worthy audio series. If you and your kiddos love a mystery, check out Origins Unknown, Mackaroy Uncovered, or Dream Breachers. If you want something a little lighter, check out This Podcast has Fleas, The Totally Unauthorized Video Game Fan Show, or Food Crimes.

15. Similar to above, road trips are the perfect time to start a new chapter book series on audio. Pinna has plenty to choose from. Check out Upside Down Magic, Pip Bartlett, I Survived, Audacity Jones, or Chronicles of the Red King.

The Wrap-Up

Keeping kiddos entertained in the car is no easy feat, so be sure to bookmark our tips and refer back when planning your next family vacation.

We’re all ears!

Do you have any exciting Labor Day plans? We’d love to hear from you! Find us on all our social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest – or email us at

Amy Thetford

Amy Thetford

Amy is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to her tribe of tiny humans. She's fueled by coffee and the desire to do ALL. THE. THINGS. She blogs about all things motherhood at