These are our top picks to keep the kids happy on your next road trip, and even better, all of them are screen-free. For an extra special touch, gift wrap the toys individually before your trip and pass them out at different points during the vacation.
We may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through the links in this post.
1) Melissa and Doug USA License Plate Game
Road trip! Melissa and Doug have some of my favorite on-the-go car activities for kids, and this particular one is my favorite. What I love about this game is that it gets kids looking out of the window. Flip the wooden blocks when you spot each state's license plate on the cars around you. State capitals are also included on the blocks, so kids will learn without even realizing it. Each block has a blue or red side, so two teams can play together. Play to see who can find the most states or who sees a license plate that has traveled the furthest from their home.
2) Melissa and Doug Water Wow Bundle
Water Wow books make an ideal travel activity, fill the included chunky brush pens with water and let the fun begin. This bundle of six no-mess coloring and activity books from Melissa and Doug are perfect for young kids that like to paint. Young children will be amazed as they brush the specially coated, sturdy pages with the water pens to reveal the hidden pictures and colors. Then, as the pages dry, the images disappear to be "painted" on again.
3) Melissa and Doug wipe-clean activity book bundle
For ages 6 and up, try this bundle of three wipe-clean activity books. Each book contains a variety of word, number, and picture games for one or two people to play together. Also included are two dry erase markers that conveniently store inside the front cover, making the books perfect for fun on the go. The pages wipe clean so that the games can be played again.
4) Melissa and Doug Secret Decoder Bundle
Great for ages 7 and up, Kids become a super sleuth with this book set containing over 50 puzzles and challenges to keep the kids busy. They will be cracking coded messages, completing puzzles, and solving dozens of mini-mysteries.
5) Crayola Color Wonder Kit
The Crayola Color Wonder Sets are perfect for mess-free travel. This particular set comes with 25 Color Wonder markers, 4 color-in sticker sheets, and 24 poster size coloring pages. The markers only show color on the special color wonder paper, so you won't find the car or kids covered in a rainbow of shades. What I love most about this set is that the markers come in a sturdy portable storage case. Choose from lots of different themed sets on Crayola's website.
6) Kid Made Modern On-The-Go Craft Kits
On-The-Go craft kits from Kid Made Modern are perfect for travel. They include everything your kid will need to complete a series of craft activities. Kid Made Modern has several themed kits to choose from, from a friendship bracelet-making kit to a monster crafting kit. This four kit bundle includes designing a matching game kit, a fashion doll kit, a coloring kit, and a drawing kit.
7) Kid Made Modern Vacation Journal Kit
Kid Made Modern also has this awesome Vacation Journal Kit so kids can record what they did on their vacation. The kit comes with markers, a guided journal book, and a storage bag to keep all the pieces together, plus any souvenirs they collect along the way.
8) Clixo Rainbow Pack
These flexible magnetic building block pieces are perfect for taking with you when you travel. Made from durable synthetic paper with embedded magnets, Clixo enables endless 2D and 3D creations to be built. All of the pieces store neatly inside the compact box for portability.
9) Usborne Wipe Clean On the Go Puzzles
This book from Usborne has durable wipe-clean pages filled with fun mazes, matching games, and shape tracing so kids can practice their early learning skills while also having fun. Because the pages can be wiped clean, the puzzles can be enjoyed over and over again and make it an ideal companion for vacations.
10) National Geographic Kids US Road Trip Atlas
Heading on a road trip? Then take this Road Trip Atlas from National Geographic Kids along with you so kids can follow along with you on your journey. The pages are filled with fun facts, easy-to-read maps, games, activities, and bright, colorful pictures for every US State.
Check out our travel games shop page for even more ideas of travel-friendly toys to take with you on your next trip.