Five Road Trip Toys for Special Needs Kids

We did it! We survived a road trip with three kids. From Denver to St. Louis, we drove and drove and drove. Fourteen hours in the car with three boys ranging in age from five to fourteen, I thought it was going to prove more difficult than it was. I had a secret weapon, though. Toys.

To make the road trip more interesting, and to hear less of the “Are we there yet?” cries from the kids, I brought along a few things to keep their interest. My youngest is autistic, so I was most concerned about how he would handle such a long ride. Turns out, he was the easiest to entertain! Here are a few of the toys I brought with us and why.

LeapPad2 Explorer by LeapFrog was definitely my go-to toy for the trip. On it Brady could play games, take pictures and video, watch a couple episodes of his favorite TV show, Team Umizoomi, and draw. I downloaded a few new shows and games before our trip, and he was happy as a clam!

• Mini LEGO sets. These were a lifesaver for all of the kids. Before they could open one they had to play a game. Either count 20 red cars or find the alphabet on license plates or signs. This helped break up the boredom of driving across western Kansas.

• Activity books and Mad Libs were great for the older kids, but my younger son wasn’t quite old enough to do them so we gave him some Color Wonder paper and pens and he was busy for a long time, working on his art. I was happy that the markers wouldn’t get all over him or the car!

Mini games like I Spy were another great boredom buster for all the kids. Easy to pack, easy to play. They were a hit with all three of my boys in the car. We then broke out into the classic car version of I Spy having the boys spy things outside. Of course, since we were driving through Kansas, the main thing the kids spied were giant wind farms and cows.

• When all else failed, I gave the kids the iPad. Brady loved the games like Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and Alien Buddies. Great for preschool aged kids and those with special needs for their easy to use games and audible prompts. There are tons of great apps to discover right here on as well!

These were just a few ways we helped the kids stay boredom free on our road trip. The games and apps, along with a few stops to stretch their legs, kept them happy and made the road trip fun for all of us. We have a much shorter road trip coming up later in the summer and I’ll be sure to use these toys and tricks again!

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