Ideas for long car ride with an 8 year old?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Katie Dawn, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Katie Dawn

    Katie Dawn DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2007
    We our going to Disney World in October, and just did another long trip last month, so I'm looking for fresh ideas for ways to pass the time on the drive.

    I know the typical stuff: coloring books, stickers, and thank goodness for Kindles/Ipads!

    I'm looking for ideas you've found your "not-so-little-anymore" kids enjoyed. Here's an example of something fun we found that entertained our kiddo for quite awhile.

    I think we'll do some kind of "car bingo" this trip. Last trip we enjoyed Mad Libs. If I can find out little Etch-a-Sketch she might like that too.

    What other ideas do you have!
  2. Zaptrem2

    Zaptrem2 Earning My Ears

    Dec 14, 2017

    Not sure how long your car ride will be, but we regularly take 4-6 hour car rides with a 7 and 11 year old. I would recommend looking into some kid-friendly audiobook/stories (maybe look into some Disney themed ones?). Then if they have a short attention span, they can color at the same time and the ride will feel shorter. I would also look into some of those disappearing markers that only work on special paper, and water markers that also only work on special paper to avoid a mess in the car. Our 7 year old is also a big fan of eye spy (a good option if you get stuck in traffic and aren’t moving much so you can pick out details on the cars around you). Good luck and enjoy your trip!
    jacknsally19, Penmac and Katie Dawn like this.
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  4. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

    Mar 31, 2017
    We have driven from New England to Orlando twice with our young kids. My 8 year old really enjoyed the license plate game. I googled it & printed the sheet. She did work hard to search for every state and although we didn't see them all, she would get very excited when she found a state from another part of the country.

    We just spent a week at a beach house and my kids and their cousins loved playing Catch Phrase. It's a bit tough for the little ones but they still loved it. It will pass time for you in the car. We laughed so hard playing this game.

    We also purchased portable DVD players from Walmart for our van. I went to our public library that has a great selection and rented about 15 movies (renewed them online while we were away). Somehow, they enjoyed this more than just watching stuff individually on their tablets. Maybe it felt more like watching an actual TV. Since we don't have a TV in the car I think it was just a novelty for my kids. They watched a few of our favorite Disney movies. Parent Trap is a must do for an 8-year old girl, btw :-)

    Also, if you haven't introduced her to Harry Potter yet, renting the audio of book 1 could be really nice for you all.
    Michelle James likes this.
  5. MudQueen22

    MudQueen22 DIS Veteran

    Mar 14, 2014
    We have car bingo games that can be purchased at Target or Cracker Barrel, and maybe Walmart.

    We have portable DVD players, and we pack several Disney DVDs for watching while traveling.
    We also pack a basket of toys for each kid. Our daughter, now 9, likes Barbies, books, music, and the bingo games. Also, the little etch-a-sketch type tablets are fun (the kind you draw on directly rather than the knobs). She will watch DVDs, but not as many as I thought when we purchased them. She spends quite a bit of time in the car either reading or playing with Barbies.
  6. jacknsally19

    jacknsally19 DIS Veteran

    Jun 12, 2013
    We love audio books so I certainly second that.... We've listened to goosebumps. My daughter is 6 and loves 'scary.' Neil Gaiman also has some great family friendly options (Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Stardust). YMMV but your librarian should be able to recommend something based on your little ones interest.

    Also, we like playing, "My father owns a grocery store and in it he sells something that begins with the letter B" Everyone asks questions - is it a fruit? is it yellow? Oh its a banana.
  7. Michelle James

    Michelle James Mouseketeer

    Apr 2, 2018
    Love the Harry Potter audio book idea!

    We've got a drawing tablet, sort of modern etch a Sketch, called a Boogie Board. DS loves it. Plus we play a game he calls the alphabet game - trying to spot something that starts with each letter of the alphabet before the other people in the car.
  8. jeepnjudy

    jeepnjudy DIS Veteran

    Sep 13, 2009
    Each of my DS bring a backpack full of their toys, also portable DVD player, IPads, they LOVE Mad Libs and we do those for hours. We also grab the cards out of their 5 Second Rule game and play that which is fun. Trivial Pursuit cards work just as well.
  9. LNMom

    LNMom Earning My Ears

    Feb 23, 2018
    I use "trip tickets"-I found a template on pinterest-these are slips of paper that look like a ticket. Kids get one every 30 minutes, no strings attached (like being quiet). They can turn in tickets for items: 1 ticket=snack (junk food I never let them have at home; healthy snacks are always available to them on our drives, so the mini bag of oreos or doritos or a juicebox are such a treat; 2 tickets=activity (I save Pottery Barn teen catalogs, activity books, foil/tape for sculpture making, lots of great ideas on pinterest); 3 tickets=prize (these are wrapped gifts like markers, DVDs, cool item for where we're going). My kids looooove this. They have cited that the drive is the best part of our trips. I keep a bag full of items and tickets ready to go at all times!

    DVD player and/or I-pad or Kindle with content downloaded (we do both; kids love watching Disney movies all the way to DW).

    Cozy nap items (pillow, blanket, socks)

    Happy Trails!!
    marcyleecorgan likes this.
  10. Katie Dawn

    Katie Dawn DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2007
    OP here. Oh my goodness guys these ideas are fantastic!!! Thank You Thank You!
  11. GusGus77

    GusGus77 DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 2012
    We bring a shallow basket from the dollar store with a lego base board in it and a Tupperware container of legos. My kid will make LEGO creations and play with them for hours in the car! Also wikki sticks. I always thought they were stupid, but the entertain the seven and ten year old!
    marcyleecorgan and Katie Dawn like this.
  12. jtopp

    jtopp driving the monorail in my dreams

    Oct 28, 2001
    When the kids were smaller, we often drove, usually about 18 hours. Portable tv/vcr, and later DVD, is a gift from the gods. Try to get at least 1 new movie, as well as some favorites to watch on the way. Portable, single serve snacks are also recommended. The excitement on the trip there will make the trip easier, but the trip home is never fun. Good luck
    Katie Dawn likes this.

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