Planning a road trip with a 7 year old can be daunting, but there are a few strategies you can use to keep them entertained and occupied on long trips. In this post we have 50 fun car activities for 7 years olds and other kids under 10.
If your family is heading out on a road trip, there are a few things you can do to keep your 7 year old busy. The last thing you want to hear is “are we nearly there yet?” 1 hour into a 5 hour trip.
Although it can stressful thinking of ways to keep your kids entertained on a road trip, we have you covered with this huge list.
Here are some tips to get your started:
First, make sure to pack plenty of books, toys, games, and puzzles.
Second, come up with a list of interesting places you can stop along the way. Having somewhere fun to go whether it be Carhenge in Nebraska or Randy’s Donuts in L.A can keep the kids excited during the boring bits of the drive.
Third, make sure to pack plenty of games, books, and puzzles to keep them entertained. Make sure there are plenty of snacks and drinks available so they don’t get bored.
And if possible, make sure the scenery is interesting enough that they don’t want to pull their hair out from boredom.
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50 Car Activities Fo 7 Year Olds
Unless you’re traveling with your child for an extended period of time, chances are he or she will quickly become restless on a long trip. To keep them entertained and occupied on a road trip, follow these five tips:
Fill the car with interesting activities.
There is no need to pack an entire theme park or amusement park in your car just for your little one- a few simple activities like coloring books, puzzles, storybooks, and playing games will do the trick.
Check out this list of 50 road trip activities that are sure to keep your children entertained:
An oldie but a goodie – coloring books are an age old way to keep the kids entertained.
I’m a huge fan of the Crayola Mess-Free coloring books because the ink only works on the special paper, meaning no ink on your car interior.
One of the easiest ways to keep your children ages 10 and under entertained is with simple games. Who doesn’t enjoy a good game of tic-tac-toe?
Obviously this only works if you have more than one child in the back of your car. Let the kids play together in the backseat to see who will win the most times!
3. I Spy
Here’s another classic game that we all know from childhood car rides. The nice thing about this game is that the whole family can get involved in this game as you can try to guess what your children have spotted while passing through different areas on the road trip.
7 year olds are at the age where they are just getting into puzzles such as word searches, mazes and crosswords. You can either buy puzzle books or print some of these puzzles at home before leaving for your road trip.
Of course you can also download apps on your iPad with word games but good old fashioned pen and paper sometimes works best.
Here are some free printable word searches you can download:
If your kids love drawing then why not ask them to create a visual scrapbook of your road trip by drawing what they see out the window.
Supply the kids with blank sheets of paper and coloring pencils or crayons and see what they can create.
You never know what types of masterpieces they will come up.
Here’s another retro idea that is one of my favorite car activities for 7 year olds. You can purchase an old fashioned Etch-a-Sketch for the kids and let them go to town. These boards are entertaining and completely mess free.
If you have plastic trays for your children to place over their laps, why not let them play with Play-Doh or clay?
Personally I find clay much less messy than Playdoh because it doesn’t crumble and get everywhere.
Something like clay or plasticine will keep your kids busy while they create different shapes and objects.
8. Sticker Art
Let your kids get creative while making sticker art. If you really don’t want the kids to have stickers in the car, you can get the gel-cling stickers for the windows as they won’t get stuck to anything else.
If you are ok with stickers, then one of my favorite car activities for 7 year olds are the Usborne Sticky Dolly Dressing books.
My kids (ages 5 and 7) just love playing with these and they keep them busy for hours.
9. Silly Putty
Silly Putty is another fun product to keep your kids busy. It’s a sensory activity that can engage the senses and it isn’t as messy as slime (which I do not recommend on a road trip – speaking from experience!).
10. Beaded Bracelets
When you have older children between the ages of 7 and 12 making bracelets is a lot of fun. You can buy bracelet kits or you can get string and beads separately from the dollar store.
11. Phone/Tablet Apps
If you don’t mind the electronics, you can let the kids play on your phone or tablet. You don’t need to let them watch YouTube shows though, here is a list of great educational apps for kids.
12. Alphabet Game
My kids love this game. It is so simple but can be fun and educational too.
All you too is pick a broad topic, for example, countries of the world or animals.
Then you take turns to name a country for each letter of the alphabet. For example, person 1 does A, person 2 does B etc.
13. 20 Questions
This simple guessing game in which one player thinks of an object and informs his opponents whether it is “animal, vegetable, or mineral” is great for road trips.
14. Card Games
If you have a deck of cards and more than one person in the back of the car, cards can be a fun way to pass the time. Go Fish or Old Maid are fun and easy games to play.
15. Listen to an Audio Book
Put an interesting and engaging audiobook in the car for your children to listen to.
You can download them from a free library app such as Libby or get them from Audible (get a 30 day free trial here).
16. Simon Says
You can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned game of Simon Says. It will have everyone in the car laughing and it always a fun game to get everyone moving a bit.
17. Magnetic Faces
A magnetic box of funny faces is a really fun way to keep the kids entertained on a long road trip. These puzzles are made of different magnetic pieces and allows children to create different faces on a board.
18. The Rainbow Game
For some reason my kids love this game that I think they saw on the Disney + show, Bluey. All you do is pick an object (cars, buildings, trucks) and to have to find one for every color of the rainbow.
19. Sensory Bags
You can make easy sensory bags for each child using hair gel, shaving cream and little dollar store trinkets.
Put them in a zip seal bag and let them play with them.
Sensory bags are also perfect for younger children and can improve their fine motor skills.
20. Printable Worksheets
Find fun printable worksheets for the kids to do. You can find plenty of free options that are entertaining and full of unique activities.
One of the best places to look for free printable worksheets is Pinterest.
21. Color by Number Books
Older kids age 7 and up love color by number sheets. These books will help your children follow rules while creating colorful masterpieces.
22. Sticker by Number Books
In addition to color by number books, you can find sticker by number books that are just as fun for younger children.
23. Seek and Find Books
Look for any seek and find books and let your children go to town with them.
These books will keep them searching for different items for hours.
Where’s Waldo are the most famous books of this style but Amazon has options for all different interests and popular characters.
24. Read Books
Take a trip to the library people who head out on your road trip and let each child pick out a book that they’ll read during the car journey.
It’s a great option when you want to have some quiet time in the car. Bear in mind that some people get car sick if they read in a moving vehicle though.
25. Magnetic Letter Board
A magnetic letter board encourages children to spell words and sentences.
It’s a great activity for children who are still learning how to spell various words. You can even make it fun by challenging them to spell words for you.
26. Doodle Board
Another fun writing activity are LCD writing boards that you can write on and then erase the message afterwards.
My kids are obsessed with these at the moment.
You can buy inexpensive boards from Amazon like this one which is the one we have.
While it’s not necessarily a big activity, providing the kids with fun snacks to eat and enjoy is a great way to keep them entertained for at least 30 minutes.
One way to make it fun is to head to the stores together before you go away and let them create their own trail mix and bento box full of fun snacks.
28. Busy Bags
Make busy bags for the kids to play with that include different items, including buttons, pipe cleaners, and other simple items. They can get creative with these interesting items and stay busy!
If you have a younger child, consider making your own toddler busy book to keep them occupied.
29. Sing Songs
You can download some fun songs to sing along to as a family or just sign some classics like Old MacDonald’s farm or Bingo the dog.
Use a portable DVD player or an iPad to play a movie that the children can watch and enjoy during your road trip.
You can download movies from Netflix or Disney + to play on your device. Just make sure to have them charged!
31. Rock, Paper, Scissors
This is a super simple game that we all know but it can keep the kids occupied for a while on a long road trip.
32. Action Figures
Pull out some new action figures to keep the kids busy on your road trip.
Kids can use their creative side and imagination to create different scenarios while playing with the figures.
33. Barbie Dolls
The same thing goes for Barbies and other dolls.
One way I make them fun is to put them away for a few weeks before the road trip so they feel fresh and new by the time the kids see them in the car.
34. License Plate Search Game
Ask your kid if they can find a license plate with a specific state on it! See who can find the most unusual one.
35. Travel Bingo
You can print the cards out online – there are tons of Pinterest.
If you plan ahead you can make a travel bingo specific to your destination.
36. Mask Making
Give the kids paper plates and markers and encourage them to create a mask. They can hold the face up when they’re done, using it like a mask.
You can’t go wrong with a good game of hangman. To make it easier, get a cheap dry-erase board from the dollar store.
38. Traffic Sign Search
This is an easy road trip game. Give the kids a piece of paper with pictures of specific road signs (Stop sign, Deer crossing etc) and get them to try and find them all. Have a small prize for the winner.
39. Play a Silly Song Game
Another fun game to play if you are feeling creative is to play traditional campfire games such as “Can’t get to heaven”.
40. Play with Felt
When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to play with was a felt set where I could make animals and other fun scenes.
Felt is mess free and you can even make your own scenes using pieces of felt from a craft store.
41. Guess Who?
If you have the space for it, a game of Guess Who can keep your older children entertained.
Nowadays there are all different versions of the game but the original one is still the best in my opinion.
42. Color Rocks
Rather than painting rocks and making a mess in the car, supply the kids with markers and rocks to color them!
43. Candy Necklaces
You can use cereal like Frootloops or small candy rings and string for this easy craft.
Let the kids use binoculars to see what they can find, such as birds lingering on tree branches.
This is one of the best road trip activities ever!
45. Create Bucket Lists
For some reason my kids love creating bucket lists and a road trip is the perfect place to start your own.
You can create lists of everything you want to do on your vacation/this summer/this year and more. Here is a fabulous bucket list for childhood to give you some ideas.
46. Mystery Box
Another way I’ve found to pass the time on a road trip is to create a “treasure chest” of dollar store items and let the kids pick something every hour or so.
It keeps them entertained and keeps them quiet too!
47. The Mile Marker Game
This might seem like one of the strangest car activities for 7 year olds but can be an educational game as well as a fun one.
Just use your car’s odometer and kids guess when a mile was reached once you say “start”.
You can also play an alternative where they guess how many miles to a certain destination (the next exit, the next gas station etc).
48. The Candy Game
This is a simple game that I used to play with my grandpa. All you need are some hard candies or mints.
Everyone takes one and you see who can make theirs last the longest without crunching it or swallowing it.
49. Road Scavenger hunts
All kids love a scavenger hunt and this one is great because it is so simple.
Just write a list of things for the kids to find while you are on the road. Examples could be a cow, horses, a pink car, a farm etc.
50. Dollar Spot
Let your kids build their own treasure chests full of goodies by letting them spend $10 at the dollar store.
Don’t let them play wit the items until you are on the road to keep them fresh.
Car Activities For 7 year Olds – Final Thoughts
Expect your kids’ ages 10 and under to have an excellent time on the road when you supply these types of activities to keep them busy and entertained.
Not every activity you do in the car has to be electronic. Look how many options there are for car activities for 7 year olds and other young kids!