Keep the kiddos screen-free while on the go.

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In this age of technology us parents keep looking for a way to keep our kids screen-free, even if it is for a little while. 

Keeping the kids screen-free especially while traveling whether its a road trip, train trip, plane trip, or just a trip to grandma’s house can be quite tough.

Kids using gadgets is not a bad thing, but going screen-free just for a while and bond as a family is a practice everyone looks forward to.

Toddler trying his hand at a notebook...I wanna try it too!!!

Keeping still, stuck to one place, being calm and quiet, and being bored does not sound appealing to kids.

But that does not have to be the case. You can keep the kiddies entertained and occupied, while you get entertained too, and feel the satisfaction of keeping the kids away from gadgets.  

So I’ve made a list of ways I keep my 6 years old occupied and some of these help my 15 months old occupied too. 

Read on till the end for an additional tip to make it more fun.

Keeping kids Screen-free while on the go.

Firstly this list contains only items that can fit in a backpack or similar size bag or mom’s purse.

I have divided these by age.

For 1 to 4 year old

  1. Coloring books

I have a coloring book with a set of crayons present in my bag at all times. I instilled this habit in my son since he was able to hold a crayon in his hand. 

The size doesn’t need to be big or not even medium, a small mini-sized coloring book, and crayons will do the job. As the kids grow older you can replace it with something age-appropriate.

You can check out my Freebies for free coloring pages bundled with and Entertaining BINGO game. You can choose any theme you like.


I love these crayon set since they are non toxic and washable.

Once my son had become a party attraction because all the other kids had phones or some sort of screen in their hands and here he was a 2-year-old boy coloring away in his book quietly.

  1. Magnetic or Linking game set

This is one of my favorites. It is educational as well as entertaining and the best part is it’s magnetic so the chances of losing pieces are slim. 

I would recommend this to kids 2+ since there is a chance of 1-year-old choking as everything goes into their mouths thanks to the teething itchy gums.

  1. Favorite book or toy

Let’s get real here, there is always a favorite toy or book your child will carry with them all the time as much as you would like to wash it ( the toy not the book!! ). 

This is that toy which keeps your kid occupied for a little while, I would suggest you hold on to it like it is the anchor of your sanity during your time around people traveling.

These palm size picture books come in very handy perfect for my 15 month old, they fit in a small size bag too.

Some of these activities can also make family time fun and keep the adults screen-free too.

  1. Puzzles 

I pick out puzzles that have big chunky pieces that have less danger of a choking hazard and are easier for the younger kids to grip.

  1. Classic I spy with a twist

The classic I spy game never gets old. The best part is you can modify it according to age. 

For my son when he was 2 years old I played I spy for objects he can easily identify in the surrounding area.

For example, if you are in the car or the train or a flight you can say: where can you see a baby? Where can you see a bag? Where can you see a seatbelt? So on… 

If your child is 2+ and can identify the color you can play where’s the color. You can throw in some shapes too, red circle, black square, etc..

My 6 year old still likes to play it on the way to grandma’s. 

  1. Nursery rhymes or songs your kids like. 

This has been working since forever. The age-old screen-free practice of Entertainment through singing. 

 For ages 5 to 9

  1. Coloring books and colors

There are age-appropriate choices available that can keep your kids busy. Again check out my Freebies Page for the more free fun stuff. 

  1. Classic I spy

I spy at this age can be words, number plates, even numbers, odd numbers, a specific type of car or birds or trees, etc.

  1. Pocket sized puzzles 

These can be quite entertaining for older kids. It will keep them engrossed and improve their memory and problem solving skills. You can add a twist to this and use a timer to make it more competitive. 

The tip I included at the end will surely make it worth while.

  1. Bingo

We play different types of bingo, for example, the classic numbers Bingo, or an alphabet bingo, animals bingo, etc. It is educational as well as fun.

You can take a peek at how these printables are down below and give them a try, they have attractive colors to keep the kids as well as adults engaged.

animal bingo
halloween bingo

Let your child pick anyone, they will think you gave them power and feel more inclined towards it since it was “their“ decision. (LOL, children!! )  

  1. Card games

There are numerous options available for card games but some of these are absolute family favorites like 

  1. UNO
  2.  Memory games
  3. Pictionary
  4. Forbidden (our family favorite,same as Taboo), 
  5. Rhyme-chime,another family favorite, which has riddles written on the cards and the answer rhymes with each other.
  1. Stories about your childhood

Tell them all the fun and mischief you did as a child. My son loves to hear all my childhood stories and loves to repeat them.

  1. Making up a story 

One person starts and the rest take turns to add their bit, the story will take really entertaining turns. 

You wanna know a secret? I use this trick to glimpse into my 6-year-olds mind ;)… oh come on!! I know you want to do it too!!! You will be very surprised and fascinated by what you discover.

  1. Books

Now, books are a form of entertainment that nothing can beat. Once a child gets into the habit of reading you won’t need any of the above-mentioned activities.

But you might want to give  #7 a try.

I would like to end this list with an additional tip:

You are obviously going to keep snacks for the journey, so why not add a favorite snack as a reward for the winner. You can also maybe include a little gift. This will make your kids look forward to the next time you are traveling. 

Imagine having less, maybe just maybe an end to the whining and tantrums.

So, that is my tried and tested goto list for now which I keep updating as I find more options.

I would love to know if this list has helped you, and how you keep your kids occupied and screen-free while traveling, I will add them to the list too. Do leave a comment.

Have a great day!!!

This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazing write up..
    You have covered all the points…!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much.. Please share and subscribe if you already haven’t for more good stuff to come.

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