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5 Picture Books and Activities for Little Ones on Long Trips


Books for Kids Car Trips, Entertainment for Kids Car trips, Kids Car Trip Activities, Kids Book about Travel

I heard that sweet voice cry “Pete’s shoes! Pete’s shoes!” like a mantra before it registered – my 2-year old grandson was pointing out Pete the Cat’s shoes in the store window.

Pete the Cat is our favorite picture book with the groovy cat, rhyming phrases and relaxed vibe.

I should not have been surprised my grandson spotted a pair of white canvas shoes and desperately needed a pair of Pete’s shoes.

Would you believe we left the store with a matching pair of Chucks?

Books have the ability to entertain, teach, distract, and create Pete the Cat fans of us. Each of the picture books below are tried and tested, along with the activities. The books are readily available at your local library or you can purchase one or all of the picture books.

Create a special bag for your little one filled with books, activities and snacks before you leave the house and your long journey should go much smoother.


Picture Books, Activities for Kids Car Trips, How to keep kids entertained on road trips, Road trip games for kids

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by Jame Dean. The first time I read this to my grandson he was maybe 2 years old. Pete has new white shoes for school that he LOVES, but as he’s walking along “singing his song” he steps in…..strawberries! And guess what color his shoes are now? I think the part we loved the most was creating our own special tune to go along with Pete’s little refrain “I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes…

Bonus Tip:

As you’re creating the travel bag for the little ones, you can make or purchase or even make, a ‘tie my shoes’ board for little ones to practice learning to tie – so when they have their own white shoes, they’ll be ready to rock and roll!

Additionally, if printables are your jam, the Pete the Cat Official Website has quite a few fun activities and printables that work well on a long car ride.

Picture Books, Kids Books for Road Trips, Books to Keep Kids Entertained on Road Trips

Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light. The illustrations are bright, vibrant and oh so adorable. Louise’s favorite thing to do is create art. The problem is she has a little brother named Art who loves to “help” his sister. This book encourages siblings to get along and is a fantastic read aloud book – especially if you get your child to yell the “Art” part every time Louise gets mad at him.

Bonus Tip:

Pack paper and crayons and encourage your child to create his or her own self-portrait and/or family portrait.

Kids Entertainment on Road Trips, Books for Road Trips with Kids, Kids Games for Road Trips

1001 Things to Spot on Vacation by Hazel Maskell, and Illustrated by Teri Gower.  Depending on the type of trip you are going on – whether it’s a vacation to the beach, or visiting grandparents on the farm – the 1001 Things to Spot series has the picture book to go along with your trip. These puzzle books keep my grandson occupied for long stretches at a time, and with the bonus tip below, you’re sure to have an occupied little one!

Bonus Tip:

Add a kid-sized magnifying glass to your travel bag. Most children love a mystery which is partly why these puzzle books are so great. Give your little one the magnifying glass and 1001 Things to Spot book and have them find the items just as if they were solving a mystery.

How to Keep Kids Busy on Road Trips, Games for Kids Road Trips, Road Trip Activities for Kids

Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman. The illustrations are hilarious while the words are simple and easy for your little one to memorize after one or two read-throughs. Which can give you a much-needed break to face forward in the car while your little one occupies himself.

Bonus Activity:

Before leaving on your trip, make handheld STOP and GO signs out of construction paper. To make the signs sturdier, glue the construction paper onto cardboard from your recycling bin such as a cereal box. If you want to get really crafty, glue popsicle sticks on the back of the cardboard signs. When appropriate, give your little one the STOP and GO signs and help them choose which sign to use at every stop (or go). Kids will feel empowered to be a part of the decision-making and this activity helps instill following directions. Just as children must follow directions, adults have rules to follow too – especially if driving!

How to Entertain Kids on Road Trips, Books for Kids While Traveling, Activities for Kids on Vacation

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw. This classic picture book encourages young children to ‘think outside the box.’ Most little ones can relate to spilled milk. Through the simple illustrations children are encouraged to ‘see’ the animal in the spilt milk/clouds in the sky.

Bonus Activity:

If there are clouds in the sky, encourage your little one to find the shape of a rabbit, a bird or a book. Or maybe they will see something completely different. The key is to encourage the use of imagination – plus it has them looking out the window at the sky for a few minutes!

What picture books would you add to the list?

This post was written by my Guest Blogger, Stacy from The Novel Life. She shares her passion for reading through book reviews and giveaways. Check her out on social media too:

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Becky @ Disney in your Day

Saturday 29th of April 2017

I love Pete the Cat. I'm a children's librarian and just used this book in my storytime this morning! I actually have a recording of the author reading it with music that I play when I do it. Of course it has a really groovy tune and the kids LOVE it!


Friday 14th of April 2017

Omg so many cute books!!! My daughter is all about reading so I will have to get her a few of these for our next road trip

Alison | So Chic Life

Thursday 13th of April 2017

My daughter just saw you post and told me how much she loves these books! She must have them at school. Might be time for us to purchase for home too.

Amber Nelson

Thursday 13th of April 2017

My kids are big fans of the Pete the Cat books. My son also loves the Captain Underpants series. These picture books would be great for the smaller kiddos.


Thursday 13th of April 2017

We road trip from Arizona to Southern California very frequently so this will definitely come in handy with a two year in the car!

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