1- Make a “busy book”
This is really easy — I just get a 99 cent binder and fill it with the cheap pack of notebook paper. I then get one of those little pockets that fit into the binder and fill them with crayons, pencils, markers — whatever you want them to have in the car (base this on their age).
2- Library books
Get a few new books from the library and have your kids read as many as they can, while keeping track of how many they have read. When they get to your destination, they could earn money to use at the beach (10 cents per book for young kids and go up from there.)
3- Envelopes, paper & pencils
Yep, just good, old fashioned drawing tools. The kids love the envelopes. They pretend to be in houses and they write letters back and forth to each other.
4- Book on tape
Last year, we drove 8 hours to Georgia and we listened to a book on DVD (Land of Stories). It was our favorite car trip to date. Our family was so involved that we hated to even stop for lunch. It was so much fun and now we do it every single time.
5. If you can stand it, bring along a relaxation CD.
This puts our little ones to sleep every time. I take away all books, movies, etc.. .and put this on. I save this for when they are getting cranky, because that means that they are tired. I put the music all the way to the back, so that we don’t really hear it (it is very soothing, although it doesn’t make me sleepy at all.)