Road trips are the best…unless, of course, you’ve got a toddler (or preteen) in the back seat begging to be entertained between every highway exit. Here, five creative games to play when the road feels extra long.

RELATED: The 5 Best American Road Trips, Ranked

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The License Plate Game

Come on, it’s a classic for a reason. Basically, everyone in the car has to keep an eye out for license plates from different states. If they spot one, they have to call it out and mark it down. (Stock your car with a few copies of this free printable and pens to help your kids keep track.)

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Put Together an Activity Packet

Think: Books to read or stickers to play with or blank paper for your kids to journal all the things that happen on the road. The trick is to keep the packets prepped (and ready to access) in the pocket in front of them. It also doesn’t hurt to update them from day to day, so your little guys don’t get bored with their contents.

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Download Some Audio Books

Music is fun and all, but blasting the same kids’ album on repeat can start to irk the other passengers (ahem, mom and dad). An alternative: Audio books. Epic’s e-book library for kids makes it a cinch to download classics like The Magic School Bus or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

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Invite Your Kids to Help Navigate

Of course Google Maps is the true boss of the drive, but it’s sort of fun to pick up (or print out) paper maps of your route so your kids can follow along and check off cities and towns you pass by. To avoid car fights, you could give different jobs to each kid. One child is the lookout—her job is to keep an eye out for signs—while the other records them on the map.

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Play “I Spy”

And…back to the classics. “I spy with my little eyes something….red.” Is it a stoplight? Or a Toyota Camry? Or mom’s shirt? Your kids stay occupied and you can teach them about their surroundings.

RELATED: How to Survive a Road Trip (and Actually Enjoy It)

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