When I was a kid and we traveled from Atlanta to Florida (every year for two weeks in a Karmann Ghia or VW bug with no A/C), we had AM radio and car games to keep us occupied.
“Cows” was my favorite, and I loved to wipe my brother’s out by being the first to spot a cemetery! (In the days before the interstate’s were finished, we drove through a lot of Georgia countryside).
My mom would usually pack us a peach basket with coloring book and crayons, pencil and paper games, etch-a-sketch and other pass-the-time trinkets–but we really had to dole those out slowly or they wouldn’t last.
So then it was back to Cows and Car Tags. Yeah, I’m old enough there were no DVD players in cars or even the means to play an audiobook (after AM radio, there was only 8 tracks; no cassettes, no walkman–and if you don’t know what those are, google them and have a good laugh :-)).
But even today, with DVD’s and audiobooks, you still need things to do in the car, and games and songs are a great way to pass the time. (Please don’t plug in movies for ten hours; truly, it’s not good for your kids). Share some family time, build some memories, have some fun, even exercise a few brain cells–you can’t do that with the kids plugged in in the back seat. The kids really will enjoy it and remember it and probably be in a better mood when you arrive.
Here’s a website with 101 of them: Mom’s Minivan!