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Road trips can be some of the most rewarding vacations for families. They are generally less rushed than plane trips, there is more room for open-ended exploration, and there is a certain sense of adventure that's hard to come by in everyday life.

But as memorable as they are for kids, they can also be a pain for parents. Countless bathroom stops, whines of boredom, and cries of "are we there yet?" can make any parent question why they decided on a road trip.

At the end of the day, you have to survive your time in the car and there's no judgement here if that means a little screen time. But I know some of my favorite childhood vacation memories are of time in the car when I had my parents' attention. Children can still have that today, that time when they're engaged not just entertained, it just takes a little planning and experimenting to find what works for you!

Here are 12 Montessori-inspired, screen-free items to help your children and you have a positive experience on your next road trip:

Nenos kids headphones

Nenos kids headphones

Audiobooks provide the same easy entertainment as tv, but without the screens. Child-safe headphones are great so you can listen to that perfect road trip playlist while your child hears their favorite story.

For young kids, audiobooks are often more successful if they are already familiar with the story, so you may want to read the story a couple of times before your trip.

$12.99

PlayMonster lacing + tracing

PlayMonster lacing + tracing

Lacing cards help young children develop fine motor and pre-sewing skills and are super contained, which is perfect for the car! From dinosaurs to Eric Carle characters, there are tons of options to match your child's interests.

$7.99

A. G. Smith train station sticker activity book

A. G. Smith train station sticker activity book

Stickers are some of the easiest art supplies to bring on the road and almost all kids love them! You can keep it simple with some travel stickers and a notepad, or try a reusable sticker book. These small ones are great for the car, especially for younger kids, if the big sticker books are overwhelming.

$1.99

WikkiStix rainbow pak

WikkiStix rainbow pak

Wiki Stix are another easy, no-mess creative activity that's perfect for the car. Kids can build all sorts of things but, unlike Play-Doh, you won't wind up with remnants of their creativity covering your car floor.

$3.60

Polaroid instant digital camera

Polaroid instant digital camera

For a slightly older child, introduce them to another road trip classic, Polaroids. This updated digital version is a bit of an investment, but is also something that can be enjoyed at home, not just on the road.

$89.97

Melissa & Doug water wow painting book

Melissa & Doug water wow painting book

While not as creative as open-ended drawing and painting, these mess-free books are perfect for road trips or restaurants. The chunky-sized water pen is easy for kids to hold and stores neatly right in the front cover, so it minimizes messes.

$4.99

Kenley Kids travel tray

Kenley Kids travel tray

A lap desk might be a wise purchase if you are taking a particularly long trip or plan to do multiple road trips over the years. It makes it so much easier for kids to comfortably use art supplies and simple games without dropping everything.

$29.97

National Geographic kids ultimate U.S. road trip atlas

National Geographic kids ultimate U.S. road trip atlas

With books, you have to know your child. Books can be a wonderful road trip activity, or they can leave everyone feeling car sick!

If your child can't handle looking at books in the car, an atlas is a perfect pre-trip or hotel room inspiration to get your kid excited about the journey.

$5.99

Wee Society travel diary + journal

Wee Society travel diary + journal

You can use a simple notebook and give your child prompts for ideas to draw or write about, or use a predesigned kids travel journal that comes with adventure badges to earn, stickers, places to keep photos and other treasures and postcards to send. Either way, your child will get great practice in recording what they see and will likely treasure the memories once they get home.

$13.49

Imagination Generation road trip travelling bingo game

Imagination Generation road trip travelling bingo game

Bingo is often played in Montessori settings for young children because it helps them practice visual discrimination while also working on relational skills and learning how to play a game. Road trip bingo is the perfect way to bring this on the road!

$12.99

Kid O Play glow-in-the-dark jumbo magnatab

Kid O Play glow-in-the-dark jumbo magnatab

This Magnatab is highly entertaining for little kids, engages them creatively, and lets them practice fine motor skills. This one also glows in the dark, which is perfect for a winter road trip when it gets dark early.

$25.65

Bestjing puzzle magnetic book

Bestjing puzzle magnetic book

This kind of activity is not only entertaining, but is great for problem solving and pre-math skills. The tangram is made of environmentally friendly material, which has no peculiar smell, soft texture and won't hurt children's hands, ensuring children's safety, and the bottom is magnetic, solid and durable.

$12.83

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This is the #yearofthemother.

And this is the pregnancy book women deserve, from the experts at Motherly.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms.

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Praise for The Motherly Guide

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Pre-order your copy ofThe Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, and join us as we redefine motherhood, together.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on so many people's lives, and mamas everywhere are feeling it especially hard. The outbreak has been an especially scary time for pregnant women who worry about getting the support they need during this already challenging time.

At Motherly, nothing is more important to us than helping mamas everywhere feel supported and empowered from the very beginning of their motherhood journey. That's why we took two major steps toward helping pregnant women everywhere feel more confident right now:

First, we wrote the pregnancy + birth book you deserve.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama provides evidence-based, women-centered support for every stage of your journey, from trying to conceive to caring for your sweet new baby.


We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to ensure that every person has access to high-quality, nurturing pregnancy and birth guidance. It is the pregnancy book you deserve. And we would be honored if you would consider pre-ordering it now.

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Pregnancy and birth are some of the biggest moments of life—it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Going through this process during a transformative world event—a pandemic—can make it feel so daunting. We want you to know that we are here for you.

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We all know dry skin is a real thing, and since we've been washing our hands a lot more recently (thanks, coronavirus) and dousing them with anti-bacterial gel, they are much drier than usual. Combine that with the cool air and our hands feel like we're rubbing a piece of paper on our cheek.

As we're social distancing, we have a bit more time on our hands these days so we've given these hand creams a test drive to find what best works to keep moisture in.

Here are 10 of the best hand creams for combating dry skin, according to our editor:

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

Did you know that this classic hand cream is sold every 2 seconds around the world? Honey, almond extract and coconut oil are blended with shea butter to protect and moisturize the driest hands. We also love the natural, smoky nutty scent that lasts between hand washes.

$29

Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

This sweet-smelling cream is infused with rose of Jericho—also known as resurrection plant—and trehalose and sea haricots, which work hand-in-hand to help skin recover from extreme dryness. Just massage into hands as needed, apply as often as necessary.

$26

EltaMD so silky hand crème

EltaMD so silky hand cr\u00e8me

If your hands are scaly and rough to the touch, you'll love that the silky-smooth texture of this cream is very soothing. It seriously feels like butter. It also helps maintain moisture for up to 12 hours even after hand washing. Keep in your pocket to reapply during the day.

$19.99

Moroccanoil hand cream

Moroccanoil hand cream

Sure it's great to keep hands hydrated, but if they leave your hands feeling greasy and sticky, that may not be for you. This lightweight formula features argan and avocado oils plus cocoa, shea and mango butters that leaves your hands super silky and smooth.

$24

Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

You don't have to spend loads of money on a good hand cream. This drugstore favorite helps heal dry skin and forms a protective barrier against the elements. It's also non-greasy, fast absorbing, steroid-free, fragrance-free and gentle enough for sensitive skin—even little ones.

$7.29

Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Plump, tone and tighten the skin with this cream that's clinically proven to treat eczema and dry, cracked skin on hands. A dermatologist-led clinical study found that after just one week users noticed a 111% increase in skin moisturization. Now that's a super-healer we can all get behind.

$18

Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

The cool thing about this cream is that it allows skin to draw and absorb water from the air, forming a "glove-like" protective barrier against moisture loss. It's also made up of a blend of botanical oils and wax derived from olive oil to soothe, moisturize and condition skin. We're obsessed!

$23

lano hand cream intense

lano hand cream intense

This silky hand cream is so good it's considered 'the hand cream for hand cream experts' because its primary ingredient, lanolin, is secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. A 2017 study indicated that lanolin can reduce water lost through the skin by 20 to 30%. Now that's impressive!

$14.95

Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

We must admit that an annoying feature of most hand creams is that they take forever to absorb. It seems like you're rubbing for hours, only to discover that it's sticky and the smell is annoying. This balm, which is one of Aesop's most popular products, instantly softens hands and cuticles with its blend of sweet almond and coconut oils, as well as cocoa and shea butter. Try it on your roughest hands for a quick moisture boost.

$30

La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

This face and hand cream helps nourish and soothe dry skin, as well as visibly irritated areas like cracked knuckles and dry cuticles. What's more? The formula is non-sticky so you can apply it all day without feeling icky.

$14.99

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If you've never worked from home for an extended period of time, it can definitely feel overwhelming—especially if you're without childcare. How do I actually power through my to-do list? Why do I keep leaving my coffee in other rooms? How does anyone get anything done? Should I toss in that load of laundry?

Motherly has always been a fully remote company so I've had a couple years to really nail down that WFH life. I've joined conference meetings across the world, edited stories in the car and rarely go anywhere without my laptop in tow. The good news is: You can totally do this.

Of course, setting up your work strategy is a top priority—time blocking, scheduling working 'shifts' with your partner, using apps like Slack and Zoom to communicate with your team. But, I've found that having a toolbox of products makes everything just a little easier.

Here are the items I always have with me in my 'office.'

Noise-cancelling headphones

airpod pro

I like to listen to music or podcasts to help me focus during the workday—these headphones are definitely my most-used item. They're wireless so you can pace around easily while taking a call without having to be connected to your phone or computer and cancel out noise so anything outside of your office space won't bother you.

If you prefer full headphones, this one from Bose is a favorite, too.

$249

External keyboard

external keyboard

Chances are, your office didn't send you home with your full work station set up. If you just have a laptop, make your WFH area a little more comfortable (and ergonomic!) with an external keyboard.

Set up your computer at eye level—I use books or you can grab an adjustable stand—and plug in the USB to get this keyboard in action in no time. Your back will thank you.

$22.99

YETI Tumbler

yeti tumbler

I'll fill you in on a little WFH secret: Your coffee will *always* end up cold. You'll be pulled into a meeting, forget it in the kitchen or get interrupted by a kiddo. This tumbler has double-wall insulation that keeps whatever is inside hot or cold for hours on end. And the magnetic slider on the lid ensures you won't be spilling this all over your laptop.

Before I even step foot into the "office" I make coffee and do my morning routine to feel a little more put together before starting work.

$29.99

Wireless mouse

wireless mouse

I write and edit all day long so it's not uncommon for my hand to cramp up a bit when i'm trying to use my laptop's tiny trackpad—until I finally purchased this mouse. It helps ease any hand or wrist pain when I'm logging long hours on the computer. Don't trust me? Check out one of the nearly 40-thousand positive reviews. Bonus points for coming in a bunch of fun colors.

$15.99

To-do list

to do list

If you're a pen and paper type of person, an organized to-do list can help keep you on track when you're working in a different environment. I love listing out my three most important tasks I need to get done the next day at the end of each work day so I know where to begin when I sit down. And, in this time of the unknown, starting the day with a little gratitude can't hurt.

If you prefer digital, use the Notes app on your computer to digitally check off your tasks as you complete them.

$10.99

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