Several years ago, our DVD player passed away. With several hour trips being taken almost every month up to the grandparents, it was a bit painful at first. It didn't take long for the kids to adjust though. We got books on tape, read Little House on the Prarie, and played card games in the car. Recently, I made the kids some "travel bags" (photos of the bags we also made for our swap partners) that help encourage their creativity and they've been really helpful to all of us. I stitched up some simple (and I mean SIMPLE!) little bags with a strap. Inside, I made a pocket with a few different small sections. Here's what has been the biggest hit in our bags so far:
little spiral notebook with blank pages
card games (favorite one came from our spring Swap friends!)
little doll family set
bird identification book
We do alot of story telling, and the most requested ones are stories from our childhood where an injury was sustained, where trouble was had, or where something that involved loud shouting happened!
We haven't taken it on a trip, but we also like to have "conversation" and some of our favorite topics came from this box. Our little family is able to talk in a casual and honest way about lots of deep-life things. I hope that these things stick with them throughout their lives.
That's my two cents!