When traveling with kids bring on the crafts, games and even make it a party. A successful road trip with children can be had with a dose of creativity.
Hitting the road and traveling with kids of any age requires nerves of steel and a suitcase full of patience.
For parents who forgo electronics, an arsenal of fun ideas will come in handy. Kids of all ages can be entertained in the car with a whole host of activities.
From crafts to games to activities, the possibilities are endless. Covering the basics is a start and the lists below offer a bit of inspiration.
Kids invariably get bored on long car trips. Parents and caregivers can use the following ideas to keep the kids amused.
5 Boredom Buster Games
* Cards – Always a winner, cards for children from Go Fish to actual poker can be fun and also a learning experience. Bringing poker chips in Ziplocs keeps them from disappearing under the seat.
* I Spy – This game can be adjusted for suitable ages. Spying everything from simple items for toddlers like a gas station to funnier images for teens can be entertaining.
* Top 10 or 20 – Researching the states to be traversed can be easy and then creating a list of top ten or twenty trivia facts adds in the fun. Share the trivia with the kids and then test them, offering a prize to the winner.
* License Plate Game – The old standby is a winner when a written list is kept in the glove box. Hint: hard to find tags can often be spotted by driving through a truck stop and scanning semis.
* Hot Potato – Oddly this silly game works for any age, as even the most cynical teen will usually fall under the spell of trying in vain to not be left holding the item when the timer sounds.
5 Crafts to Pass the Time
Parents can also let children make simple crafts while traveling in a car. Check out the ideas below.
* Body Art – Once again all ages can have fun with this. Little children find it hilarious to put stickers all over their arms and even faces especially when a parent records the moment. Teens can pass the time with body markers that are washable.
* Memory Book – Bringing along a small scrapbook, tape and pens spark the imagination. Kids can take photos along the trip and add them to the book with notations.
Tip for parents: Consider an extra (small) memory card specifically for these photos as stopping for the night and handing off the memory card to any drugstore can result in instant photos for only a few dollars and kids love adding them in along with postcards along the way.
* Jewelry – Keeping it practical is the key. Teens can handle beads and braiding for jewelry but little kids also enjoy adding a bead with parental support for every milestone. Humor enters the picture if Mom or Dad adds one bead for each potty break.
* Pass the Story – Putting the pen to a game creates a story and keepsake. One child starts by writing or dictating a line and each member of the family adds on continuing a story that is sure to bring amusement as it is read time and again. Mad Libs are also a favorite of kids of all ages.
* Create a Party – Making a party in the car brings in some revelry. Simply pick up party hats, decorations, including streamers for the car and play party games. Make up and sing silly party songs and take tons of pictures.
Craft, Party and Play Games
Thinking of the car as a location helps in creating an atmosphere of fun.
Having party bags filled or a “car basket” with little snacks and prizes makes the vacation celebratory in nature and kids will get enthusiastic and boredom will diminish when a road trip becomes a creative endeavor.