Road Trip Activities for Children
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
December 28, 2012
Filed Under Travel
Contributed by Info Guru Lisa Pratto
When you load up the family in the car, you need to pack a lot to keep them occupied and to keep the are-we-there-yets to a minimum.
Sure, a book or two is great, but don’t stop there. Bring more than you think you will ever need, and then some. In fact, start with these ten activities for road trips with children and then add more of your own.
This is a great way to keep kids of all ages occupied as they watch the scenery out their window. You can search the net for downloadable, travel-related bingo cards that range from simple pictures for little ones to detailed license plates for bigger kids.
9. ABC Game
Our family likes to play what we call the “ABC Game”. Basically, I say a letter and, when it’s your turn, you have to say a word that begins with that letter (or five words) or a rhyming sentence with that letter. It gets progressively harder depending on how old you are.
8. Books on Tape
Another way to get some quiet time for mom and dad is to rent some books on tape. A simple CD player can be purchased online and CDs can be rented at the library. Don’t worry. The books come in the package, too, so your kids can follow along and look at the pictures.
7. Read Aloud
Children of (almost) all ages like to have mom or dad read to them. It’s one of those classic activities for road trips with children and it’s easy enough to do, even from the front seat.
Whether you choose hymns or that infamous diarrhea song, singing is just fun. It can be especially helpful when you are about to pull your hair out from listening to your child’s favorite CD one more time. Print out the words to a few songs before you go so you won’t be stumped in the middle of nowhere. Did you know there were five verses to “Pop Goes the Weasel”?
Do you remember those Mapquest maps that we all used to print before GPS systems were all the rage? What about the TripTix from AAA? Grab a copy for your kids and let them cross off sections as you get closer. It will cut down on the are-we-there-yets … Maybe not.
4. Quiet Activities
Books filled with mazes, crosswords and hidden pictures are all great to pull out when mom and dad have a pounding headache from the above mentioned sing-a-long activities for road trips with children. Even little kids can use search words, just ask them to circle all the K’s and J’s. They don’t need to find entire words to have fun.
For our most recent trip (4 days in car seats) I stuck bits of magnets on anything that wasn’t moving and bought $3 cookie sheets at Target. This did two things; kept my kids occupied with a new way to play with an old toy and prevented things from falling on the floor. When kids are strapped into car seats, they can’t just bend down and pick stuff up. Dominoes, anyone?
2. Flashcards on a Ring
Flashcards are a great learning tool on any day, but sticking them on a ring (think keychain) is genius. They are easier to hold on to in a moving vehicle and it keeps any mess contained.
I would love to say that technology is not necessary to enjoy a road trip with children, but I’d be lying. Sometimes you just need that break. If you do not have a built-in system, you can use a portable DVD player or even a laptop. If you plan on traveling at night, save the kids favorite movies until then as other activities are tough in the dark.