Headed out on a long trip with your family? Check out these fun ways to keep your kids entertained on road trips from Harper at Ms. Harper Reid.
Those of us who were born before smartphones will have fond memories of hours spent holed up in the car with only “I Spy” at our disposal. If you want to be a little better equipped for your own family’s road trip, though, then we have you covered.
Fun Activities to Keep Kids Entertained on Road Trips
There are heaps of fun activities you can plan for your roadie to keep the kids entertained the whole trip long – and to keep your own parental sanity in check, too!
Sing-Along Fun on the Road
It’s amazing how a good soundtrack can make a long road trip so much more bearable.
Whether you pack a great selection of CDs or set up a wireless playlist before you leave, the addition of cheery and familiar tunes will raise your kids’ spirits immediately.
See if you can mix up your kids’ favorite songs with some more mature music to make things a bit more bearable for the adults in the car.
Snack Smart on the Go
Eating is an activity, too. You’ll want to think carefully about how to use food to your advantage on a road trip.
A smartly-packed meal can keep kids entertained for a surprising amount of time in the car. Invest in some nifty, well-compartmentalized Tupperware, and pack some healthy and tasty snacks to fuel your kids with.
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Some good ideas are finger foods like carrots and hummus, grapes, mini sandwiches, and bliss balls.
And if your kids really tend to act up in the car, some candy-related bribery might be in order – for instance, one mini chocolate bar or packaged sweet for every hour or so of good behavior.
Get Your Game On
There’s no better place than the car for a good old-fashioned game. Take advantage of this short period you’re all without Wi-Fi or screens to get your brains engaged in other fun ways.
We can’t resist a round of the classic “I Spy” when we take a long car ride. But if you’ve exhausted this particular game, then license plate Bingo might be just the activity for you.
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Each player invents a number plate number, and every time you see a number plate which has one of your chosen digits or numbers, you cross it off. First to cross off all their numbers is the winner, and shouts “Bingo!”
Another great game is 20 questions.
One player thinks of a famous person, place, thing, book – whatever you like, really. The other passengers have just 20 questions between them to figure out what it is. The tricky part is that you can only ask questions which prompt a “yes” or “no” answer.
Break Out the Digital Media
Although it’s always preferable to have fun without a screen in sight, there are times when the adults just need a little peace and quiet to focus on the road.
In these times, it always pays to have a back-up source of entertainment that will absorb the kids pronto.
If you have an in-car DVD console, then great. If not, bring your laptop or tablet along and position it between the front seats so that all of your kids have a prime view of their favorite TV series or movie.
Hint: Disney’s always a safe bet!
Learn Road Rules
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids a little driver’s ed.
Particularly if you’re taking a road trip in a new state or country, it’s vital to find a guidebook of the local driving rules to ensure a smooth ride for every road user.
A great way to enhance your own knowledge of the rules as the chief driver is to get the whole family involved in an educational guessing game.
For example, you could quiz the kids on the meanings of the various signs you pass or ask them to talk through particular driving scenarios that you come up against.
What are your best road trip tips? We’d love to hear your best ideas!
Freelance writer Harper’s daily life includes: a laptop, check! Fast and reliable internet connection, check! A cup of NZ’s most popular coffee, flat white (double shot on long days), check! On her days off, Harper lives for old-school fun – ten-pin bowling with friends before a movie with pizza, or taking on cool local hiking tracks in places like Rangitoto Island! Read more about Harper on her blog.