There is nothing like a family vacation to rejuvenate the soul and remind you why you are grateful to leave your family every day and go to work.
Taking a trip with children is always a little bit exhausting, simply because you don’t have the familiarity of surroundings, toys, schedules and people. You are on alert. You don’t want your children acting the fool in front of strangers. Showing off their bad table manners. Exercising their independence in the form of an “I don’t want that” tantrum.
If you look online, or on pinterest, you can find countless ideas on things to make to entertain your children, all you need is several days possibly weeks, supplies that any self respecting hoarder would have but you threw out 2 days ago, and Martha Stewart like crafting skills. Or you can be a little creative and chance it, like me.
ABC game – depending on age and reading skills you;
1) find each letter in turn by looking at passing signs buildings and cars. Best for 2-5 years old
2) find something that starts with the letter. For example, spot an airplane for ‘A’, or a bush for ‘B’. I have found 4-12 year olds will play along nicely.
3) really want to torture yourself? Find an adjective for each letter. I have never played this out loud.
License plate math- add the numbers of the license plates up as quickly add you can. Shout out the answer first to win 1 point. Most points win. 6 and up, usually only lasts for 10-15 minutes.
I spy – A road trip classic where each player takes turns “spying” an item and the others take turns guessing. Spyer starts with “I spy with my little eye something (color).” All ages. Will probably last longer than you want it to.
Word Song – Our personal favorite, one person says a random word – generally something from out the car window- and you go around the car and each person tries to sing a song that contains the word. You go around until you run out of songs. The age group and duration depend on your arsenal of songs.
5 minutes prep
Car Bingo – A quick Google search will pull up unless possibilities but just in case you’re running short on time here are a few quick freebies I found, here, here and here. Print out enough copies for each kid and make sure you have a couple of crayons. If you want to get crazy you can laminate them but frankly I wouldn’t waste my time. If you really want to be able to reuse them just throw them in a sheet protector and grab a dry erase marker. Voilà.
Need some quiet time? As long as you have the dry erase markers from car bingo why don’t you pass em over to the kids and tell them to draw you a pretty picture on the window. Don’t worry it’ll wipe right off with a paper towel. I would recommend taking a glance back there every once in a while in case you have a smartass who thinks that it would be funny to write help across the window.
There are these really cool things called books. Grab one or two as you run out the door. It’s a great way to spend some time with the family and who knows you may just help your kind find a new favorite book.
Show of your genius, how do you keep the sanity on road trips?