Summer is here, and families are hitting the road on vacation. Road trips with children can be fun-filled adventures, but they can also become long, fidgety drives if you don’t have enough sources of entertainment. Prepare in advance, and make sure the whole family is happy. Keep your kids so engaged with these games and activities that they will forget to ask, “Are we there yet?”
- Break out your Frecklebox clipboards or notebooks for some classic pen and paper games.
- Tic-tac-toe: This game is simple enough even for small children. Start with the standard 3×3 grid and, for an added challenge, try a 4×4 or 5×5 grid.
- MASH: See the future with this fun, silly game. Write the letters “MASH” at the top of a blank piece of paper (they stand for “mansion,” “apartment,” “shack” and “house”). Have another person give you names of four boys or girls (to determine future husband or wife), four numbers (to decide how many children), four careers, four cars, four pets, etc. Follow these instructions to eliminate choices and read your predictions.
- Mad Libs: The “World’s Greatest Word Game” provides hours of entertainment and is a fun way to teach kids the parts of speech. Buy a summer-themed Mad Libs book or make your own version by writing a simple story and leaving out key words. Have the other people in the car fill in the blanks with nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs to create a hilarious story.
- Printable car games: Print out these entertaining activities in advance and stash them for long road trips. Car bingo, scavenger hunts and battleship games will help pass the time.
- Does your family get carsick easily? No worries; try these games that don’t require any reading or writing, just your imagination and observation.
- I Spy: Take turns “spying” something outside or in the car and beginning a sentence with, “I spy with my little eye something that starts with…(a letter of the alphabet)” and having others guess. You can also vary this by using colors, shapes or sizes to describe the objects.
- 20 questions: Think of a noun (person, place or thing) and give your carmates 20 chances to ask “yes” or “no” questions to discover its identity.
- If you put the von Trapp family (or the Jonas Brothers) to shame, a car sing-along is the perfect way to have fun on the open road. Make your own mix CDs or playlists of songs that are fun to sing along with, or invest in Car-I-Oke or Wee Sing sing-along CDs and songbooks.
- Sit back, relax and listen to someone read to you on long drives. Many public libraries loan out books on tape and CD, and you can purchase a wide variety of family favorites from Audible.com.
What are your road trip survival tips? Safe travels, and happy summer!