Long car trips with children can be horrible. They can also be fun if you spend some time planning activities to keep the kids amused. I find that if my kids are bored, they are more likely to start fights amongst themselves or complain during the car ride.
There are many games and activities that you can play in the car in order to keep your children amused. Because my children range in age from almost 2 up to 15 years and have learning disabilities, we need to keep our games simple. I’ve found that the following games work the best for our family because of those restrictions.
Our kids love to play Mad Libs during car rides. If you’ve never heard of Mad Libs before, it’s a game that can be purchased in most toy and book stores. Basically, your children complete and unfinished story by filling in the blanks in the story with a noun, pronoun, adjective or adverb. The fun comes in because the random words that you pick to fill in the blanks may or may not fit the story. Usually, the results are hysterical.
License Plate Bingo
This is a great game to play if you are traveling long distances or you live, as we do, in a military town. We’ve found Alaska and Hawaii license plates!
When we play the game, we play as a family and keep track of the plates we find. If your children are old enough, you can play as individuals and challenge each other as to who can find the most different license plates.
This is a simple game, but the kids love it. In order to play, someone must be “it”. “It” chooses an object and states, “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” The person that is “it” then describes an attribute of the chosen object. Iy od up to the other participants to guess what the object is. The person who guesses the object is then “it”, and the game begins again.
A Scavenger Hunt
In order to play this game, I create a list of different objects I want my children to hunt for during the car trip. Some examples include: a gas station, a green car, a woman talking on the cell phone, or a “baby on board” sign.
You can tailor the game to fit your needs too. For example, if you are traveling on mostly rural routes, you may wish for your children to find a green tractor. In the city, you may ask them to find a certain kind of billboard.
We usually race each other to see who can find all of the objects in the shortest amount of time
On very long car trips, I use a treasure box to keep my children happy. Before we go on the trip, I go to the Dollar Store and buy little toys or items I think the children would enjoy and put them in a shoe box.
If their behavior is good, I pull out the box every so many miles and the children can choose an item from the box. It works like a charm!
I hope that these games work for your family and that it makes your road trip more enjoyable!