Traveling the country by car is a time-honored tradition that has a place in many people’s memories. When children are passengers, planning entertaining past times is recommended. Where adults can sit for hours and look at the scenery, children’s attention span require more stimulation.
Having a theme for the trip may help in choosing some of the games. Choose an environmental theme and look for ways to incorporate recycle, reduce, and reuse ideas and actions throughout the trip.
Search for environmentally friendly games online that can be printed and put these into a binder for each child. Make up a game that brings attention to an environmental problem, like counting plastic bags seen alongside the road. Then talk about ways to fix the problem.
Whatever games are chosen, just make sure they are simple, easy to access and cover a variety of interests. Include group games and individual entertainment. Also, before leaving for your car trip make sure the car is safe to make the trip and has proper travel car insurance. Following are five ways that children can be entertained on a car trip.
5 Car Trip Tips for Children
1. Digital Distractions
Music and books are a good way to while away some time and get the children involved. To save some money, make a trip to the library.
Pick out one or two books on tape (or CD) that the whole family will enjoy.
Select music that is enjoyable to sing along to or just to listen. Have the kids compile their own mixes for the trip.
Don’t forget the movies if you have a computer or car with this capability.
2. Games Galore
Games are fun because they can entertain and educate. Mix it up and have a variety of games from which to choose.
License plates can be an ongoing game. Keep a list of how many different states or countries each person calls out first. The person who has the most at the end of a trip stage will get some type of prize.
Call out vanity plates and see who can interpret what they say the fastest.
Paper and pencil games can consume some time. Put together a binder of different games for each child. Have some that require interaction with another person and some that can be done alone. Some suggestions are Hangman, it’s a great way to practice spelling and guessing, Tic Tac Toe is just a simple and fun past time, or print out crossword puzzles from an online source.
Miniature sized board games are easy to pack and may bring some lively competition to the back seat. Look for magnetic boards to keep small pieces from being lost. Old time favorites like Checkers or Backgammon are easy to set up and come in magnetized versions. There are other favorite games available, just search the Internet for your favorite ones.
Alphabet games are easy and can get the kids to enjoy some of the scenery. Decide what items will be used to complete the alphabet; some suggestions are license plates, town signs, or billboards.
3. Amazing Attractions
When planning the trip look for funny or interesting roadside attractions along the way. Not only is this a way to take a bathroom break and stretch, it can provide some laughs too. This will require veering off the highway to some less traveled roads, but it can be worth the time.
4. Candid Cameras
Have a picture contest. Using either cell phones or disposable cameras, have the kids take pictures of the trip. After the trip compile the pictures into a photo album and personalize the album for each child. This can become their personal travel log for years to come. The roadside attractions will always be remembered with this pictorial record.
5. Quality Quiet
Having pillows and blankets available will allow for some quiet time. Encourage taking a nap or doing something by oneself. Offer these quiet activities:
- Listen to music on a personal player.
- Read a book.
- Play a game.
Most of these suggestions cost very little money but will require some time to plan and put together. By packing a game bag, everything can be contained and easily found when needed. For some of the individual activities make a bag for each child so they can access their personal items when they want.
Encourage each child to keep a travel diary. They can make entries about what they have seen, funny things that happened, and general thoughts about the trip. Put these together with the pictures they have taken and they will have their own personal travel keepsake. Another great travel trip would be to rent an RV. An RV allows for a different type of vacation and a special treat for the children. Just make sure your RV is properly covered under RV insurance.
Car trips really can be a lot of fun for the entire family. When planning games and places to visit get the children involved. Have them choose the theme and then let them find games that have something to teach about the topic. This way it really is a family trip from start to finish.
About the Author
Jennifer is a freelance writer for a website that is able to compare car insurance for free! She loves helping families find new ways to travel. She also makes sure that families are properly insured when traveling. When she isn’t helping people with traveling and insurance, you can see Jennifer running trails around her neighborhood.