Are we there yet?
We’ve all been there, either as bored kids in the back seat of a car driving through South Dakota’s Badlands or as frustrated parents trying to keep the peace while their kid’s fight. How can we make this family trip one that they’ll always remember?
Create a “gift bag”
Halfway through the trip, each child gets a mystery gift bag with activity books, colouring materials, and Colorforms to stick on the window or travel with inside. Some parents bring a lot of small gifts and give them out every hour or two. The best ones are saved for the hardest parts of the trip. You could pack fruit roll-ups, bubble gum, pipe cleaners, Mad Libs, maze puzzles, window markers, or a box set of your child’s favourite TV show for trips that are especially long.
Think about giving each child a small notebook and some pencils or markers so they can play games on the way. There’s always the Alphabet Game, I-Spy, the License Plate Game, Scavenger Hunts, counting cows, the Initials Game, and paper and pencil games like MASH, Tic Tac Toe, the Dot and Line Game, and cootie catchers/fortune tellers.
Make the trip educational
Some parents play a family trip trivia game with their kids every night to see how well they remember where they’ve been and what they did. For each right answer, the winner can get a piece of sweets or get to pick which bed in the hotel, etc. Questions like, “Where did we wake up yesterday?” “What was the name of that group of mountains?” “What big river did we go by?” “Which U.S. President was born in this state?” are all great ways to remember the trip and learn something new.
Using a map, whether it’s an old-fashioned big, foldable, or smartphone app, maybe a terrific way to educate your kids about geography while also providing a solution to the age-old “are we there yet?” issue. You may chart out fascinating sights to see en route, compare whether it is better to take route A or route B to go to Grandma’s, or map out the route you want to travel. Your youngster can then tell you how far it is till the next stop.
Think about the old camp songs you used to sing as a child. Singing in the vehicle is a classic way to pass the time on a road trip. What about music from the 1980s that your children don’t know? For your journey, you may download or watch karaoke versions of a wide variety of songs.
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A fantastic method to kill time is to listen to books on tape [audiobook]. The Hobbit, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Harry Potter are all excellent ways to strengthen relationships.
Now is a great time to talk because the whole family is stuck in a small box with no clear way out. This is a great time to tell old funny stories about your grandma and grandpa, that funny thing your uncle did when he was a kid, and how your mom and dad met. Soak up that time together and do things that will make it stand out. That’s the whole point of a family holiday.