Keep the Kids Happy (and Yourself Sane) With These Road Trip Games

Snacks, maps, GPS, emergency car kit and luggage are all packed and ready. Everyone’s itching to get in the car and start moving. Is there anything like a summer road trip?

According to a recent AAA survey, more than 35 percent of Americans are planning to take their families on vacation in areas that are more than 50 miles away from their homes.

While road trips are a great opportunity for sightseeing and bonding for adults and older children, younger children don’t appreciate being cooped up in a car for the long ride.

An international 2012 study by Ipsos MORI on behalf of TomTom showed that children in America get bored within 30 minutes of starting a road trip. While they may be more patient than children from some of the other countries surveyed (Australia, 23 minutes), (UK, 24 minutes), this isn’t good news when there are hours of driving still to go.

Keep them busy
Journeys suggest an opportunity for new experiences and exploration. They are also a great opportunity for learning. However, not many parents look forward to long road trips with kids. Their whining, poking and kicking is enough to drive anyone out of their mind.

You can save your sanity by keeping the kids busy the entire trip. Try the following games on your next road trip.

  1. Puzzle games

As you prepare for your road trip, ensure that you pack fun activities for your kids. Include some puzzle games for kids that will keep the kids occupied and quiet for some time. Puzzles are a great way to stimulate your child’s mind, too.

2. Map games

Maps are essential when taking a long trip to an unknown area. Maps can be quite entertaining to kids, especially when you involve them in where you are, and where you’re going (they’re going to be asking “are we there yet” every 20 minutes anyway). These games will not only keep the kids busy but will also teach your kids how to read maps as well as give them some geographical skills.

Be creative in your games. You can for example, mark a point on the map and have your kids color a route to the place. You can also ask them to identify different towns or landmarks on the map as you pass them during your trip.

3. Car games

You’ll probably come across many cars on your road trip. You can turn this into a game that will keep the kids interested in their surroundings. Ask the kids to write down the names of all the states from which the cars you pass are from by looking at their license plates. You can also have the kids count the number of cars by type or color.

4. I Spy

This is one of those classic road trip games that everyone can get involved in. The game also helps your kids develop observational and communication skills. You find a fixed object that everyone in the vehicle can see and give a clue of what you are looking at. The others in the car take turns trying to guess what it is. The person that gets the answer right will get the chance to choose the next object.

5. Curiosity questions

Most children will have a lot to say when asked about themselves. This game is therefore sure to be a winner. Have each family member ask a question and everyone else answer in turn. This game will give you a chance to get to know your kids better.

A great trick to keep the kids interested and motivated in the games is to offer a reward to the winner of the games. Rewards don’t have to be expensive gifts. They can be as simple as allowing the winner to select the music to be played for the next half hour of the road trip.
Don’t let the inspiration stop here; use the above tips to think of creative games that are specific to your family and watch the hours melt away on your next family road trip.

Comments

  1. These are great ideas for the car! My grandsons get so bored while traveling.

  2. Good ideas! I love road trips!

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