You and your family are planning to have a vacation in a nearby state because you think everybody deserves the break. You’ve set everything for the trip – what to pack, where to stay and what to do when you get there, but one thing is still bothering you. Since this trip will include all family members, you’re still worried about how you will keep kids the entertained on a long car trip. You’re thinking this can become a concern because you don’t want any of the children to be cranky and disturb others during the trip.
Truth be told, it’s not easy keeping kids still when you’re on a trip. For one, some of them are too young to even say what they want to do. But keeping them entertained can be achievable as long as you know how. The tips listed below can help you in your dilemma:
- Start a game: Kids always love games, and you can initiate one when you’re travelling. Not only will games keep the kids entertained but it’ll also teach them how to be competitive and smart. Here are some of the games you can play while you’re on an hour-long trip:
- License plate lingo: To the owner of the car who’s driving in front of you, the acronym of his “SFIC” plate might mean nothing. But for your kids, it could mean the weirdest and funniest names. Start a game by allowing the kids to give meanings to the acronyms of license plates, and of course, the most creative acronym wins.
- Slug bug game: Whenever your kids see a Volkswagen Beetle on the road first, they have the right to punch (slowly and softly, of course) their seatmate in the car while yelling “slug bug.” The kid with the most number of slug bugs seen wins.
- Car counting: Have the kids pick their favorite color and the first kid who sees 10 cars with their favorite color wins. This game is a piece of cake, even adults during the trip can play it too!
- The celebrity game: This game is pretty simple to play. A kid will just give out a full name (first name and last name) of well-known personalities (artists, singers and even historical figures) and the second kid has to continue by providing another personality whose first name begin with the first letter of the previous character’s last name. Here’s an example:
Kid 1: Taylor Swift
Kid 2: Selena Gomez
Kid 3: George Washington
You get the idea.
- Map spotting: If you’re not comfortable driving and looking for directions at the same time, ask your kid for help. Give him/her a map and ask him/her to mark it up whenever they see any milestones along the way. You’ll be keeping them entertained while giving you the assist. Make sure you keep your eyes on the road yourself, however, as accidents may happen and ruin the trip for everyone. This site may be of assistance should find yourself in need of clarification on how to deal with injuries resulting from car accidents, especially with big vehicles such as trucks.
- Cartoons and movies: For sure, you know what your kid’s favorite movie or cartoon show is. Download a number of these (more if you’re travelling longer) before your trip and make sure that it’s playable offline just in case internet connection is scarce during the travel. You can save these cartoons or movies in your phone or tablet and leave the kids to it. You’ll be getting that peace and quiet without worrying what your kids are up to.
- Electronic games: You can also download games in your phone or tablet and have kids play during the trip. Or if your kids has gadgets dedicated to gaming (e.g., Gameboy), bring it with you and make sure that you prepare spare batteries. You want your kids to be entertained during the entire trip, right?
- Sing-alongs: Singing during the car will not only entertain the kids but will also serve as an avenue for everyone to bond. But in keep in mind that you should be careful on the songs you play. Opt for a more age-appropriate song list and stray away from songs which contain violence and sexual messages.
- Let your kids take pictures: If your kid is old enough, purchase a disposable or a digital camera for him/her and allow him/her to take pictures of anything which seems interesting to him/her. This will keep them busy for quite some time, and they’ll enjoy the travel better.
- Always have snacks: Your kids tend to be cranky when they’re hungry, and since you’re travelling, it’ll be difficult for you to make frequent stops on the way just to get them snacks. To avoid the hassle and the delay, pack their favorite snacks before the trip. Eating during the trip will keep your kids happier.
Since this is a trip for everyone in the family, you want everyone to enjoy it, even the kids, and you can make that happen by starting to think of ways on how you can entertain the kids even when you’re still on the trip and traveling to your destination. You would want everyone to be comfortable during the trip and not fill your trip with non-stop voices of kids crying, right? With these preparations, it’ll be easier for you to keep kids busy during a long car trip!