Summer months may mean more time in the car for fun trips to grandmas, the beach or visits with cousins. Road trips involve longer rides in the car with potentially “bored” children. Rather than always reaching for an iPad, movie player or phone to entertain your child, think back to how you were entertained on road trips as a child. If you can’t remember, here are a few suggestions:
• Guess Who I am…Describe a character and have your child guess who you are describing. You could include characters from books, movies, shows or even famous people in history or current events (if your child is older.) If your child is able, he can take a turn also to give you clues. (Be prepared for redundant clues….my son’s go-to was always “I am a big red dog.”)
• I spy…This is a bit difficult in the car, as things travel by so quickly; but you could do things inside the car. I spy something that starts with kkkkk. I spy something that is blue. I spy something that rhymes with floor.
• Categories….One person picks a category and each person has to name something in that category. Colors. Animals. Types of vehicles. Weather. Cereals. Desserts. Etc.
• Pick the music…Each person gets to request one or two songs at a time. After listening to those, the next person requests a song or two. (We still do this with our family and we get a wide variety of genres between the five of us.)
• Share a picture…Using one piece of paper, each person has a specific amount of time to draw a part of a picture. The picture is then passed to the next person to add something new to it.
• Books on tape…Chapter books or even picture books are great to pass the time. It’s not quite as plugged in as watching a video screen.
• Snacks….Unpack a snack every 45 minutes or so.
• Car bingo…The internet has print outs of things to find along a drive. They can be spaces with words or just pictures to cross off as you see them. (I still remember how difficult it was to find “bird on a wire”)
Regardless if you are driving 30 minutes across town or 6 hours across the state, challenge yourself to limit or exclude screens from your travel. Dig deep for that entertainment from your childhood!