My family loves a good road trip! From the time my kids were little, we’ve been hitting the roads to see the sights and visit family. We are also a military family and find ourselves moving (usually cross-country) about every two years. All this means we have mastered the art of road trippin’ and we do it all with minimal electronics and no entertainment or gaming system in our family car.
Why would we subject ourselves to this?
Early on, we decided that our road trips were the perfect opportunity to have some fun. We found there were lots of way to create memories, enjoy the time together, and maybe even learn something new while on the road. Our family scrapbook is full of the many ridiculous adventures we had while on one our family road trips. And for us, that just didn’t include all the electronics we’ve come to rely on these days.
So, start planning those summer road trips. See the sights, visit family and friends, and make some memories. And know that a long road trip doesn’t have to mean hours and hours of movies and video games for your kids.
Here are a few ideas for your next road trip:
- Sticker Pictures: For quiet time fun, use an inexpensive notebook and stickers for kids to create sticker pictures. Pack crayons to add extra details.
- Window Journal: Try utilizing inexpensive notebooks and have kids draw scenes from the window as you drive. Older kids can write about what they see as well. (These have been fun to keep and look back on over the years.)
- Car games: You can’t go wrong with car games, even Dollar Stores sell games made specifically for cars. Rubix cubes come in many varieties now for different levels. We also like card games and games with no little pieces. For example, my kids love Spot It, Travel Tic Tac Toe, and Trivial Pursuit.
- Audiobooks: This is a great way to pass the time. Many libraries have these to check out (free), and there are many online services as well. (We loved the Narnia series, Star Wars, and Percy Jackson)
- Loops and Looms: These are those large loops and plastic looms that we used as kids to make potholders. The looms are plastic and easy to pack. The loops are large and won’t get lost in your car. (Kids can work on creating patterns or making gifts for family you might be road-tripping to visit. Looms led to my daughter’s love of crochet, which is also a great road trip activity)
- Jokes: Since my son loves to tell jokes, we fill our road trip time with jokes and riddles. (We often visit the library prior to a road trip for a new joke book.)
- The Magazine: Introduce your kids to magazines. These days they haven’t had much experience with them. There are some great hobby specific and kid specific magazines out. (We like Oyla, Highlights Hidden Pictures, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Lego Club Magazine).
- Mad Libs: Check out your local Dollar Store or Amazon for some fun versions. Additionally, you can create your own for some personalized Mad Lib fun.
- Would You Rather: This is a great way to learn more about one another and there are a lot of Would You Rather lists online. In this game, two options are presented, and each family member must choose which they would rather. These spark lots of conversation and are very entertaining. Lots of age levels and topics are available too.
- Music party: Play your favorite tunes and sing along – even “car dance.” (80’s music is our favorite for road trips.)
If all else fails, there is always reading books and the good ole license plate game.
So, throw your items in a basket or tub and hit the road. Here’s to many happy road trips – the old-fashioned way!