It's that time of year again when long trips in the car are met
with frequent choruses of "Are we there yet?" Cut down on road trip
down time with some fun, inexpensive road trip games.
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
Before you leave, make a checklist of things you're
likely to pass by on your route. For example, heading out of
Illinois and into the prairie yonder, cows, a red barn, a DeKalb
corn sign, a silo, all come to mind. Children should check off the
item when spotted and whoever completes their checklist first,
wins. Make a different checklist for each child. This is an
educational game because you can customize a list that fits with
reading skills. For tots, cut out magazine pictures of the items
they need to keep on their radar.
Spot an Animal
On the road, and throughout the vacation, have each
child make a list of the animals they've spotted. A sturdy notebook
is a must for each child.
License Plate Game
Print out a map of the United States. Color in the
state with a crayon whenever you spot a corresponding license
Draw up a simple Bingo grid and fill each space
with a word or a picture (draw your own or cut out from a
magazine). Just like with Bingo, place an X on the item once it's
spotted. Whoever arrives at five in a row-vertical, horizontal or
Follow the route on a map
Photocopy your road map and see if your kids can pencil
along with the route.
More road trip tips
Dole out small snack bags of goodies at periodic
intervals. Stick with low-sugar treats.
Give the kids a chance to stretch their legs and expend some
energy at rest stops: Pull out a Frisbee or a jump rope if there's
room to play.
Consider checking out some audio books from your local
Keep a family travel journal: Pass around a notebook from person
to person, asking each to detail a highlight of the day.
Don't forget prizes for the road trip game winners. Your local
dollar store is a great resource for summer toys that travel well:
jump ropes, decks of cards, jacks, bucket and shovel sets if you're
heading to the beach, floaty toys for the lake.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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