Each year I used to take the kids down to see my parents for the summer, who lived around 10 hours away. My husband would usually meet us down there for a couple of weeks later on owing to his work commitments and it would be just me and 3 kids for 10 hours, cooped up in a small hatchback, not exactly my idea of fun. Actually, I take that back, it may have been stressful at times but the kids always provided me with a good laugh or two and they made for good road trip companions. The key to surviving such a road trip is playing games and here are some of our favorites.
This one takes a bit of planning before your journey but it can really help keep the kids entertained. Basically you have a book with lots of things that you may see on the road trip and whoever sees everything in the book first, is the winner. I used to make these books myself but then I saw that they actually sell them in shops so I always make sure that I pick three up before we go anywhere in the car.
I spy is a game which is easy to play and can keep the kids going for hours. Basically you say ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ and then you add letter and the others must guess what you are referring to. Now this can be a bit limiting because of the fact that the inside of the car is the only thing that you can use, but you’d be surprised just how many things that there are for you to guess.
I try to add a little bit of education into my car games with the kids and will try to play quizzes as we are on the way down. Each taking turns, I’ll quiz my kids on capital cities, vocabulary and simple math challenges with a twist to keep them interested. These quizzes are really fun for the kids and it can also help to boost their education.
Name That Song
Name that song works for any age group and you just need to tailor your music choices so that the kids can get involved. As a family we love music and you can use it to make your journey go so much smoother.
Another game which we like to play is to think about creative names for things such as shops and restaurants, for example you could be thinking of a fun name for a bakery and ‘Knead the Dough’ could be a good idea. This kind of game plays into the hands of your kids’ creativity and helps them to stay occupied on the long drive ahead.
Finally, if you are looking for some peace and quiet, a great idea for a game is to take some boiled sweets on the journey with you, and see who can suck it the longest without biting it, a great game and one which will bring silence to the car for a short while!