It would be a mistake to take your kids on a long car trip without preparing things to keep them busy with. If you don’t keep your kids occupied during a long trip, you are looking forward to hours of bickering, whining and countless inquiries of “are we there yet?” With that terrible fate in mind, here are some tips on how to keep children busy during long trips.
What to Bring
There are six types of things you can bring with you: arts and crafts, books, travel games, electronic hand held games, toys and DVDs. In terms of arts and crafts, you can give your kids sketch pads with markers, crayons or coloured pencils and tell them to draw what they see out the window. You can also bring something called lacing cards or create your own. Lacing cards are cards that have small holes around the edges so kids can string lace, string or thread through them and decorate the card. If your kids are old enough to keep the backseat neat, you can bring beads and string so the kids can make necklaces and bracelets.
A Library on Wheels
Whether you decide to bring books for your kids depends on if your kids get car sick while reading or not. If your child doesn’t get car sick from reading, you can bring along a book that has something to do with the region you are traveling through. For example, if you’re traveling through a mountainous area, give them a book on mountains. If you’re driving through a big city, get a travel book about the city. If you’re driving through a historical region, get a history book out. Your child can read the book to everyone in the car, so everyone has a chance to learn something.
Games to Play While Traveling
There are plenty of travel games that your kids can play. There are travel versions of classic games such as Scrabble, Battleship, backgammon, chess, checkers and Boggle. A pack of cards is also a great thing to have – there are countless card games to play. Popular card games you can teach your kids include Go Fish, War, Spit, Cheat, Concentration or President. You can also hand your kid a pencil and give them crossword puzzles, mad libs, word searches or Sudoku to do.
If you’ve given up trying to get your kids to interact with each other or learn something, then hand over the electronic hand held games. You can purchase Nintendo or PlayStation devices, but if that’s too pricey there are simple electronic devices loaded with classic games like Tetris. You can bring your laptop along too and let your kids play games like Solitaire, Hearts, SkiFree or Minesweeper, or they can bring games and play those. You can also bring a stack of DVDs and let the kids have at it. Hours of television and movies may reduce their brains to mush, but at least you’ll have quiet! If your kid can read in the car, start with some reading material and then go down the list from there.