Activity Ideas for Kids on Roadtrips

Phew, July has been a wild month for me! One convention, one camping trip, the craziness to get

‘Tis the season for road trips!
By Dhruvaraj S from India
(P9102740  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons

caught up or head between them, and now the impending road trip to wrap it up!

So, yesterday, I was snooping around to get a few ideas for craftiness to keep the kiddos occupied as we travel. Since the van we’ll be taking has a DVD player and back seat screens, I’ll be taking a few movies to eat up a few hours, but I’ve been pondering other ideas.
Road Trip Games
Does anyone else remember playing Eye-Spy or punch buggie on road trips when they were growing up?  After kicking around the internet a little bit, I found some variations.
The license plate gamelooks like it would be a lot of fun for older kids. If you bring a map along, you can point out where each state is every time you see a new license plate, too, which could help them out with their geography
There are also quite a few word games. For instance, you could work your way through the alphabet and see how many things starting with each letter that the kids can spot. Another fun idea is to turn it into a rhyming game. If you see a yield sign, see how many words rhyming with “yield” the kids can come up with.
If you have story tellers on your hands, why not use things you see on the road as prompts for stories? It’ll exercise their imaginations, vocabularies and could end up being very entertaining.
Scrap Booking
I found this idea somewhere on the internet, actually. Whether you scrap book already or not, it’s a fun way to memorialize a big road trip. If your kids are old enough to work a digital camera, they can take pictures with that, but if not, there are still those one time use cameras on the market.
Have them take pictures of things they think look neat or have some sort of meaning to them, and collect small keep sakes, like flowers to press, leaves, twigs or even neat little rocks at each stop. You’ll want to help them label where they got each thing, before tucking it away to scrap book later. In this case, it’d be smart to carry a thick book and some paper towels with which to press flowers or leaves during the trip.
One of the nicest things about this idea is the fact that the scrap book can then be kept as keep sake for years to come.

Yarn: The more colors you can get, the better!

A ball of yarn can be used for lots of different things. I found one mom who had suggested hiding one or two in the car and letting the little one pull it out and wind it around something.
Finger weaving is another idea, if the kids are old enough and their fine motor skills are up to par. Depending on their attention spans and interests, this could keep them entertained for quite a while, and they can draw satisfaction from making unique necklaces, belts or bracelets.
Traveling with kids may be a challenge, but when you can keep them entertained, it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience.

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