Are We There Yet?
1 – Journey Progress
Tie a string or ribbon to the grab handles in the back of the car and mark the progress of your journey:
- Print a picture of a house, a car, and a star to represent your destination. Attach the picture of the house to one end and the star to other. Attach the car to the string so that it is moveable by punching a hole in it and using another piece of string tied in a loop or use a clothes peg. During the journey, move the car along as you get closer to your destination (e.g. a quarter of the way, then a third, then halfway there etc.).
- Print the names of towns that you will be passing along the way and tell the kids to look out for the “Welcome to…” signs. When you pass the town, the town name gets pulled off the string. Use clothes pegs so that the names can be pulled down easily.
2 – Clock
3 – “Who am I?”
Print pictures of characters (these could be from TV/movies, athletes), animals, friends, and family members. Fold up the pictures and divide them between the players. Each player takes a turn describing who is pictured and everyone else guesses. This could also be played as “Where am I?” (e.g. grocery store, school, countries or cities, playground).
4 – Spotted!
Print a card with images of landmarks or things you are likely to see en route and give each kid stickers or a marker to cross off those things as they spot them. You could include things that you might see if you are stopping along the way. Some ideas to include are a girl with pigtails; a bus; an airplane; a red car; a car with a pet; a yellow truck; a farm; gas station; a license plate with a particular letter.
5 – Alphabet/Colour Game
Pick a category (e.g. animals, food, places, toys) and each player takes a turn naming something in that category beginning with A in the first round and then B in the second round and so forth. For younger kids, this game works well by using colours instead of the letters of the alphabet.
6 – Scavenger Hunt
The car is a great place to chat. Two fun ways to jump start the conversation:
7 – TableTopics
8 – Would You Rather
9 – Doctor’s kit and a doll
10 – Magformers
11 – Magnetic dress up
12 – Rush hour
13 – Magnetic drawing board with stamps
You may find it handy to have a lap tray for each kid. I have not had a chance to test them myself but I have gathered a few options which look interesting:
14 – Podcasts
We will be trying a few from the “The 15 Best Podcasts For Kids That Adults Will Like Too” list put together by fatherly.com when we take our trip later this summer. There is something for everyone on this list – it’s a good mix of music, stories, and education (think Radiolab for kids).
15 – Audible books
Audible.com has a new section dedicated to kids which is also categorized by interest. The Harry Potter series is excellent.
Wishing you safe and happy travels!
If you try any of these ideas, I would love to know how you liked them. Please also share your road trip tips and ideas in the comments section below.
P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like What’s in My Kid Bag