Long-distance car trips with your family can be a great way to interact and spend time together. However, after the twelfth “Are we there yet?”, you may be anxiously exploring ways to contain the energy of your little ones without going crazy. Here are 5 ways to entertain your children on long road trips. Who knows…maybe you will even have a little fun along the way!
1. Turn to the Tunes
Before you put your car in drive, make sure you have a selection of CDs, audiobooks, or radio stations programmed. Kid-friendly soundtracks and sing-a-long CDs are a great way to hold your child’s attention and pass the time. Depending on the age of your child, audiobooks with fairy tales or familiar stories can help them feel comfortable and keep them quiet while on the road.
2. Create an Activity Binder
One way to keep activities and important documents organized and easily accessible is to store them in a three-ring “activity” binder. By dividing the binder based on activity, your kids can easily locate the coloring book, DVD, or car game they want.
Parents can also benefit from this tip by creating their own travel binder is the perfect place to securely store tickets, road maps, and receipts. For multi-stop road trips, categorize your binder by stop to easily locate the items you need in each location.
Check out this DIY activity binder from Double the Batch to get started on creating an activity guide your children will love!
3. Stock up on Snacks
There’s no surer way to provoke your children’s delicate temperament than to run out of snack and drink options on the road. When packing your family’s food bag, opt for individually wrapped, crumb-free snacks and fresh fruit that doesn’t need refrigeration. Apples and oranges are great options as they have a long shelf life and are easy to transport. Juice pouches are a great mess-free drink option and take up little room. Reusable water bottles are also a great low-cost alternative for kids of all ages.
4. Backseat Brain Games for the Whole Family
One of the easiest ways to keep your children occupied on the road is to create interactive games for every member of your family. Road trip bingo can capture your kids’ attention and keep their eyes and minds on the road instead of the clock. Get creative and fill your card with vehicles or buildings of a specific color, stop signs and street lights, and animals like cows or horses. Your children will have fun competing against one another to find all the items on their card.
Other games like Tic-tac-toe and connect the dots can help keep your little ones occupied and take up little space in your vehicle. Activity sheets for all games can be downloaded online. If you prefer to make your own, laminated cards and dry erase markers fit nicely inside a gallon plastic bag and can be reused for more family fun on the road.
For an added incentive, offer rewards for game winners and good behavior, like selecting a snack at a convenience store or choosing the restaurant at your next destination.
5. Plan Out Your Pit Stops
To keep everyone in your vehicle agreeable, plan out various pit stops along the way. Rest stops can be a great place for a picnic lunch when the weather is agreeable, as everyone can get fresh air and room to walk around and stretch. If timing is not an issue, stopping at roadside attractions or historic locations can be a fun way to help your kids burn some energy while creating new memories with your family.
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