Make a Trip-Journal or Scrapbook
Give everyone a big spiral bound sketchpad and a box of crayons or
markers. Each day of the trip or for each event along the way, draw a
picture of what you did that day, or draw a map of where you went,
and write about it. You can also paste in souvenirs.
Get a Good Songbook With All the Lyrics
It surprising how many songs you think you know, but you don't really
know all the words. Have a singing marathon and learn the old
classics by heart.
Give Your Kids an Allowance for the Day
Tell them that this money is for snacks, treats, souvenirs etc. Help
them learn to budget their money and make good choices.
Let Your Children Have a Map
Give your kids their own copy of a map of where you are going. Show
them how far you have come, how much further there is to go and let
them mark it with a crayon. Every time someone asks "How much
further? let them see for themselves. You might also like to
get a compass and show them how it works along with the map.
Have Bubble Gum Blowing Contests
The weirder the gum the better. Get it at the rest areas and try all
the different flavors.
The License Plate Game
Print a U.S. map off the computer and color in the states as you see
license plates from each one. See if you can get all 50 states
between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You might even record the time
and date and the state where you saw it. This can be a family project
as you build your "collection" of license plates together.
Cats Cradle or String Loops
You just need a piece of string for this one. See if you can make
"Jacob's Ladder", "Kitty Whiskers", or play Cats Cradle!
Magnetic Board Games
Do your children know how to play classic board games like Chess,
Backgammon, Checkers, or Chinese Checkers? What better time to learn
than in the car to pass the time! The magnetic car versions of these
games are nice because they are small and compact, and have easy ways
to store the pieces so they don't get lost.
Count the cows you see on your side of the car. If you pass a
cemetery on your side of the car, you lose all your cows. The one
with the most cows wins.
Read Out Loud
This passes the time quickly in the car for the reader and for the
family members who are listening.
Have a contest to see who can build the best item that relates to
where you are going. Use a shoebox to store the Legos, or large zip
Guess How Far Away That Is
Pick an object and have everyone guess how far away it is, then clock
it on your odometer.
Have everyone think of different "favorite" questions for
the group. What's your favorite... movie, flavor of ice cream, song,
game, toy, place to visit, restaurant, book, animal, fish, etc. Be
creative and don't forget to ask the driver too!
Give everyone a sheet of aluminum foil. Have them mold it into
anything they want: animal shapes, Frisbees, balls, jewelry, crowns,
headband, necklaces and masks. Be creative. Its inexpensive fun
and easy to clean up. Toddlers love this one too.
Remember that it's sometimes nice to sit in the back of the van with
your kids while Dad is doing the driving and play some games right
along side them. You might be surprised at how much fun you have too.