Growing up, some of my best memories include that of family road trips. My siblings and I would ask for road trips as often as we could and my parents absolutely loved life on the road too. Needless to say, though, that sometimes the journey was a little bit boring and simply staring out of the car rarely ever did the trick.
This is also the case with my kids now; when I started going on road trips with my husband and children I noticed that after a short while my kids got very irritable and bored. So I decided to deploy all the fun strategies that my own mother used to when we were kids (and a few modern ones as well) to make sure the kids stay busy and happy at all times.
Read to the Kids Whenever You Can
I believe that there are very few things in this world that are quite as entertaining to your kids as you reading books to them in an animated voice. You can make it as fun as possible by creating your own sound effects and all. Depending on your energy level and the length of the road trip, you could keep this up for hours. If you’re out at nighttime, you can even put your kids to sleep this way.
But it is understandable if you do not want to continue reading for a long time because one mom has only so much energy. If this is the case or you simply cannot sound interesting while reading storybooks, you can always…
…Take Audio Books Along
Audiobooks are another absolute blessing to mommies all over the world, especially when it comes to road trips. You can give each of your kids a pair of headphones and put on an audiobook on their gadget or your car’s music player. You can make your kids listen to these books for as long as they stay interested.
Make sure you visit your local library for information on the best children’s audiobooks. You can also do research online on the best audiobooks and you might be able to download some on your phone as well.
Play Fun Music
After your children are tired of listening to the same old stories over and over again and start getting whiny on you again, you will need to bring up their energy somehow. The best way to make your kids regain their energy is by playing funky music that they love and can dance.
You might your car moving around and bumping quite a bit when your children start wiggling around as best as they can but that’s okay really. If dancing isn’t their thing, you can also put up songs that they can sing along to. It is always better if you and your spouse would join in as well. Not only is this a super fun activity but it is also a great way to bond with your children on the road as well.
Also, make sure your car has a dash cam for added security and video recording. It is a great way to save your road trip in a reel.
You can find a large number of printable activities and games online. Some of these games and activities are travel specific as well. One example of a printable that my children love is color by numbers. But I have noticed that you should try to make the games more challenging as your children grow up and make sure they are age-specific too because this will help them train their mind and will also keep them occupied for a longer period of times.
Other than that, there is travel-bingo, and other drawing games as well.
I have noticed that there are very few children out there who do not like to draw. So make it a point to give each of your kids a sketchpad and ask them to draw whatever they can. My son usually has trouble with creativity block and consistently asks what to draw when he is out with his sketchbook. So I ask him to draw everything he sees on the way, the trees, cars, trucks, animals, etc.
Take a Movie or Two
I don’t really like it when my children spend most of their time staring at a screen in the car instead of taking in the scenery outside, but sometimes we need desperate measures. Children love movies and they keep the little critters occupied for hours. And you don’t even have to get new movies, children love re-watching their favorite ones!
When all else is over and they start whining about being hungry, make sure you have packed snacks that play their part well. Don’t try to get too creative with healthy snacks since it’s a risk you do not want to take. MnMs, skittles, potato chips, cookies, and all that unhealthy stuff is what a road trip is about!
Robert is a student of business administration. He has a great passion for cars and devices that improve the driving experience. He loves photography as well and has his own little studio in California. He ritually posts at http://www.dashcamsafety.com/.