When you’re going on a summer road trip with your kids in tow, one of the most challenging things is keeping them entertained during the ride. However, when you leave the house prepared, you’ll find that the trip can be much more enjoyable for them, as well as for you. Here are five ways you can keep your kids entertained during any of your road trips this summer.
Pack Plenty of Snacks
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s when kids start feeling bored and those feelings sometimes morph into: I’m hungry. Prepare yourself to handle these sporadic bursts of hunger by packing plenty of healthy snacks that are easy to munch on in the car. Fruit, granola bars, and crunchy veggies are all great options, and they’ll keep your kids full until it’s time to make a stop for lunch.
Play the Alphabet Game
You may remember playing the alphabet game during long car rides when you were a kid. It’s just as fun now as it was for you. Announce to your kids that you’re going to play the game, and that the goal is to make it through the entire alphabet by finding letters (in order) on the signs you drive past. Have them keep track of their own letters either in their minds or by writing them down on a piece of scrap paper. You can make this as challenging as you want to by adding your own rules and twists during different rounds.
Everyone loves music, and it can really help pass the time when you’re in the car. As long as it won’t be a distraction to the driver, play a few CDs, or find some music on your iPhone or mp3 player to play over your car’s speakers. A music app on your phone allows you to take requests from the kids, and you can quickly become their own DJ. Family sing-a-longs are always a lot of fun, and your kids will enjoy hearing their favorite tunes.
Create a Vacation Scrapbook
Most parents have big plans to create a photo album or scrapbook of their trips once they get back home. However, as you probably know, life usually takes over and you get too busy. Who says you have to wait until your trip is over to create your memory book? In fact, this is the perfect time to enlist the help of your entire family. You can put each of your kids in charge of a different section of the book and have them work on it while you’re driving. There are even websites that will allow you to create an online version of your scrapbook that you can share with friends and family before you even get back home.
Schedule in Some Stops
When you’re taking a long road trip with your kids, it’s always a good idea to schedule in some stops along the way that are just for fun. Perhaps you’re driving through a historical area and you want to visit a battlefield together. Maybe there are coal mine tours near where you’re traveling on the way to your destination. These types of stops are really what make family vacations memorable, and they’re great for breaking up the monotony of the ride too.
With a little creativity, you can make any road trip with your kids a lot of fun for you as well as for them. Why not take a little bit of time and talk to them about what they might like to do during your next road trip. They may surprise you!