How to Keep Kids Entertained on a LONG Car Trip
Long Road Trip Ahead?
Summer is here! Wahoo! I am thrilled. I LOVE summer vacation! So do my kids. We live for this time of year. No schedules, no homework, no lunches to make! We are free!
The only thing about summer that sometimes (ok, not just sometimes) makes me wince is the LONG CAR ride. We travel in our car A LOT. We can bring all of our stuff with us and we save a LOT of money, so for us, it is the way to go. My kids have grown up in the car during the summer. They really do rock when it comes to long car trips. But, with various ages in the car, there have been times when I have had to come up with some pretty creative ways to keep them all entertained.
I am not a big believer in TV the whole way (sadly, according to my husband). I think they should look out the window, daydream, read, play, fight, etc.... I think car rides are HUGE character builders (yes, my kids think I am nuts).
But, sometimes, they need a little help in the "What can I do" department. So, with that in mind, here is a book I made for one of our longer trips a while back. I made one for each kid. They were all the same, but each kid could fill it out as they chose, decorate it the way they wanted to, or just toss it in their backpack and forget about it.
I scoured the Internet for printable activities. Some of them were:
License Plate games
Find the Difference pictures
Find the Animal game
I added some of my own creations:
A TO DO list for when they were bored
How many words can you make out of these letters
Dot to Dot
Find Something with each Number - 1-10
Fine Something in each Color
Tic Tac Toe
Blank Pages (just because)
You can also include:
Maps that they can keep track of toward your destination
Color by Number pages
Fun Facts on your destination
Fun Facts about the states you will be driving through
Questions to ask you or siblings (ie: where were you born, how old were you when you started college, what was your major, your first boss's name, what was your phone number as a child, etc...)
Once I had all these printed out from the computer, or created, I copied them. Then I bound them in a book. If you don't have a binding machine, staples work just fine.
I presented each kid with the book during the car ride. I didn't want them to have it ahead of time - knowing them, they would finish it and be more bored during the ride.
They were a HUGE hit. The kids loved them. It gave them something to do when the iPods got boring or we were on a long stretch of road without anything but corn!
The cool thing about these, is that you can create them any way you want. If you have a pre-reader, you can find things with just pictures, so that there is no frustration of not being able to read the text. Or, you can make them harder for older kids. You create it any way you want.
This is one of those super easy things to do. I loved creating them. The kids have also kept them as a memory of our road trip. I think they are still looking for some of the license plates we did not find!