So it’s time to start getting ready for your long awaited holiday – including planning your road trip to your destination. Apart from the normal snacks, pillows and treats, the question most parents wonder is: how will you keep the kids entertained for hours on end?
Imperial Auto has put together 14 ways to keep the kids amused while on the road to your December destination, as per the full blog below.
1. Category Game: Choose a category like “groceries”, and then one person starts with naming something that can be bought at the grocery store that starts with the letter ‘A’, such as “apples”. The next player would have to repeat the first person’s answer as well as add on a food that begins with the letter ‘B’. If you mess up, you’re out, and the game continues until only one memory-gifted player remains. Once that category is over, move on to a more challenging one like movies, animals or place names.
2. Card Games: Never underestimate the power of card games to keep your kids entertained. Bring along a set of cards from home and challenge kids to play their old favourites snap, go fish, and rummy – but don’t let noise levels get out of hand as these will distract the driver.
3. Family Spelling Bee: See who the champion speller in the family is by having an in-car spelling bee. Make sure words are appropriate for all age levels, so no one gets discouraged (not even Dad…). Try other challenges with your family such as trivia or singing competitions as well.
4. 20 Questions: An old favourite, 20 questions is a great game for inquisitive little ones. The game begins with one person choosing pretty much anything item they can think of. The first question for the guessers is usually “animal, vegetable, or mineral?” although it doesn’t have to be. Players then go through a litany of questions trying to determine the nature of the mystery object and answers can only be ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The winner is whoever guesses the object most quickly, or who can stump the other players with their object.
5. Family Storytelling: Inspire your family’s creative side by creating a group story. Someone begins by creating one line to a story (for example, “There once was a prince under a curse…”) and each person must add one line to the story as you go. Mix it up by making the lines have to rhyme, or by pointing at players out of order to come up with a line on the spot.
6. Rock, Paper, Scissors: This classic game makes it easy to keep kids occupied. Players put their hands behind their backs and pull one out to reveal either rock (closed fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (first and middle fingers in a “v”)
7. Travel Scavenger Hunt: Compile a list of objects for each child to find along the road. For example, you could have things like “brown cow” or “windmill”. Anything that comes to mind that you might be passing will work. The winner is the first one to find everything on his or her list. If you want to make it more interesting you can make bingo cards with the objects placed on them to mark off before you leave on your journey.
8. String Figures: Believe it or not, a piece of string can keep a child busy for hours. Pack a fairly long piece of string tied into a circle for your child, and then challenge them to learn to make string shapes like Jacob’s ladder, Kitty Whiskers or to play Cat’s Cradle. If you don’t know much about string games, check out a string game website.
9. Find the Car: Challenge your kids to find a list of different types and models of cars. Children interested in cars will find this game particularly enjoyable. You can make it more challenging by specifying a colour for more common models of cars or types of cargo.
10. Map Monitors: One easy way to keep children entertained on the road is to engage them in the process of the trip. Give each child a map of your trip and allow them to keep track of your progress using stickers, or colouring in.
11. Fortunately-Unfortunately: Help your children learn to think positively with the game Fortunately-Unfortunately. One player begins with an unfortunate statement like, “Unfortunately, there is a bat in the car.” The next player has to counter with something more fortunate like, “Fortunately, I brought along bat repellent.” Players continue to alternate between unfortunate and fortunate things until you’ve exhausted a particular topic.
12. Treasure Bottle: You’ll need a little preparation ahead of time, but a treasure bottle can be a great way to keep the younger ones entertained and engaged. Use a two litre bottle or large plastic container with a lid. Fill it two thirds full with rice, then add small “treasures” from around your house like paper clips, bolts, pennies, Legos and any other small things you might have lying around in your junk draw. Keep count of how many items you put in and write the number on the outside of the bottle. Have the treasure hunters roll the bottle around until they find everything hidden inside. Just make sure the lid is extra secure so there aren’t any mid-trip messes to clean up!
13. Who Am I?: Keep your kids guessing with this easy and fun game. Think of someone you and your children know: a family member, neighbour, or friend, and give clues to the person’s identity like their hair colour, gender, or whether or not they wear glasses. Let each person guess and if no one gets it, continue giving clues until the answer is found figure it out.
14. The Geography Game: Help your kids refresh their geography lessons while on the road with the geography game. The game begins with a person naming any place in the world, Paris for example. The next person then has to come up with a place name that begins with the last letter of the first location. So in this case, the next place would have to start with an ‘S’, like Sydney for instance. The game continues on until someone gets stumped, and no place can be used more than once.
With a little creativity and planning, you can keep your little ones entertained on even the longest journeys, creating on-the-road entertainment, a few opportunities to learn, and memories to last a lifetime.