Fending off boredom when you are on a long road trip.
Those words signify that your kids are bored and that you will need to come up with ways to keep them entertained as the miles fly by. Read on for some tips on games that will shed boredom for young and old alike.
1. Find the license plates. You did bring a pencil and pad with you on your trip, right? If your travel is taking you a great distance, expect to see numerous vehicles from a variety of states and provinces. You can make a game of it by assigning points for particular states. Assign points for license plates from neighboring states, perhaps awarding 5 points each here. For states that are clear across the country or for Canadian provinces, award 10 points. You can also award special points for cars with vanity tags, diplomat plates or some other oddity. If your children are old enough, have each one keep track of the plates themselves, tallying up their score after 2 hours or so and just in time for a visit to the next rest stop for a potty break.
2. Scavenger hunts. A scavenger hunt game can be tailor-made to reflex the interest of each of your children. If you’re in farm country, award points for each silo spotted. When traveling on the interstate, give points for each hotel spotted such as a certain Marriott or Hilton property. Include unusual things such as the odd billboard, the roadside attraction or the state transpiration museum. Make a point to stop at one of the attractions even if it is only long enough to use the bathroom or to get a bite to eat.
3. Play I Spy. “I Spy” is one game that is easy to play and has everyone searching for the answer. Assign one person to start off, by identifying an object that they and everyone else can see. For instance, this individual may say, “I spy something blue,” but that answer may not be the sky. It could be a building, a car or some other object. The person that guesses right goes next or you can simply go around the car until everyone has had a turn. Then start again!
4. Songs of Silliness. With your car’s audio system on, you can tune to different stations and listen to songs. Then, with your hand on the mute or off button, you silence the music and require each person to finish the song in their own words. There are no points kept here, rather you are encouraging two things — memory and novelty. Some children will remember the lyrics and others will come up with words, even silly lyrics of their own.
One of the challenges of a long car trip is just not having enough fun things to do. Even if your SUV or minivan comes equipped with a DVD rear seat entertainment system, your children will get tired of that. Besides, they won’t be able to expand their minds by being challenged to think. Before you take your next trip, find places of interest on the way to your destination. Allow your family members to vote on where they want to stop, setting aside an hour or two to weave in something fun, educational or simply different before heading back on the road once again.
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