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Thread: Things for kids to do on a roadtrip other than TV?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Gaithersburg, MD

    Things for kids to do on a roadtrip other than TV?

    So the kids have movie players, but they need to take breaks in between or they get sick. Any suggestions? We used to sing along with music they like on the ipod, but now they are so old that the songs aren't singable anymore. So their major activity is bickering!!

    Also, what do you do for food? Bring a cooler with snacks? I am not a big fan of buying individual servings, but don't want a huge mess in the car either. I try not to stop more than once for fast food, so we need something in between as the trip usually takes 7-10 hours.
    What do you do on long car trips?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Carrollton, TX
    What about license plate bingo...or looking for the letters of the alphabet on billboards? Looking for Q and X can usually take up a lot of miles?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Hudson Valley, NY
    My kids are teenagers, and they still like doing the Mad-Lib books. We all take turns providing the words, so it really is funny the way the stories turn out. We're also lucky in that they are both voracious readers.

    Regarding snacks, how about making up a big batch of Gorp and dividing them into individual bags? We also like munching on grapes during car trips.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    We bring lot's of books. My kids read since they are really young and they love to bring books, movies, card games on trips.

    ''In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.''

    My Blog: La Cuisine d'Helene

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Etch-a-Sketch was always fun in the car. No parts to fall off either.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    What about the A-Z games, with Animal/Vegtable/Mineral or 20 questions game.

    Also a favorite on road trips with the DD's was "books on tape/CD" there are a ton to choose from at the local library,
    we found some great old radio shows as well as comedy CD's for all ages. We even enjoyed listening to them.

    Take time to laugh, it's the music of the soul

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    You can also buy (or make your own) travel bingo that is really fun. I bought a couple of travel game books that we used for years and even DH and I enjoyed some of them.

    There are TONS of ideas can just print off what you like and take your own list of ideas with you. Here are a few to get you started....

    Travel Games (The Wheel Lottery looks really fun!

    This one has printable car bingo cards...More Travel Games

    And Family Fun always has good ideas...scroll down a bit to find the Travel Games. Still More Travel Games

    For snacks, I always made a huge tupperware full of snack mix...a bag or two of Chex mix, a bag of M&M's, a bag of chocolate chips (or peanut butter or butterscotch), a jar of salted peanuts and a cup or two of raisins. Adjust quantities to taste. All you need is some paper cups to serve it up in, and it is ready for anyone who is hungry. Everyone has a water bottle and we sometimes had grapes or apples in a cooler. I find that if you have TOO many options, people are eating because they are bored rather than hungry.

    Do you mean you only stop once on a 7-10 hour drive, or that you only stop once to eat a meal? More frequent QUICK stops will certainly help with the monotony of a long drive. Even if no one needs to go to the bathroom, you could pull through a rest stop and do a "Fire Drill" (everyone jumps out, runs around the car and gets back in) just for fun and to stretch the legs. The kids would think you are crazy, and they would love it!

    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    I went on a long car trip with my nephews (9 & 14) last year and was amazed at how entertained they were looking for license plates from different states. I had printed out a list from the Internet and thought it would keep them entertained for an hour tops, but they were looking on the entire trip, trying to cross every state off the list! We even saw a car with license plates from Spain, in a parking lot in Gettysburg.

    They also really like those books with questions in them, meant as conversation starters. We started with one when they were younger, called "Kid Chat" and have gone through one other book and a set of cards with conversation starter type questions on them. I always learn something new about them through these questions and it sometimes prompts me to remember family stories, etc. that they seem to enjoy. Or at least they humor me and pretend to enjoy them!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    West of Boston, MA
    How old are your kids?

    Mine always sleep for part of the trip (they're teens now - but this goes back to babyhood) - I think I'm lucky. They also love to read, though that can make my older one carsick. Books on tape are a big hit; they have to be quiet and listen but don't have to focus the eyes on anything (that causes the car sickness, I think).

    License plate games are definitely good. Another one is the game that goes through the alphabet; example: "A my name is Alice, my husband's name is Andy, we're from Australia and we sell apples" is always fun (except for the person who gets stuck with the letters X and Z!) - we'll go through that one a few times.

    Now that they're older I'll bring the newspaper and sometimes a news story will spark a conversation that lasts a while. I think it's key to have quiet things (books, ipods), some conversation, some napping, and some stops to stretch legs, play toss or frisbee, get a snack.

    Car snacks: I go through the pantry and bring whatever they like to eat at home - fruit, applesauce cups, string cheese, crackers, granola bars, cereal in baggies, PBJ sandwiches, bagels w/PB or cream cheese, animal crackers, nuts.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    When our kids were younger we used to play initials games - categories could include movies, books, characters, famous people, important people, etc. One person would say a set of initials and the rest would try and guess who/what it was - if everyone guessing was stuck the initialer could provide yes/no answers to relevant questions. This led to some interesting discussions on good literature vs not-so good, real vs make believe, and famous people vs important people.
    We also made up and told a lot of stories. These were for hikes, rather than car rides, but might be an option.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    As a mother of three children, nothing was more precious to me than family reading time. Family is important, more important than anything in the world, and reading stories to my precious kids helped me connect with my own family in a meaningful and entertaining way.

    I never allowed my children to play video games. Spending many hours in front of the game monitor and not going out enough could also cause social problems thus resulting in them becoming shy and introvert. Apart from that the games developed nowadays happen to be a lot more violent thus the gamers do have a tendency to lose control and become more aggressive.

    As parents we need to keep track of how much time their children spend in front of the screen playing games and also as to what type of games they play.

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