So you've planned your trip and everything you're going to do once you reach your destination. That’s great! But what will you do while sitting in the car and traveling? How do you prevent your kids from asking the dreaded "are we there yet" question a million times?
Simple: Play Games.I'm not talking about board games like Monopoly or anything that requires you to plan ahead and bring supplies with you. No, I’m talking about simple games that you can play in the car with nothing more than your imagination (and maybe a pen and paper). Need some quick ideas? Here's a list of 5 of my favorite games that I play with my kids (all under 6) and have a blast in the process.
Alphabet Search: This is a very simple game that my two oldest kids like to play. All you have to do is look at road signs, billboards, restaurant signs, etc. and try to find all the letter of the alphabet, in order, from A to Z. The only requirement to be able to play is the ability to recognize letters. Kids do not have to know how to read to play as long as they can spot a letter when looking at something.
Joke Time: Go around the car and have each person tell a joke. It could be a knock-knock joke or something completely random that they make up. The jokes don’t even have to make sense. My kids love just making things up and then laughing about it. It makes for a very fun time.
License Plate Search: Who hasn't played this game at some point in their life? It's as simple as it sounds. Look at the license plate on passing cars and see how many different states and territories you can find.
Excuses, Excuses: This game is all about being creative and thinking outside the box. Simply give an excuse for why the student did not turn in his homework on time. Excuses such as "his dog ate it" or "aliens attacked his house" are just the beginning of the fun things you can come up with.
Virtual Hide and Seek: Just like the traditional game, only reversed. In this game, one person pretends to "hide" somewhere in their house. Everyone else must ask Yes / No questions to figure out where he is hiding. The fun part is that you don’t have to actually fit in the spot you are hiding. It can be anywhere!
Despite what they tell you, your kids really do enjoy spending time with you and will cherish the memories made during these road trips. They will remember playing games and bonding with their siblings and Mom and Dad much more than what movies they watched. Those are the types of memories that last a lifetime and inspired me to continue the tradition with my own children.
The next time you take a trip, even if it is only a few miles up the road, unplug that DVD player or IPod and make your car a "tech-free zone." Engage the family in some games and enjoy the ride. Getting there just might be more than half the fun!
Jeff Sechler has been traveling since he was a little kid. He enjoys taking trips to various locations and viewing the sights and sounds of new areas. Not that he is married and has a family of his own, he loves to travel and take road trips with his family.
While traveling when he was growing up - before DVD players and MP3 players were found in every vehicle - he had to find ways to pass the time on the road. How’d he do it? By playing games. These experiences, along with the memories and suggestions of family and friends, led Jeff to publish his new book, Are We There Yet? (also available for Kindle), which encourages having fun in the car instead of simply plugging in to an electronic device. The book includes over 140 games, riddles and tongue twisters that are sure to have you laughing out loud. No materials – other than a pen and paper – are required to play these games. They are simple and can be played by people of all ages.
His travels have taken him all across the country and he continues to write down his stories in hopes of someday sharing them with the rest of the world. He currently makes his home in Pennsylvania where he splits his time between his full-time job, writing, traveling and family – many times combining several of these at once.