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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Family Road Trips and Road Trip Car Games

    Just heard about a new road trip car game that's designed to work on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It's a variation of the alphabet game that many of us played as children on our own car trips.

    A few more tips from Megan Edwards:

    Create a “Go Kit” for each child. Small backpacks or nylon lunch bags work well. Pack them with age-appropriate games and a first day’s travel allowance. Every morning, add that day’s allowance and something new for the kids to discover when they get in the car. A road atlas or paper map is great for a child old enough to follow along. Consider adding a compass , too.

    Good on-the-road activities are ones that include everybody in the car. Teach the kids all those old songs you sang at camp. If you need inspiration, pop a sing-along CD into the stereo. Folk songs, sound tracks from musicals, patriotic songs – choose the ones that get everybody singing, and the miles fly by.


    Some more game suggestions:

    License Plate Game
    Print an outline map of the United States for each child. To play, they check license plates on passing vehicles. As they spot plates from different states, they color in the corresponding states on their maps. (A list of states works fine, too.)

    What My Bear Did Last Summer
    Choose a teddy bear, doll or other portable creature as your road trip mascot. Whenever you stop at a landmark or attraction take a picture of your mascot that shows it was there. After your trip, make a slide show or scrapbook of the mascot’s trip. You may remember some of the photos on this forum from a couple of our members who've practiced this!

    Road Trip Scavenger Hunt
    Make a list of items to spot on your trip. Print the list for each player. As the items are spotted, players cross them off their lists. A good list combines east-to-spot things like “a white picket fence,” or “a red flashing light” as well as things unique to your trip, like “a tree you can drive through” or “a place where you can be in four states at once.” For older children (or game-loving adults), you can require photos of the items on the list. Be creative!

    What are your favorite in-the-car roadtrip games?

    Mark

  2. #2

    Default

    Perfect excuse to get an iPad before we leave! If I do this right, maybe my husband will fall for it....: )
    We have all of our License Plate game coloring sheets from every trip we've taken and even though the kids are older, we still do that! Home-school websites are a good source for printables for kids, all sort of activities and you can narrow it down to places/areas you are going to be traveling though or to. If you do use printables a light weight clipboard is handy.

    Mad-libs are always fun if your child is old enough and trivia, just plain trivia (Brain Quest cards are good or all ages) can occupy hours. We've bought newer versions of Trivial Pursuit games only so we could rob the game of the cards for our trips.
    If your children are old enough to operate a video camera (and you trust them not to break it!), let them make a "Trip Documentary". We have several where the content ranges from interviews with fellow passengers to commentary on the sights outside the car. Kids observations are so funny sometimes. We love to watch these.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default New Article from the Patriot Ledger

    Here are a few more tips about road trip games in this new article by Melissa Erickson

  4. Default

    One thing I really love to do on a roadtrip is to keep a trip journal. Basically, I get a good sized scrapbook or binder, plus a journal and keep a trip log! I make sure to have sharpies in many different colors to log random quotes, fun facts, or captions for pictures. Also, I usually have a page dedicated to license plates seen along the way, and another for special and meaningful songs heard along the path. Generally I will buy several disposable cameras for the road to take pictures at fun stops and of random things seen along the way (I.E.- a small cooler strapped to the top of a Hummer past as we were driving). I love to use disposables simply because it's much more fun once you get to your destination to have them developed and be able to look through them. It's a bit more exciting. And this way, you get to add them to the trip journal once you get there!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    It takes a bit of a search to find them, but there are BINGO cards that have sliding windows for "covers" available. One card has things you might see along the way, such as a billboard, railroad sign, stoplight, and harder things like windmills and water towers. My kids had these, and I just saw a set -- where? Maybe a drug store? - - last week. Sometimes my husband and I had to declare something "free" that we knew we'd never see in the area. The winner would get a treat from the snack bag, or first into the shower that night (if the snack bag was low or we knew they'd been eating too much). These games, of which we had two different ones, kept our girls busy for HOURS.

    SINGING was the staple in our car as we were growing up. We started to learn songs that were based on states - "Oklahoma" (from the musical), "California, Here I Come", Mark Lindsay's "Arizona" (OK, I'm giving away my age here), etc. and whenever we'd drive into that state, that was the first song that everybody in the car would sing.

    My girls also discovered audio books in their walkmans. Today's equivalent would be audio books on the iPod.

    For the evening, a small travel-sized Connect 4, and MadLibs, kept the girls (and us) busy for hours as well, without turning on the motel room TV. Of course, we would do that too.



    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-15-2011 at 04:21 PM. Reason: adding info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Car Game Apps for Kids

    About a month ago, Jinny Gudmundsen posted this article USA-TODAY with her top picks for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad apps for roadtrip games.

    I have mixed feelings about this use of technology on road trips. What are your thoughts about this issue?

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
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    Default

    Funny, our pastor in church just brought up the use of technology on car trips (in reference to Psalm 121, The Vacationer's Psalm). He remembered how much fun he'd had as a child, doing stuff as mundane as SINGING in the car. He had the congregation singing "Mairzy doats and dosey dotes and little lambsie divie, a kiddle eativy too, wouldn't you?!" with him. (OK, this congregation was mostly over 50 years old.)

    I too kept the kids entertained with singing, I-Spy, car bingo, and more. It was good interaction for the family, which can't be said for the electronics.

    My SIL has a DVD player in the van for her daughter. Hubby and I said we wouldn't have put one of those in our vehicle for our kids had they been available, and we don't plan to do it for the grandchildren. If a given app is an electronic version of Car Bingo that requires you to look out the window, I'd be fine with that. But if it keeps the eyes buried on the iPad, iPod, or laptop: forget it.


    Donna

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Hear! hear!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    But if it keeps the eyes buried on the iPad, iPod, or laptop: forget it.
    Could not agree more. The games we played with our children were all related to the trip we were taking. As were many of the songs we sang. If children of any age, have had an input into the trip, and are considered along the way, as to their needs and interests, they won't need, nor want, any other distraction.

    To me it's like people who go camping and have to have their television with them. Ye may as well stay home!

    Lifey

  9. #9
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    Jan 1998
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    Default Virtual Hide and Seek and so much more!

    Jeff Sechler has a new book out with many more suggestions for games you can play on your next road trip. I'm going to play the "Virtual Hide and Seek" on my next trip! Check out his top 5 here.

    Mark

  10. Default

    This isn't really a game but one thing we've done is printed out a map of the US (you can do one per person or just one for the whole group) and each time we see a new state license plate we would color that state on our US map. One year I think we only needed to find 4 states to get all 50!

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