Surviving Family Road Trips

The holidays are here and many of you have planned a road trip or two to visit family  or take a special vacation. But with every exciting destination comes the inevitable and unending car ride to get there. If your family is getting ready to embark on an epic adventure and you need some help to keep your sanity, look no further! We have some great suggestions of things to keep you and your kiddos busy during the drive.


Scavenger hunts

The great thing about scavenger hunts is that the rules are pretty open. You can search for anything from the alphabet to car colors or types, buildings, license plates or random objects! For some inspiration, check out these scavenger hunt item lists. There is also this handy state license plate list for the license plate game.


Get Crafty

Who says you can’t be crafty and creative when playing in the car? There are lots of simple ways to have fun with craft supplies: use pipe cleaners to make shapes or jewelry, use aluminum foil to make animals or art, wrap small toys up in wrapping paper and have the kids try to guess what is inside before they rip into it, use glow sticks to light up a dark vehicle at night. The nice thing about taking simple art supplies along is that most can be disposed of after the trip is over. Hurray for disposable toys!


Make a Magnet Board

One simple craft for the trip is a magnet board. Buy some magnet sheets from a craft store and glue pictures on them to create magnet dolls. Then all you need is an old cookie sheet as a backdrop and voila! Instant Magnet Board Set!


Make a Map

To stave off the endless “are we there yet”s, make a visual map so the kids can see your progress. You can even be pretty creative about it: glue pictures and/or names of checkpoint locations to clothespins, then clip them to a piece of yarn stretched through the vehicle – you can unclip each location as you reach it and ‘travel’ from one side of the car to the other.


What’s the Word?

Playing word games can really make time pass by more quickly. Fun ones include: group storytelling, where each person takes a turn creating one line of the story, and fortunately-unfortunately, where one person creates an ‘unfortunate’ situation (such as, ‘unfortunately,  a herd of buffalo have invaded our house’) and the other must counter with a positive response (‘fortunately, I have a buffalo removal specialist on speed dial’). Get those creative juices flowing!


I think all parents know that no matter how creative you get with planning activities to keep kids entertained on the road, the reality is, long car trips aren’t easy on ANYONE. When things get stressfully (or downright obnoxious!) try to reframe your thinking. In our fast-paced world filled with work, school and activity schedules, it’s hard to find time to have everyone together as a family. Consider your car ride an opportunity to connect as a family since you’re all stuck in there together anyway. Safe travels!

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