This past weekend, I embarked on my first ever, road trip with three little people – by M Y S E L F – it was a short, only a few hours, but a road trip, nonetheless. And, I knew going in, that I’d need a way to entertain the kids, because there wasn’t another adult, along for the ride, who could help out.
So, I pulled out all my creative talent and came up with some “road trip activities” to keep us talking, playing, and laughing the whole way to Grandma’s!
Road Trip Bingo
You can actually purchase Road Trip Bingo from just about anywhere, or, you can google images, and make your own! Mine was a DIY Bingo Board made with images of things, common to see, in our neck of the woods, and also easy enough for a seven and five year old to play without getting frustrated. I made a few variations of the board, all containing the same images, and I laminated each.
Once we hit the road, I gave the kids their board and a dry erase marker and let them have fun looking for items! Preston got the first Bingo and then he stopped to help Addie find everything on the board. They ended up having more fun searching and marking the entire board off.
He said/She said “Are we there, yet”
A small bag of nickels and two special treats was all that I needed for this game. If you’re anything like me, then you know hearing the dreaded “Are we there, yet?” gets on the only nerve you have left! So, I came up with a way to combat it…or, at least, most of it!
The rules are simple: if Addie breaks and asks the dreaded question, and Preston calls her on it by saying “She said it, you owe me a nickel!” he earns a nickel and vice versa until we’ve arrived. Whoever has collected the most nickels gets both treats. Now, if we make it the whole trip with no one asking (which we did! Whoop!) then both kids each get a treat.
This is a silly one, but helps give the kids a reason not to keep asking, thus, helping Momma stay sane!
Going to Grandma’s “Alphabet Game”
“I’m headed downstate, and I can’t forget to pack my ‘anaconda’, my ‘basket’, and my ‘cat’, in my suitcase, so I can show Grandma when I get to her house.”
There are a lot of variations to this game, I simply made up my own sentence to work with our particular trip. The idea is the same; go around one person at a time, the first person has letter A, the second B, and so on, working your way through the alphabet. You repeat the same sentence, but each person has to remember what was said for each letter, and then make up the letter they are on.
This is a great memory game, but with little kids, it didn’t last long! Definitely better for and older group! Coming up with words wasn’t too hard for them, but remembering got to be a little frustrating for their age.
Tips for traveling
- Pack in advance: have everything ready to go ahead of time, so all you have to worry about is getting ready, loading the car, and getting on the road.
- Have a car sick bucket handy!
- Make sure everyone goes to the bathroom beforehand, even if they “don’t have to”.
- Let the kids pack a few of their own toys.
- If traveling with a baby, travel during nap times.
- Take breaks: let the kids stretch, get a snack, use the bathroom, etc.
- Be prepared to talk with and laugh with the kids: this will help to keep them engaged and entertained, which equals less whining and wishing we could be there already!
The trip home
With every road trip comes the inevitable trip back home! This trip, for some reason, just seem longer to the littles! My advice is simple, before heading home, engage in one last activity that will wear them out… then, the ride home will be peaceful and filled with sleepy babes! They return home rested and full of memories 🙂
It’s Monday now, I’m back home, unpacked, back to work and I am not overly exhausted. That’s a win in any Momma’s book! Please, feel free to share any “Travel Mom Wins” in the comments!