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Kids Sitting in Car

You’ve decided to take the kids on a day trip—or if you’re really adventurous, the entire weekend—to view the spectacular fall foliage.  But fifteen minutes into the drive, and the fighting and complaining have already begun in the backseat.  You could try encouraging your kids to appreciate the beauty of nature, but don’t be surprised if they tell you, “It’s boring.” And while they may love their electronic games, but after a while even these can get tedious.

This is when you need to employ some good, old-fashioned entertainment. Not only will it be new to the kids, but they might find themselves actually enjoying it. So plan ahead to make the journey a lot more enjoyable by loading your “bag of tricks” with some of these:

Games to play together: 

  • I Spy
  • Charades (a modified car version),
  • Name That Tune (pre-load your iPod or just use the car radio)
  • Twenty Questions
  • Hangman
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Mad Libs
  • A Spelling Bee (convince them that it’s NOTHING like school by thinking of funny words to spell: “underwear” is always good for a few laughs)
  • A Sing-Along (think this one out carefully, or you might be in for 50 renditions of “Super-cali-fragilistic-expi-alidocious”)
  • A Road Trip Scavenger Hunt: come up with a number of things that you are likely to see along the way, such as: a kayak on a roof rack, an orange car (in keeping with the season), a state-of-your-choice license plate, dog in a car, state trooper (hopefully from a distance), moving van, or construction barrel
  • Road Trip Bingo

To play alone:  

  • An Etch-A-Sketch
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • crossword puzzles and word finds
  • a bag of small toys
  • magnetic boards
  • books (but if you have a child who is prone to car-sickness, try books-on-tape)

Be prepared to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks, snacks, and photos, and with all the fun in the car, your kids might just be begging you for another long drive!

What road trip fun tips can you add to the list?

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SJ Wilson has been writing novels for many years, including the recently published The Soul of Fenway. She loves spending time with her family, especially at the beach. Her hobbies include genealogy, photography, American history, and baseball.