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Road trip: Keep your kids entertained

It’s bound to happen on almost every road trip with children: road trip boredom. Kick boredom to the curb and keep your kids entertained with these fun ideas.

Family road trip

The road trip box

Tired of your kids moaning about taking a road trip? Help keep it exciting by creating individual road trip boxes for them to look forward to. Start with a plastic sealable storage box, preferably with a handle. It should be large enough to contain several items, but small enough for your child to hold on his or her lap and tuck away easily after. Use a permanent marker or stickers to write the child’s name on it, then get creative and fill it with all kinds of treasures for them to discover. Here are a few suggestions for items to include:

  • Stickers to decorate the box
  • A new book or magazine
  • A notebook and activity books
  • Washable markers, stamp markers, crayons and scented pencils
  • A snack or treat
  • Dollar store toys and pocket games
  • A small flashlight for nighttime trips
  • Various craft supplies
  • Playing cards or trivia game cards

Family games

On the road, your family is all together in one place at one time, so use this as an opportunity for a little bonding and stave off boredom at the same time by playing a game. Here are some favourites to play:

  • Snap, Snap: As a group, each player except for the driver does two finger snaps then two claps simultaneously. This is a repetitive and continual action throughout the game, as players can speak only during the snaps. The team chooses a category, and the first player in the rotation chooses a letter. On their turn, a player must name something that fits the category and begins with the chosen letter. If they don’t, they are out until the next round, and play continues to the next player. After all players are out, the next player in the rotation selects another letter. Three fun categories are food, names and places.
  • Concentration: The first player selects a topic and announces, “I’m going (fill in the topic) and bringing  (fill in the blank). For example, “I’m going on a picnic and bringing an apple.” Then play would go to the second player, who repeats what the first player said and adds something new, like “I’m going on a picnic and bringing an apple and a banana.” Play continues with all players remembering all previous items in the correct order before adding a new one. Two variations are to add something that either begins with A and then go through the alphabet one letter at a time, or to select a certain letter that all items must begin with.
  • Story Time: Everyone works together to make up a funny story. The first person starts off the story with a lead-in sentence, such as, “It was a dark and stormy night when I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to discover…” Then the next player finishes the sentence before adding their part. It’s not necessary to remember everything; just make up a new sentence that follows the storyline.

Other ideas

  • Create a travel bingo: Use stickers or cut-outs and fill a bingo card with items your child can spot on the road. Have them mark off the items they see and yell bingo when the card is complete.
  • Mapquest: Give your child a map and small stickers to document the trip or to create a fantasy trip for fun.
  • Encourage your child to document the trip by drawing pictures of things they’ve seen or by writing about it in a journal.
  • Have a family singalong.

More on family fun

4 Road trip activities to keep the kids calm
Fun family activities
Fun family weekend activities

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