The Great American Family Road Trip: Pre-Planning Part 2- Road Trip Games for Kids

This series of posts deal with The Great American Family Road Trip, a two week adventure that Occupy My Family is sending one of our frequent contributors and their family on to showcase fun, family friendly entertainment in places you may not usually vacation.  This series will run July- August 2012.

Games for Kids:

The fear of being trapped in a car with kids on a 13 hour road trip is something that has quite literally kept me up at night since we decided to do this.  I grew up being buckled into the back seat of the family van with little more than a pillow to sleep against and some books to read.  These kids are used to being occupied thanks to smartphones, iPads, portable DVD players, and books.  I know they’re going to get bored..and fidgity…and whiney.

So, we did a little test road trip with the kids in the spring-back and forth to Knoxville in one day which was about 9 hours of car time when all was said and done.  They did alright with just a few books and the portable DVD player.  It rained the entire way home  and by the time we got to Chattanooga, they were down for the count.  But, that was only 9 hours and there was a couple hour break halfway through.

Knowing I needed more ammo to0 bring to this gunfight, I scoured the internet for games for kids in the car.  Most sites came back with something like, “If you MUST take them on a road trip as the only option, we recommend sedatives and this fun game of ABC Find-It.” With sedatives not being an option, I got some ideas about license plate bingo and making a move-able map of our route so the kids can see exactly how much further we have.

We’ve decided to customize our license plate bingo to the region we’ll be traveling through and we added some western US states as bonus substitutes.  The winner will get an extra in-car snack.  We’re going to be using stickers as square markers.

For the move-able map of our route, we chose to print out the shapes of the states and have the kids draw the route on them marking things for them to look at along the way.  It’s still a work in progress so we’ll have pictures of them for you when it’s all put together!

We also went out an picked out 2 new coloring books- one for each kid, got some retro lap desks from Barnes & Noble, picked out some almost-new books at Goodwill (can’t beat 75 cents each with no fear of late charges or missing books to pay for), and made sure the headphone splitter is working properly for the DVD player.

But, we still feel like we’re missing something.  Do you have a favorite in-car road trip game you play? Share it with us via Facebook or Twitter!

Click the link to download our version of LicensePlateBingo!

Watch tomorrow for Part 3 of this series and learn about our first planned stop on the Road Trip!

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