There is no easy way to keep children entertained while you are on the road. Although some parents would resort to bringing DVD players and computer games (and we really can't blame them), there are also more affordable and creative ways to keep them busy. Try out these road trip games that make use of their imagination, sense of sight and even a piece of paper.
Nothing beats a classic. There are different ways to play it, although it always starts with the words, "I spy with my little eye, something ...", which is then followed by a single word description of the item; the color, the shape, the first letter of its name, the general appearance. It doesn't need much explanation, really:
"I spy with my little eye, something green."
"Is it a tree?"
"Yes, it is."
"My turn. I spy ..."
Keep the children engaged with items they can see inside the campervan and outside the vehicle.
No, you don't have to go out and look for little insects. The "Bug" is the Volkswagen Beetle, which was quite popular back in the 60's and has been redesigned into several new models. As soon as you spot a “bug”, you have to tap your neighbor and say, “I spotted a bug!” The person who spots the most “bugs” wins. You can also give points depending on the model, like 15 points for the older bugs and 10 for the newer models. Another option is to use a different make or model to spot if “bugs” aren't common.
Guess The Animal
A variation of Twenty Questions, Guess The Animal takes one guess out of the question: "Are you an animal?" One traveler assumes to be an animal while the others ask up to twenty questions and guess what animal the traveler is. All questions must only be answered in YES or NO:
"Do you have four legs?"
"Do you bark?"
"Are you a dog?"
"OK. My turn. Guess the animal."
Another way to play this is Who Am I?, where you have to guess a person instead of an animal.
This one is easy enough for toddlers. Tell them to keep an eye out for any blue (or red or yellow) cars and make sure to announce the number, like “One blue car, two blue cars ...” and so on. It's also a great way to help them learn about colors and counting.
The name title would get some snickers from the older readers, but Backseat Bingo consists of a piece of paper with pictures of items (make your own or go to the BackSeat Bingo site
to get instructions) the children can find as you travel. Each child gets a copy and crosses out an item when they see it. The first one who crosses out all items wins. Guaranteed hours of quiet time as your little travelers concentrate on finding the items.
Possibly the funniest and most creative way to get rid of boredom, Team Storytelling enlists the great imagination of children and adults alike. One person starts the first line of the story, and another person supplies the second line, and so on until everyone has added to the story:
“Once upon a time, there was a princess.”
“Who had pink hair and a dress made of gold.”
“She also had a dragon who breathed fire.”
We won't tell you how this one ends, because it's your turn to add to the story and share it with the kids.
Got any brilliant games you could share? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to our list. Don't forget to share this with your friends!