The Family Road Trip: 10 Ways to Kick Boredom to the Curb – pennycake
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The Family Road Trip: 10 Ways to Kick Boredom to the Curb

The Family Road Trip: 10 Ways to Kick Boredom to the Curb

The Family Road Trip: 10 Ways to Kick Boredom to the Curb

“I’m so BORED!”

How many times have you heard this sentiment before? If you’re a parent, it might be a few times a week. If you’re a parent in a car full of kids on a road trip? Well… let’s just assume it’s too many to count. It’s a rite of passage for every kid to longingly stare out the window wondering “Are we there yet?” There are only so many movies you can download ahead of time before they’re no longer engaging or the whole family has memorized the script.
 
There are lots of ways to keep kids busy while spending endless hours in the car, including a plethora of road trip games for families to enjoy. Let's explore 10 ways to make spending quality time with family on the road more engaging and meaningful.

1. Conversation Starters

It’s not every day you get to spend extended time with the whole family in the car. Thinking of how you’ll pass the time may sound like a challenge, but as soon as your kid makes a joke, you start to realize just how valuable quality time with family on the road may be.
 
Memorable times like this can be both interactive and playful, without getting too deep. Conversation starter card games are a fun way to pass time with endless outcomes.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
·      Share a time you watched someone else do something brave .
·      What new food will you try this year?
·      What makes a day a great day?
·      What do you call a dog that can’t bark? A hush puppy!
·      Would you rather have a cat, or have a dog?
·      Name who tells the funniest jokes.

If you enjoy activities like this one, you’d love ChatterTime®, a game created to spark intentional conversations effortlessly. ChatterTime On-The-Go is an easy conversation card game that allows you to bring those conventions on the road. With this kids activity, you’ll always have something new to talk about with 48 conversation cards in 6 categories.

2. License Plate Game

As you drive along, each person keeps their eye out for license plates from other states. By the time you get to the next rest stop, the person who identified the most license plates from different states wins!

3. The Suitcase Game

This one’s a classic. Pretend you all packed one big suitcase, then one at a time add something to it using the letters of the alphabet, while remembering everything else that was added before. It would sound a bit like this:
            “I’m going on a trip, and I’m packing an apron.”
            “I’m packing an apron and a belt.”
            “I’m packing an apron, a belt, and cowboy boots.”
Keep going until someone forgets something on the packing list or can’t think of a new item. Play it as many times as you want and utilize a new theme each time for more fun (going on a picnic, to the beach, to the movies, etc.).

4. Mash-up Karaoke

Think of this game as a musical relay race. Each person takes a turn picking a song, singing a few lines, and passing the baton to the next person. The next person in the lineup then sings a new song using the last word of the previous song. It's a fun way to enjoy music and challenge your creativity!

5. Song-Off

If your family enjoys listening or singing to music, you'll have a great time with this activity. Take turns picking songs to listen to and voting on your favorites. Passengers can pretend to be part of the band using air guitars, air drums, or air keyboards. For more fun, put all the songs in a playlist to listen to again on the way home.

6. Storytelling

The great thing about stories is that there are endless ways to tell them. Tell a collective story by taking turns adding lines one by one. Or, take turns giving each other a one-word prompt and see where it goes from there. Tell a story based on a whimsical version of your own memory. Or, make one up using the sights around you. As you tell stories, take turns recording or writing down the best ones so you’ll always be able to look back at what made your trip so special.
 
Story prompts can come from anywhere around you. But, if you’d like to take the guesswork out of the equation, SpinSpinShare™ is the solution. With tons of pre-selected story prompts, there are endless ways your stories can come to life.
 
Here’s a SpinSpinShare™-inspired prompt to get you started:

Share a time you felt happy while you were with a classmate when it was winter.”

 

For extra fun, add a twist of pretend…

“… and all of a sudden, a dragon appeared!”

Take SpinSpinShare™ on the road and spin up all kinds of new stories along the way.

7. Cows

Is this the simplest activity? Yes. Is it the most fun? Arguably, yes. The entire objective is to be the first to spot the cows in rural areas. When you do, shout out “COWS!” It’s a fun game for 3 year olds and middle schoolers alike! If you’re not traveling towards any rural farmland, change the game to “Deer”, “Yellow Light”, “Firetruck” or “Construction” … anything that pops up frequently enough to keep an eye out for.

8. Color Count

There are two ways to play this game. You can use the same method as the 'License Plate Game', but instead of license plates, see who can spot the most car colors. Another way is for each player to choose their own car color and count as many cars as possible. The person with the highest number of cars in their count by the time you stop at the next gas station is the winner!

9. I Draw You Draw

If the driver needs a break to focus on the road, but everyone else is amped up, this is one of the best games for the whole family. With a paper and a pen, take turns drawing a picture together. One by one, everyone adds one line to the picture until the masterpiece is done. Turn the next rest stop into an art show by showing the driver all your handiwork.

10. What Will We Do?

This activity lets everyone get involved in the details of your plans. It can help kids prepare for new environments by talking through all the things that are to come—who you’ll meet, where you’ll visit, the places you’ll stay in, etc. Within each category, kids can have a chance to explore their options and put any fear aside by knowing they’ll approach the next destination with confidence. Here are some ways to get started:
·      “When we see (name), how will you say hi?”
·      “When should we get dessert tomorrow… after lunch, or after dinner?”
·      “When we go hiking, do you want to wear your blue hat or your green hat?”
 
 
This list is full of all kinds of fun things to do on the road. If you’re looking for meaningful ways to keep your kids busy, it might be a good idea to keep some go-to games for traveling in the car.

Mix It Up® On-the-Go is one of the best travel games that fills up time without extra prep or planning ahead. You’ll find 25 activities in 5 different categories (smile, play, care, create, learn).
 
While these ideas work great from the road, they can also be used around town — in the doctor’s office waiting room, the pickup line at school, at sibling soccer practice… really, anytime at all where you have a little (or a lot of) time to enjoy fun games to play with the family. Before you know it, you will have reached your destination, or it’s time for the next thing on the to-do list! 

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