Isn't it true that it's the journey, not the destination that counts? Clearly, whoever thought of that has never been in a car with a rowdy family in tow. Family car trips are frequently marketed as a bonding event, complete with sing-along sessions and deep discussions. However, as any parent who has done so knows, sitting in the car with your children for more than 15 minutes is its own form of agony. Don't worry, get your navigation system updated and hit the road—we've got some suggestions for how to pass the time.
LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK:
You were ecstatic to reread the entire Harry Potter series, this time with your child, and to share the world of Hogwarts with them. The only issue is that those novels are quite lengthy. When you snuggle up to your mini at night to read him a bedtime tale, he can only make it through a couple of pages before passing out. A long vehicle ride, on the other hand, provides the ideal opportunity to relive the magic. There are plenty of free audiobooks for the whole family, you can download the Harry Potter series and much more.
PLAY THE GAME OF STATE LICENSE PLATES:
You may recall doing this exercise as a child, and that's because a classic never goes out of style. To play, either prepare a list of all 50 states ahead of time or while driving (for an extra challenge, see if your little geniuses can name all the states without looking them up). Then, as each child discovers a plate from a different state, they can check it off their list. The winner is the first person to cross off all 50 states (or the person with the most states crossed off). Is there a bonus? Your child's geography and memorization skills will be put to the test.
REST FOR A WHILE:
If you're going on a lengthy road trip with little children, you'll need to stop for a nap. But what if your child refuses to cooperate? To maximize the possibilities of a nap, make the backseat as comfortable as possible. Consider reducing the lights (or putting in one of these window shades), playing relaxing music, supporting their head, and bringing along a favourite toy.
WATCH A MOVIE:
Leave any guilt you may feel about screen time at home. A well-chosen programme or film can transform a dreadful driving trip into something entertaining (for everyone involved). Here are some of our favourite family movies to purchase or download ahead of your trip, ranging from short cartoons to laugh-out-loud comedies. Hey, you could just get the family sing-along you've been hoping for.
HAVE SOME DELICIOUS SNACKS:
A hungry toddler is a nightmare in any situation, including the backseat of a car. Pack a variety of healthful snacks for your journey and hand them out when you notice your child is getting hungry. Before traveling, we prefer to make a batch of cherry-almond granola bars or mac-and-cheese bits, but you can also buy a couple of pouches or string cheese. This will also keep you from going insane at the petrol station and stocking up on chips and candy (because a kid hopped up on sugar is never a good idea).
BOND WITH EACH OTHER:
Your efficient GPS navigation system (get it installed from Android Navigation) is still showing a long way to go, so take advantage of this vehicle ride to reconnect with one another. How? By posing challenging questions that aren't easily answered with a simple yes or no. Here are some suggestions: What has happened to you that has been the best thing ever? What is the most heinous thing that has ever happened to you? What one rule will you make that everyone in the world has to follow?
LEARN A LANGUAGE:
Okay, so no one seriously believes that you will be able to educate your children in Mandarin while driving them three hours north of the city. If, however, your children have already begun studying a foreign language at school, you should make the most of this opportunity to help them review what they have already learned and perhaps even teach them (and yourself) a few additional words and rules of grammar.
LET THE CHILDREN BE IN CHARGE OF DECORATION FOR THEIR WINDOW:
Your children are going to adore the following suggestion: They will have a blast decorating their car windows with the window cling kits and washable markers you have given them (while safely strapped into their seats, of course). They'll have a great time coming up with their masterpieces, and if you bring along a cotton cloth in the trunk, they'll be able to wipe away their work and begin the process again from the beginning.
DO A SCAVENGER HUNT:
This one needs a little bit of forethought on your part, but the pay-off is enormous (i.e., a child who does not whine that he is bored in the back seat). Before getting into the car, make a list of things that you need to look for so that your child can check them off as you find them. To get you started, here are some ideas to consider: Cows, churches, a firetruck, a yellow automobile, a stop sign, and a dog are some examples, but I think you get the point.
PLAY 20 QUESTIONS GAME:
How to do it: Consider a certain individual, location, or item. After that, it's time for everyone to take a turn asking you a "yes" or "no" question until they figure out what it is that you are considering. It's a breeze to do, plenty of fun, and a fantastic choice for people of all ages.
HAVE A SING-ALONG:
It’s about time you put up the family’s favorite song and sing along with everyone in a loud voice.You know you want to, so just do it already and get it out of your system. Have an amazing trip!