If you’re a family that loves to get behind the wheels and explore, you probably know that the greatest challenge to that can be entertaining the kids. While most adults are content to just stare out the window and admire natural beauty, children have a certain limitation when it comes to that ability. These road trip tips will help keep your kids happy and preserve your own sanity, whether you’re driving from Surrey to Calgary or California.
Pack Small, Individual Activities Tailored To Each Child
Involve your child in filling a backpack with activities they can do solo. From colouring books to word searches to novels, you and your child can build your excitement together by packing as a team. What about electronics? There’s definitely room for that on a road trip (particularly when you’re on the go over multiple days), but this backpack should be tech-free. An exception to this might be a music device with ear buds. This actually could encourage some of that window-gazing and it’s one answer to differing musical preferences. This backpack is the first response to boredom as outlined in the next tip.
Don’t Intervene Unless You Have To
It’s important to let your kids figure out a way to entertain themselves without you throwing a game at them or putting a movie on right away. I mean, this is a vacation for you, too, right? Let them doodle in their notebook, read or play with their toy figurines in their laps. Just as at home, children should be encouraged to figure out how to beat boredom, it’s possible for them to be creative in the car. With a backpack of activities at their disposal that they helped pack, they should feel empowered to make choices.
Plan A Variety Of Stops Each Day
While you don’t always have the luxury of taking several days to get to a destination, it really does help to break up each day of driving with a variety of stops. Just a quick stretch of the legs, bathroom break and snack in the fresh air does wonders. However, if there is the opportunity to spend a couple hours exploring something interesting in a town – a particular attraction, a natural wonder, a local hike – this adds to the experience of the road trip and creates enjoyable memories. And best of all, getting back in the car for another stretch of driving is more bearable for everyone.
Pull Out The Family Car Games
You knew these were coming! There are so many classic car games that they could have an article unto themselves. And in fact, there already are plenty of people out there reminding the rest of us how we dealt with drives before tablets and cell phones. To jumpstart your memory, check out Fun-Attic’s Ultimate Guide to Road Trip Games and Geek Dad’s 5 Old School Car Games for Retro Road Tripping!
A Movie A Day Keeps The Frustration Away
I’m not above letting my kids watch a movie when the GPS says we’ve got 8 hours of driving ahead of us. For me and my husband, that’s a guaranteed couple hours of happy driving. But we find that when we’ve put the other tips into play, the movie really can be the last resort for that stretch of long drive in between breaks.
In the end, you have to do what works for you and your family. Hopefully some of these tips make your adventure memorable and fun! Have any tips to share with us? Leave a comment below!