On your next trip in the car, don't spend the entire time frustrated while bored kids spend the entire trip fighting in the backseat. Create a binder with all your essentials like any tickets you've already purchased, coupons for restaurants or plastic pouches for holding CDs. This will help keep you organized on the trip, but you'll also need some car games and entertainment for your children. Here are a few ideas to help make your next road trip a sane one.
For a few dollars at the local 99 cent store, you can pick up a metal cookie sheet. Make sure it's magnetic since not all of them are. You can add a small strip of magnet to markers and the back of a coloring book or sketch pad. The magnets ensure that markers are not falling all over the floor in the backseat. For a few dollars, each child can have a coloring station of their own.Road Trip Bingo
This will take some preparation before the big trip. You'll need to print out or create your own bingo sheets. Each sheet can be laminated for reuse. On a large piece of paper, create large squares where you'll add in your own hand drawn pictures like a stop sign or a bridge. Every time one of the items is spotted, the child can mark it off with a dry erase marker. Don't forget to bring prizes for the winners.License Plate Checklist
There are plenty of printable checklists online available for parents of children heading out on long road trips. It'll have cute pictures of license plates that your children can cross off as they're found. If you laminate the papers, they'll last longer, and your children can wipe them down and play over and over again.Audio Books on CD
If you've ever listened to a book on CD during a drive, you know it can make the car ride pass by faster. The same is true with children. You can find books as well as CDs to accompany them in many department stores or online shops. A portable player means each child can listen to their own book with a set of headphones.Portable Puzzles
Wooden puzzles and portable 3D brain teasers can keep kids occupied for at least an hour. During a long car trip, a silent hour can seem like an eternity. A snake cube puzzle might be complicated enough to keep you busy for hours too.Geocaching on the Road
If you have the time, you should explore locations by going treasure hunting. People hide containers that others have to find. The containers are hidden in public areas like local parks, and the children can learn about different areas of the country during the trip. It's a great way to break up long trips too.Twenty Questions
This game is a traditional, road trip game that you might have played with your own family. You think of an object, and people in the car take turns asking questions. The first question should always be whether it's an animal, mineral or vegetable. The person who thought of the object can only answer yes or no to the questions until a winner is declared. If no one guesses the right answer, the item is revealed and someone else starts the game.Make Foil Animals or Structures
For this game, you'll need to distribute the sheets of foil yourself so nobody gets cut. Bring tape for creating solid structures. Your kids can make hats, jewelry, animals or buildings with their foil. They can be unfolded and made into the next shape quite easily.Board Games
There are plenty of traditional travel games that your kids can enjoy together in the backseat like checkers or backgammon. The travel versions of these games have magnetic pieces and boards to make sure the pieces don't fall into the seats or on the floor. You can create your own boards and magnetic pieces with a metal baking sheet, hot glue and strip magnets.Traveling with children doesn't have to be a nightmare. You can avoid a bored child by planning ahead and giving them some interesting games and activities to keep them occupied.