The Great American Road Trip. So many of us grew up with them, and we even have fond memories of being stuffed in the back of the Family Truckster, arguing with our siblings and wondering exactly how purple dad’s face would be when he finally turned around and yelled, “KNOCK IT OFF!” for the umpteenth time.
But now you are dad or mom, and are realizing that kids and road trips don’t really mix very well. Most kids don't appreciate scenic drives, and historical landmarks aren’t high on the list of kid fun, unless the landmark says “Disney” in it somewhere. It's up to parents to help make time on the road pass quickly.
Now, truth be told, most of these games are for pre-teen kids, maybe even pre-tween. If your journey involves a carload of sullen teenagers, maybe you’d better just rent a DVD player, or kick yourself for not checking the “rear entertainment system” option box on your new family hauler.
But for smaller kids that aren’t at those dreaded teen years yet, we’re old fashioned enough to think that the journey can be half the fun. Besides, even though DVD players are becoming commonplace in minivans and sport utes, don’t you get enough Dora the Explorer and Spongebob at home? Anyhow, to help ensure an enjoyable vacation – or at least keep the “stay on your own side!” arguments as infrequent as possible – here are a few ways to keep the little ones occupied when the excitement and anticipation of a fun vacation fades into boredom.
A couple of overall tips. First, make sure the game you pick is age-appropriate. An 8-year-old is probably not going to be very interested in a game of “What does a cow say,” and a few rounds of “license plate addition” is probably too much for most 3-year-olds. Second, have a prize in mind for the winner of each game. It can be stickers for smaller kids, or maybe a special dessert at the next meal for the older ones.