Traveling Fun with Kids

Any parent who has taken a road trip is all to familiar with the infamous questions--- "When are we gonna get there? How much farther? Are we there yet?..." As dreaded as the incessant questions may be, they are certainly preferable to other commonly heard things when traveling with kids. You know what they are.... "Stop touching me! He/she is on my side of the car! Make him/her give that back!"

But traveling with youngsters doesn't have to be an exercise in sanity preservation. In fact, it can be fun and quite educational, even if you don't have a built in TV/Game system. In fact, everything you need to ENGAGE your kids during extended road trips can be found along the way. Below are some examples of fun games I remember as a child. I hope you'll take time to respond and share other ideas.

1. Identify the county designation on car tags and see how many counties you can identify. For older kids, you can locate the counties on a state map.

2. Sing songs--maybe even learn a few new ones.

3. Count anything you can think of.... Black cows, the number of blue cars, the number of pick-up trucks etc.

4. Identify shapes in the clouds.

5. Guess how many miles it is from one hill to the next and then clock it on the odometer.

6. Play-"I'm thinking of...." and give clues until somebody comes up with the right answer. For example, "I'm thinking of something bigger than me. It is a mammal. It isn't naturally found in the US. It is often found in zoos. It has a long neck."

7. Play the rainbow game in which one person calls out a color and everybody has to find something that color.

8. Tall Tales---One person begins telling a story, and when they get to an exciting or interesting place in the tale, they turn it over to the next person to continue the story. The sillier and more descriptive, the better.

9. Find a word---Call out a word (preferably one related to the trip). Come up with as many words as possible that can be made by using only the letters in that word. You don't have to use all the letters but can only use each letter once unless it occurs more than once in the word.

10. Most Popular Vehicle--Pick a characteristic of vehicles (Make, color, model, type-i.e. car, pick-up, SUV etc. ) and keep a tally of the number of vehicles matching that description in a 10 mile stretch or 20 minute period of time.

What other games can you suggest?