“Are we there yet?” If you’re headed out on a road trip with kids, you’ll most likely hear this question soon after you leave your driveway. To make the ride more fun and help the time pass, here are five ideas for games to play along the way.
One fun and easy game is to pay attention to the license plates of passing cars. Let one of the kids keep score by marking off a
state whenever someone spots it. Devise a scoring system — you might want to add bonus points for faraway places like Hawaii or Alaska. Another version would be to take the letters in the license plate and see what words you can come up with. For example, if a license plate begins with "TWD," you might try to think of a word containing those letters, like "toward," or a crazy word combination like "two wild donkeys."
Study road signs, billboards and and other signage and see if your passengers can find every letter of the alphabet. If you spot a detour sign, mark off the “d” for detour. A billboard for a restaurant could take off the “r” or even the letters of the restaurant name, such as “o” and “g” for Olive Garden.
Mapping it out
Print out maps from the Internet that detail your route. Give the kids some sparkly stickers and highlighters so they can keep track of how far you’ve gone. Help them identify the start and end points, so when they ask if you're there yet, you can encourage them to check the map and estimate how far you’ve gone and how much of the trip is left.
Create a story
Play a round-robin type of game and create your own family story. One person starts with an opening line, and then each person takes a turn filling in the next line. For instance, the first person might say something like, “I walked outside and saw a bird’s nest on the ground.” The next could say, “At that very moment, the Great Dane from across the street dashed in front of me, picked up the nest and ran.” The next could say, “So I ran after him.” And so on until the story is finished.
When all else fails, pull out a mystery box that you packed prior to the trip. Fill it with items that can keep kids occupied for a long stretch at a time. Crafts are a great bet — things like crayons, coloring books, foam, child-safe scissors, yarn, construction paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaner, mini pom-poms and other supplies.
Who knows? The ride may become as exciting as the destination if you plan it right.