Summer is on the way and that means kids will be out of school and ready to have fun. It’s a popular time for road trips and quick getaways, but how can parents cope with long, boring hours in the car? Avoid the endless back seat arguing and whining by being prepared! First, be sure you’ve packed all the right items for your trip but also before heading out, get the cheapest car insurance that meets your family’s needs so you will feel safe and confident while on your adventure.
Favorite Road Trip Games
Depending on the children’s age, time of day, and preferences, you might find it more fun to play a game than watch a movie. When everyone is a bit more tired and quiet, that is the time to pop a movie or two in to keep them entertained.
- License Plate Game. When you’re on the road, what is there to look at? It’s often an endless highway with limited views. Turn it into a healthy competition with the license plate game. Depending on the length of your trip and what interstate you’re choosing to take, the kids could spot plates from several different states. Have them write them down and give them extra points if they can name state capitals.
- Alphabet Game. This is a great way to encourage the little ones in learning their ABC’s, and it’s just as much fun for adults! Using everything that is available to the eyes – license plates, billboards, signs, and objects – simply take turns finding things that start with letters from A-Z. The first person spots an ‘apple’ on a billboard, and the second person might follow up with a bee or bird to keep the game going.
- I Spy Game. “I spy with my little eye…” Who doesn’t love the I Spy game? The beauty of this game is that the question is up to the person giving the clue. So, the clue-giver might ask, “I spy with my little eye, something that begins with the letter C” or “Something that is the color blue.” It’s a great way to get kids to interact with their environment and be present in their surroundings.
- Cow on My Side! This is a great game if and when your travels take you through the countryside. As soon as a passenger sees cows on their side they shout out, “Cows on my side!” and take a point. If you see cows on the other person’s side, they can yell “Cows on your side!” and take a point away from them. When you pass a cemetery, the first person to shout out “Ghost cow!” takes all of the other side’s points.
Favorite Kid Movies
Keep in mind that any favorite movie of your child’s is a DVD you should take along on the trip. They’ll likely want to watch it over and over again and will be soothed and comforted when it’s playing. Here is a list of favorite kid movies that can be considered as supplements!
- Finding Nemo. An absolute classic movie that is received well by kids and adults, Finding Nemo was produced by Pixar and it shows. A thoughtful, visually vibrant movie with lessons that are learned playfully where love and living win out in the end.
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. All children love animals, and this movie is from the point of view of two dogs and a cat who try and find their way back to their human family. If you and your own family are traveling through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s a perfect accompaniment as it’s exactly where the main characters make their journey.
- Up. Another movie that is likely to become a classic in any household. Up is about two mismatched companions – a young boy scout and an older gentlemen, who travel over continents in a house that is hoisted ‘up’ by helium balloons.
- The Muppet Movie. Even if your kids aren’t familiar with The Muppets because, let’s face it, they came on the scene a long time ago, they’ll still find good humor and fun in this family movie. They will love joining Kermit on his trip to Hollywood, not just for fame but to make people happy, which serves as a great lesson all on its own.
- Cars 2. While some might prefer the original Cars movie over the second one, Cars 2 is an amazing cartoon adventure that the kids (and adults) are sure to love. Lightning McQueen and his friend, Mater, go oversees to be in the World Grand Prix. Hijinks ensue and the entire vehicle will be laughing and well entertained with another Pixar homerun.
When summer hits and you’re ready to get the family on the road, be prepared with snacks, bottled water, and entertainment that will keep you from hearing the dreaded, “Are we there yet?”