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Keeping Your Kids Occupied in the Car

by SarahD on June 9, 2011

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Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained on the Road

Summertime is rife with opportunities for road trips.  The weather is great, the lake is calling, and every weekend could take you somewhere you’ve never been (provided the locale is within driving distance).  But once you’ve got the kids packed in the car amidst piles of luggage, coolers, and camping gear, you’re bound to start hearing those familiar phrases that have haunted parents for generations.  Are we there yet?  How much farther?  I’m bored!  Although there is little you can do to speed up the drive time (without opening yourself up to a ticket), you can definitely find ways to occupy the active minds of your children as you travel many a mile.  Here are just a few ways to keep the little tykes distracted until you reach your destination.

1.  Books.  Some kids get carsick when they read, so be prepared with baggies just in case.  But for the most part, they can keep their eyes locked on the pages of a book for quite a while, escaping to forbidden forests, discovering ancient civilizations (or alien races far in the future), or simply following kids that are like themselves (only sleuths or superheroes).  If your children are participating in a summer reading challenge, this will even help them to rack up more hours.  And you’ll arrive before they know it.

2.  Games.  There are many ways to provide your children with amusement in the form of gameplay.  You could go with classic car games like Battleship or Connect Four (although you may be pulling pieces out of the seats for weeks afterwards).  You might also want to play word games like I Spy, 20 Questions, or Mad Libs.  Some kids can even amuse themselves for miles with Slug Bug or Sweet and Sour (games that involve other cars on the road).  But you could definitely get with the times and provide your kids with games via handheld devices such as the PSP, Nintendo DS, or even your smart phone.  A wealth of games could mean you never hear a peep from the back seat.

3.  Movies.  If you don’t have an in-car system to play DVDs, then consider picking up a portable DVD player.  They’re not very expensive, they come with headphone jacks, and they can keep your kids settled and serene for the duration of your trip with a stack of movies they love to watch at home.

4.  Storytelling.  If all the electronics have outlived their allure on a long road trip, amuse your kids with a round of storytelling in which one person starts the story and then passes it to the next person to continue.  You could end up with a pretty hilarious narrative and a seemingly shorter drive time.

5.  Toys.  The mind of a child is fertile with the seeds of imagination.  Sometimes giving your kids a few Barbie dolls and Transformers and a premise (it’s the end of the world and the robots have to save the fairy princesses) is enough creative fodder to keep them busy for hours.  Heck, you might even want to join in the fun.

Sarah Danielson writes for Breakdown Cover where you can find Aviva Car Insurance Quote and other great providers, rates, and guides.

Related posts:

  1. Keeping Your Child Safe On Long Car Trips
  2. 8 Car Features Your Child Dreams About
  3. Safety Tips for Driving with Kids
  4. Car Safety Tips for Long Road Trips with Infants
  5. What to Look for in a Car Seat

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