We know Urgent.ly is a great resource that gives drivers peace of mind, knowing that if any unexpected incidents arrive, help is just a few taps away. As the weather starts to warm up, families are starting to think of planning upcoming vacations. But the thought of taking a road trip with antsy kids can be daunting. Luckily, there are ways to make the experience more enjoyable for the entire family. Kids can keep entertained and parents can keep stress free!
We asked some experts to give us their best tips on creative ways to keep kids entertained and here’s what they recommended …
Pull together a scavenger hunt.
Mommy Blogger Kim Tate (@StuffedSuitcase) knows that if you’ve ever tried taking a road trip with kids, “Are we there yet?” and “I’m bored!” can become things you hear over and over. She suggests pulling together a scavenger hunt to keep them occupied and even has some great ones you can print out here!
Create a mystery bag.
Mommy Blogger Kate Trout of Maternity Glow has two little kids and to keep them entertained she fills a “mystery bag” with surprise treats, friends, and activities. Then, she pulls out a surprise whenever someone starts to pout or act up and it keeps them curious, engaged, and occupied for the duration of the trip. And don’t worry about kids acting up just to get a prize. She adds you can encourage them to behave, “if you remind your toddler that if they continue to fuss, the item is going back in the bag and they can try to earn it back later.”
“Bad Libs” …. Mad Libs with a Twist!
The Psychic Genius (@WhispersMelissa) has teenagers and it is very difficult to keep them from just burying their heads into their phones. Her kids aren’t allowed to swear at home, but in the car anything goes! They buy Mad Libs and turned them into “Bad Libs.” And she added, “If the kids have questions about any words or anything that is difficult to talk about we have them in a totally captive environment to dispel any rumors and also talk about sexuality, bullying, hating, or whatever. So much growth and communication!”
A Classic Favorite -- Play the Alphabet Game.
As an educator, Kimberly Parker (@kimberlykparker) is always looking for ways to enlighten while informing. She says, “Using license tags, road signs, and signage on vehicles, we simply start with the letter "A" and identify a word associated with that letter. "J", "Q", and "Z" are always the most challenging. We normally find them on license plates.”
A Twist on “I Spy” – “Beep!”
Rob Bignell (@InventingRealit), author of “Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities” recommends a variation of the classic car trip “I Spy” game. Looking out the window, one person in the vehicle selects an object that is commonly repeated – a green sign if on the freeway, a light post, a blue car – and says “Beep!” whenever the vehicle passes it. All others in the vehicle, going round robin, take turns calling out what they think the person is saying “Beep!” for. The person who guesses correctly gets to select an object and call “Beep!”
Good, old fashioned human engagement!
According to Dr. Fran Walfish (@FranWalfish), Beverly Hills child, parenting and relationship psychotherapist (and author of "The Self-Aware Parent" and co-star of "Sex Box" on WEtv), “Parents today are so caught up in the latest electronic gadgets and toys to occupy their kids, they forget to do the most important thing one can do to stimulate children's brains and emotionality... engage!” Human engagement is the best way to excite preschoolers when traveling.
So next time you’re hitting the road, make sure you keep these creative tips in mind and keep your car full of kids entertained!