On the Road: How to Break Up Boredom During a Car Move
By Serena Norr
You’re moving by car with your kids. What a great way to save money and see the U.S. on the road; however, the thought of traveling with your kids for an extended period of time seems daunting. What should you do with them on the road? What if they cry? What if they complain? No need to fret, mama or papa, Vanlines.com has you covered with our fun and interactive moving tips that will hopefully stop “Are we there yet?” right in its tracks.
1. Pack for them. Every kid is different and every one has their own interests and comforting objects. Pack Billy’s favorite stuffed toy or Suzie’s favorite stickers – whatever it is don’t forget to bring it. Some fun ideas include: crayons, coloring books, etc. Something comforting from their old home will go a long way in your car trip.
2. Let them map it. This is a great idea for older kids who can follow a map as they track the destination to their new home. Make this a game for them as they mark off places where you stop and write about or make a picture about their experience in the town. Have them pick up one item from every stop – such as a town brochure, postcard etc. Also, when you take breaks make them matter, meaning try to find a park where kids can play or a familiar restaurant.
3. Journal the trip. We mentioned writing down or drawing their stops, but this can also apply to chronicling their journey in the car. To break up the boredom, have your kids write down or draw anything from what they see to what they are exited about the most in their new town. If they are older, have them take pictures and assign them the role of family photographer.
4. Contests. Kids love to play and win prizes. Make your car an area of fun where you allow your kids imaginations to run wild; despite the fact that they are stuck in a car. We like bubblegum chewing contests where you will judge who blows the biggest bubbles, the license plate game where your kids will have to record what state it comes from and the child with the most states gets to win a prize.
5. Sing, Laugh, Talk. You’re kids, no doubt, will complain and pout about a long car ride. Try to stop them in their tracks by having a car sing-along. Either play their favorite songs via and IPod or CD or start signing A capella to lighten the mood. Nothing like some laughs to lighten up a dull car ride. Going around the car, tell each other funny and light jokes. Talking is also another way to go where you ask kids questions or engage them in a story.
6. Games. Games may seem limited since you are in a car, but there are actually a lot of fun things you can do. Depending on your kids age, you can try a game of Mad Libs, car bingo, tic tac toe, word scrambles or a scavenger hunt as seen on MomsMiniVan. There are also pint-sized board games of Wheel or Fortune, Clue, Battleship, etc.
7. Books. Books are a great way to pass the time. Depending on your child’s age you can read to them or bring along a stack of books for them to enjoy in between stops. You can also try audiobooks so that you can take a break yourself.
8. Consider a present. Kids love receiving gifts and why wouldn’t they? Before moving day, consider buying a small wrapped gift in the middle of the trip. This can be another book or small toy or even something related to their new home. Sometimes something new works wonders to keep kids happy.
9. Snacks. No matter how many toys and tricks you have up your selve, no kid is ever going to be happy (and energized) without food. For the initial couple of hours, make sure that you have snacks, such as cheese, sandwiches, fruits, crackers, juice boxes, water, etc. Be prepared since you may not know what type of food you may find on the road.
Before you know it, you will arrive to your new home as you welcome the moving company and your boxes. It may be a long trip, but as with most facets of moving, it will be worth the adventure.
Some games for the road:
Connect The Dots
Tic Tac Toe