Are you headed “over the river and through the woods” to Grandmother’s house for the holidays? Are you like most of us, with plugged-in children who spend the hours with headphones on, staring at screens? Honestly, I am okay with that. Technology has truly transformed child behavior on lengthy road trips. But if your trip isn’t too long and you want to try to have some family fun as a family, why not try a few tech-free car activities along the way? Unplug the headphones and set aside the screens for a while. Parents, this means you too – stash those phones in the center console. Here are a few Technology Free Entertainment Ideas For Your Holiday Roadtrip.
• Road Trip Bingo – this one takes a bit of advanced planning, since you will need to print out your Bingo cards ahead of time. There are several printable Bingo cards if you search online, or order a set like Melissa & Doug Travel Bingo. So many classic games are now available in travel versions to keep loose pieces to a minimum. Go old school and introduce your kids to the classic games of your own youth.
• Is your road trip a route you know well? If so, it may be fun to create our own personalized game using landmarks, shops, and well-known signs you may see along the way. If not, have your kids map the route along the way with this Rand McNally Kids’ Road Atlas. To get the older children in the game mood? Offer a prize – grab something enticing at the store before your trip, when you are picking up your various travel needs. Or, you know, cash always works.
• I Saw It First – This can be a rowdy game if you have competitive players. Player one names a common sight along the highway – like McDonald’s, for example. Then all the players keep their eyes glued to the roadside signs. The first to spot a McDonald’s logo screams it out! Then that player selects the next logo for which to be on the lookout. It is loud and fun, and actually makes the miles go by a little faster. You will be at Grandma’s house before you know it.
• Classic Twenty Questions – One player thinks of a person, animal, or food. Another player begins asking questions about the thing such as, “is it a fruit?”. The player has a maximum of twenty questions in which to guess the item. See how challenging you can make it!
• Name That Tune – You can make a mix CD ahead of time or use the music on your phone or MP3 player (the only tech allowed!). If using a phone or MP3 player, set it to shuffle, then let the music play. The first to yell out the name of the song “wins” and they get to choose if you finish the song or skip to the next. With younger kids, this works well with a CD like Now Disney: That’s What I Call Disney because the kids can guess the movie or character.
Admittedly, technology-filled road trips are probably a more relaxing way to roll down the Interstate, especially for busy parents who may crave an hour of silence. However, those uncommon moments of family playtime can be really special. How about giving it a try on your next family adventure?
What’s your favorite technology-free road trip entertainment idea?