Unplugged Ideas for Entertaining Travel With Kids

mearts & entertainment

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…  Will you be traveling to visit family this holiday season?  Whether you are planning a trip by plane, train, or automobile, here are a few ideas for keeping the kids entertained during long roadtrips:

Making Lists
Sounds like something you do before the long trip, right?  Try getting the whole family involved in thinking of the following during the trip -

  • Famous Rabbits (Bugs bunny, the Trix rabbit, the Energizer bunny, etc.  Once you get started, you’ll be amazed at how many you can name!)
  • Shades of Green (Hunter, Lime, Kelly, etc.)
  • States that begin with the letter “M”

Customize the list to your family’s interests and the knowledge and ability levels of each player.  Let each person take a turn suggesting a list topic.  Rather than putting on headphones and tuning each other out, you’ll be talking and laughing together.

First Letter, Last Letter

This game is great for passing the miles and helping develop language skills in your little ones.  Start by saying the name of a famous person, such as George Washington.  The next player has to think of a famous name that begins with “W” (the first letter of the last name that was just spoken).

For an extra challenge, limit the famous names to historical figures, cartoon characters, TV stars, or sports players—whatever suits your  family’s interests.  Try using geographical terms (United States…Spain…Netherlands, etc) or animal names (zebra, antelope, etc).  The possibilities are even more endless than your time in transit!

Tell a Story

Try the old campfire game in which one person starts a story with an original sentence or two, then passes it on to the next person, who adds his or her own couple of lines, and so forth.  Continue on for as long as you can, weaving a funny family story complete with action, suspense and, if you can work together well enough, perhaps even a cliffhanger ending.  Try starting the game with five “must include" items to incorporate into the story at some point (e.g., a blimp).  “Tell a Story” is a great activity for being silly together as a family.

I know some of you were waiting for me to get to the part about “pressing play” on the DVD player.  Do so, if you must—goodness knows electronics have salvaged many a long-distance trip for me—but keep in mind the old saying, “It’s not the destination, but the journey.”    Make your journey-time count this holiday season by connecting with family members through good, old-fashioned, unplugged interactions.  Safe travels!

By Signe Whitson, LSW.  She is the best travel companion for stress free holiday road trips.  Her ideas are cheap, fun, and stress free ways to keep children entertained.  These ideas and more are available on her blog on passive aggressive relationships.  She has been featured on Psychology Today, co-authored the book "The Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplaces", child therapist, and most of all a mom to two beautiful girls.  She does it all and has fun at the same time.  She has partnered with My Baby Clothes Boutique - where they specialize in everything you need for your little angels this holiday season.  Angelic baby headbands, holiday baby clothes, warm cozy baby hats and so much more.

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