4 Ways to Unplug Your Kids While on the Road
Posted on Jun 27, 2017
Are you dreading taking a road trip with your kids this summer? Don’t want your kids to just plug in to the screens and check out? Children have a harder time keeping themselves entertained on a long drive, and it can be a challenge for parents to keep the kids busy without resorting to just plugging in the tech. The destination might be exciting, but the trip is often tedious. Warm up their creativity muscles with these ideas to help keep the small ones occupied during your drive.
Get each child a clipboard and a new coloring/activity book of their choice. Cut all the pages out of the coloring book and put them on the clipboard. This way, the kids won’t have trouble keeping their pages organized, and will have a solid surface to color on. Be sure to include some blank pages of paper too, so kids can draw their own pictures. Battery-operated book lights can solve the problem of increasing boredom after dark.
Make a playlist of their favorite songs, (ensure they are not the ones that will drive you crazy) and have a sing-a-long with the whole family. If the kids get bored with this activity after a few songs, that’s okay. Just pause the list and bring it out again later. Try changing the lyrics of each song to reflect family members and their interests. If you will be driving at night, give everyone glow sticks and create your own in-car dance party.
Make pit-stops at places other than gas stations. Pull over at roadside ice cream stands, and visit small-town attractions. Emporia has some great ones, like David Traylor Zoo or the Miniature Train ride at Soden’s Grove Park. Some of these small attractions are often overlooked but contain unusual surprises. This will increase your total travel time, but the payoffs of sanity and reduction of whining and stiff muscles will make it worthwhile. You can plan your route ahead of time and work your stops in around usual nap times if your children are young, or just decide to take the next turn off and follow interesting signs. You never know what you could discover!
Word games are a classic, time-tested solution to passing the time when you’ve exhausted other ideas. Try word-association games or go around the car with each person adding a sentence to a story. You may come up with some extremely creative tales that will keep you laughing long after the seat belts are unbuckled and the campfires have burned out.
Road trips can be arduous for little ones, but a little creativity and forward planning can make the road a little smoother. You can use some old-fashioned ideas to keep your kids involved and interested as you head out on the highway for your summer adventure. The road trip is part of the fun!