If traveling with the family in tow is part of your daily routine, then you know the struggle of finding new and engaging activities for your child to do in the car. Without some fun or at least somewhat thought to provoke entertainment, the daily commute or road trip can go from pleasant to unbearable. Here are a few dependable plans, from the folks at Auto Excel, to keep your kids involved on the way to school, and even on a road trip.
An Activity Binder.
Consider putting together a 1-inch binder with coloring pages, mazes, and crosswords for each child and stowing them in the car. It could even be a group project for all the kids and parents to build them together. Perhaps print out some of their favorite cartoon characters for coloring? Or, if they’re big about space or dolphins or the newest superhero movie, include a word search relevant to their interests. Then simply clip in a pencil case, and leave them in the car for future use. Side note: avoid crayons in these if the weather gets especially hot, they might melt!
Stick Charts and Coin Rewards.
For many kids, having a physical reward for getting ready on time, being kind to their siblings, buckling up, and staying safe in the car can incentivize them to continue. If it’s for a particularly long road trip, have a roll of quarters handy so that they can collect them throughout the trip. Then at the gas station or rest stops, they can use the quarters for snacks! If your travel is part of a daily routine, then the quarter system can become cumbersome and expensive. So instead, use some sticker charts. There are easy printouts online to get you started. Little star and smiley face stickers are cheaper than quarters and after 7 or 8 stickers they some kind of reward.
Books on CD.
If you can find a story or theme that the kids can agree on, an audio book is a great solution to commuting boredom or extended road trips. Play a chapter or two of the book and then pause to talk about what happened, how the characters made smart or unwise choices, and share what you each pictured during great parts of the story. It’s an engaging and educational way to spend time together and learn, even on the road.
Snacks! Pack some snacks, and then some more snacks.
It’s a good idea to have them in the car, like crackers or fruit snacks, to give the kids a boost in the morning before school or cure munchies on long road trips. Side note: keep a collective garbage bag or can in the car for the wrappers so that they don’t accumulate under the seats! In fact, it’d be a great opportunity for a sticker on that sticker chart to the child who collects all the wrappers!
Traveling long or repetitive distance in the car can seem like lost time, but with a few activities and an optimistic attitude, you can make great memories in an otherwise boring situation. Don’t get stuck in the doldrums of commutes and endless road trips- make the best of it!
And before you head out on the road for a school year full of back and forth, stop by and see the folks at Auto Excel for your car’s check up. Regular maintenance is so important to keep you driving safe, and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on parts that could lead to expensive damages later on.