Road Trip Activities & Games for Kids

Road trips are no longer loathed in this household. And I'm referring to Aaron and I. We used to dread long car rides, because well, kids! But we've entered a new phase where we can take a road trip and wait for it... no one cries! It's true, it's possible. It can happen. This past weekend we drove down to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA for a fun weekend getaway. Normally it would take a little under 2 hours from Los Angeles, but in heavy traffic, it’s closer 3.5 hrs. The kids think they can be on their electronic devices, but then 20 minutes later they are forking over their iPods because they're carsick. 

What do we do for long car rides to pass the time? Well, we sometimes argue over music. Once in awhile you can rotate the iPod through everyone and each person chooses a song. But then I might be the victim of a mobbing where all 3 children choose the same song to drive me insane. The same song being the most obnoxious song on the planet, Gummy Bear. Oh, it's torture, x 3? It's just maddening. So then I turn the radio off in protest. 

Here’s some suggestions of how we manage road trip activities without the usual games/devices that might make kids carsick. 

We enjoy podcasts. There are a few that we all can get behind. You’ll want to adjust what you listen to for the ages of your kids. When the kids were little we would often listen to stories on CD. Now that they’re older we enjoy lots of subjects we find in podcasts. One being Radio Lab. Jad and Robert are awesome and the subjects of the podcasts are all over the place. From really gross to really funny to really interesting. Seriously, we could listen to a podcast about pinworms and then the next about how smart gorillas are and then the next is about music composers. And they are all fascinating. But beware, you might be at a dinner party with one of my kids and they might bust out a fact and work it into conversation. For instance, you might be talking about allergies and one of my kids might say, "do you know it's scientifically proven that people who have hookworms are cured of allergies? And only since hookworms have been mostly eradicated do we have such a rise in allergies?" So yeah, there's always that. 

The kids also have games they find hilarious. Gunnar is a fan of category games. Like he will say "car makers" and you take turns going around to everyone, each person has 4 seconds to name a car brand and they can't repeat someone else's and you have to say it within 4 seconds or else you're out. I lost that one. Or other categories could be "forms of transportation", "states", "flowers", you get my drift. It gets pretty heated. 

One last game I'll mention is a favorite of Sawyer and Greta's. It's the single word story. You pick an order to go in, and then each person says one word that builds on the previous person's word and then all of a sudden you have a story that goes like this,

Once. There. Was. A. Bunny. That. Wanted. To. Eat. Poop. So. He. Went. To. A. Rodeo. And. Then. There. Was. An. Explosion. And. He. Died. Immediately. 

or how bout this one,

I. Jumped. Over. A. Wall. And. Then. I. Met. A. Cheetah. And. Rode. Him. To. A. Rodeo. Where. I. Exploded. 

Yes, lots of rodeos and explosions in our stories. I can't tell you why. But I usually think Sawyer is near the end in the line up and he likes a dramatic conclusion. No seriously, I have video proof of this. 

How do you engage your kids on road trips? Any fun games you play or great things you listen to? I’d love it if you shared in the comments.