Tips to Help Occupy Your Kids During Road Trips

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My daughter and I try to take a weekend road trip at least once a year for mom and daughter bonding. So, we’re pretty much road trip experts, in a sense. Although, I won’t actually claim to be an expert. I learn something new every road trip we take.

This year we took a weekend trip to San Angelo, Texas, right where West Texas meets the Hill Country. The drive itself was beautiful. Although, for our family, we usually find the most fun when unexpected things happen. What happened that was unexpected? Well, my daughter and I are NOT Texas natives, so when we saw the bluebonnets on the side of I-37 between Corpus Christi and San Antonio… well, we were definitely 100% tourists.

We found Bluebonnets on the side of the road.
We found Bluebonnets on this road trip.

My daughter LOVES nature. She does kind of get that from me. I’m a lover of animals and wild flowers are my favorite kind of flowers. For us, stopping to take pictures was completely normal. Sometimes, seeing your hometown or any area you frequent through the eyes of tourist allows you to see things in a new way. We definitely did the tourist thing with these bluebonnets.

So, our advice? Remember to be spontaneous on your road trip!

bluebonnet2

Now, that you know a little bit about our this year’s road trip lets get to the heart of the matter. How to make road trips fun for the little ones.

We have a handful games that we play. Some are completely old school (games I played as a kid):

Slug Bug

I Spy

Stink Bug Game

I know that some don’t know about the stink bug game. I’ll explain it a little bit:

As you’re driving down the road, all the cars going in the opposite direction become “someone’s car”:  i.e. Mom’s car is the Ford that passes by, Dad’s car is the Chevy truck passing, kid’s car is the next Ford going by, keep going in that order. Then, the fun part… you see a semi-truck. Whoever’s car it is as it passes is the stink bug (aka: loser of that round.) If your kids think anything stinky is funny, they might say things like “Eeew, what stinks!?” When someone is the stink bug. My daughter finds it funny when I or Dad are the stink bug.

Be the Lookout

Another way we keep our daughter occupied on the drive is to have her be the lookout. Have your child help look for the exit number you need or the town/city you are going to. Do you need a gas station? Are you hungry? The signs on the side of the road are your friends. Have your kids keep track of how many miles are left until your exit. How many miles away are you from the destination? Have them look for the gas stations coming up at the next exit.

We try to have technology free road trips and this is how we keep our kiddo occupied on road trips. I would love to hear what works for you and your family on road trips. What works for you?

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A native of Tennessee, Alecia calls Texas home for a few years while her husband of 4 years serves in the military. She is a mom to a 10 year old girl and a stay at home soccer mom. Faith is a huge part of Alecia's life and she loves volunteering where she can in her community. Her favorite things are writing/reading, thunderstorms, baking/cooking, gardening, walking the dog, crocheting and spending quality time with her family. She would be more than willing to do without having to move when the Navy says "go," deployments, spiders, and mosquitoes.