When going on a long journey with the little ones, of course parents are worried how to entertain kids and to make the trip easy and fun. But this task isn’t worth worrying about if you prepare for the trip. So let’s see what road trip games for kids will come in handy every time you travel with your whole family.
But first, some tips.
Tips for a trip with young kids
2. The first thing you should do is to inform the child how much time the journey will take. This will prepare him for a certain expectation. To help your little one better understand you, you should not just say that you’ll have to go for three hours, for example, but to clearly demonstrate the distance. For instance, use the spine of a book. If the bottom of the spine is the point where you started your trip and the top of the spine is the destination, the child will easily understand where you are and the distance left.
3. If the trip is long, be sure to show when a stop is scheduled. The anticipation of a soon “release” will help the child to calmly spend time in the car seat.
What about cartoons and movies?
It’s so much tempting to let the child watch his favorite cartoons when on the trip and have some time for yourself. Do not hurry up. At least, do not watch them for a long time. Take care of your kid’s vision. Pictures flashing before the eyes fascinate your kid, he can watch them for a long time, and then … he starts throwing tantrums. Not because he is harmful, but because of fatigue and nervous tension accumulated during the time spent watching cartoons.
So, please do not get carried away with movies, TV shows, and mobile games.
But you are free to take lots of audio recordings (fairy tales, children’s songs). That’s just fine. After all, you can not only listen but sing as well – all together. And you get a great family choir!
What items to take when going on a long trip
– Beverages and foods (water, juice, cookies);
– wet wipes, towels;
– toilet paper;
– books with pictures;
– books of stickers;
– magnetic board games;
– sheets of paper, a notepad;
– felt pens (better thick and short ones – that’s safer);
– several favorite toys;
– a secret bag. Put some funny little things into it – both your kid’s favorite toys and some new ones. This will be your “golden reserve”. Once the child starts crying or whimpering, and lo and behold, you are taking an interesting thing like a magician out of a sleeve.
Games and activities to entertain your little one
Games with stickers
Buy a book of small stickers and let the kid make pictures on a blank sheet of paper.
A favorite color
Let each passenger in your road transport say his favorite color. Now you need to count the cars of these colors passing by.
What can you see?
This activity is great for the young kids who just started talking. Look at the images on the billboards that you meet on your way. Let the baby tell about both the picture depicted there and the characteristics of the objects (color, shape, size).
I know five…
Come up with some objects or properties: I know five girls’ names, I know five cities, I know five colors, etc. Depending on the child’s age choose the topics. This game will expand the kid’s horizons and enrich his vocabulary.
Name the characteristics of objects, and offer the child to guess the opposites. Like, hot-cold, white-black, girl-boy, etc.
Finish the curve
Let the child draw a curve without taking a felt pen or a pen off the piece of paper. Then an adult needs to finish the picture by turning the curve into an animal, a body part, etc.
You can also draw lines on the kid’s back and he should guess what you are drawing.
Looking out of the window and playing
To start with, just look out of the window and name everything you see on the road one by one.
And if the child already knows the letters, choose one and name the objects that begin with it. Children like to name the items beginning with the first letter of their own first name or last one.
But eyes get quickly tired when looking at the moving objects, so you should then switch your attention to something more immovable. Floating clouds, for example.
Watching the clouds
This game develops imagination. Let the kid look at the sky and imagine what the shape of the clouds looks like. If the child finds it difficult, suggest the things of a simple form – a ball, a boat, a pillow, and others.
It is also interesting to discuss what you see in the sky – clouds or thunder clouds, how they differ from each other, how they appear, and why they pour rain.
Choose a cloud and describe how it changes: My cloud looks like a boat. The boat is floating along the sky as if by the sea. Here it is catching up with the other one, they are merging and turning into…. For example, you can start telling and let the child continue.
The same way, you can study any object you see on the road. For example, trees, all of them are green. And if you look more closely, it’s amazing how many shades of green you can notice! Name them in turn, set up a competition who notices more objects.
Guess a figure.
You come up with any number and say:
– Guess the figure.
– Three, says the child.
– No, you say, more than three.
– Less than ten.
And so on until the desired figure is named.
Guess what’s there in the bag.
Take an ordinary opaque bag. Put several different items into it.
– Offer the child to name an object by touching it.
– Describe one of the items in the bag, and the child should understand what it is. For example: It’s fluffy, yellow, it squeaks when you press it … Chicken! guesses the child. As soon as he guesses, he immediately gets this thing as a reward.
Tip: be sure to put something new into the bag. When your child guesses the hidden object, give him the gift, and you sure will get one more pause.
That’s for the kids who can already speak.
Find an unecessary word. For example: wheels, a steering wheel, a cat, a chair. “A cat” is unnecessary here.
Name it with one word. For example: a cat, a dog, a crocodile. All these are animals.
Synonyms. A man is coming – what are the alternative words? That’s right: a person is moving, walking …
Creating words. Choose a long word and create other words with these letters. For example: a forest – rest, for, sore, etc.
Building a sentence. Come up with a short sentence and extend it in turn. Before adding a new word, you need to exactly repeat the words said before. For example: We are going – We are going to the Canyon – We are going to the Grand Canyon – We are going to the Grand Canyon to have fun.
Pronounce a tongue twister ten times in a row. Choose easier ones for young kids.
If you are going to travel with a baby, finger plays are an excellent option to entertain your little one. However, older children can also find them fun.
Let the baby spread his fingers of the left hand. Now he should bend them one by one with the right hand while saying:
This finger is my grandfather.
This finger is my grandmother.
This finger is my dad.
This finger is my mom.
This finger is me.
And that’s my family!
And now on the contrary: the kid unclenches the fingers one by one while saying the same words. And if he can’t do that by himself, you should unclench his fingers and say the rhyme prompting the child to repeat at least the last word. Perform the same actions with the other hand.
Catch my hand
You just reach out a hand and offer the child to catch it. This activity is very simple and so much fun for your little one.
Your hand can turn into a dog, a kitty, a bunny. Just make a fist and lift up two fingers (both index finger and little one) – here’s a bunny. If you bend the fingers a bit – here is a kitten or a dog. You can even draw a muzzle on your hand with a felt pen.
Who can fly
You simply name different objects. If this very object can fly, you have to raise your hands, if it can’t fly – slap your knees.
Can a pigeon fly? Can a fish fly? Can a crow fly? Can a plane fly? Can a plate fly? Start playing at a slow pace, and then gradually speed up. As you ask questions faster, the child is сonfused and it’s very ridiculous.
True or false
How to play: you pronounce a phrase and count up to three, and the child should have time to say whether that’s true or false. Here are the phrases for you to start the game: We left our house early in the morning. It was still quite dark. The brand of our car is Volvo. A fish has a tail. A chicken has fins.
Activities for a 1 year old
For the trip to be easier for your little one, just take his favorite toy he spends most of the time with at home. You can play child lotto as well by viewing a large number of pictures and naming the animals depicted on the cards. Do not forget about the finger puppet theater, which will help to entertain your kid and shorten your time on the trip. You should also increase a physical contact with mom, dad and other relatives accompanying the baby. After all, a tickling game will cause a lot of positive emotions in your child and leave only bright memories.