Road trips can be long, boring, and especially rough for those kids who suffer from ADHD or other behavioral problems. Whether your child is a baby, teen, or somewhere in between, having some games and toys available for them during long road trips will help everyone. After all, you are all in together once you are out on the road, and if one person is having a bad time, it’s likely that everyone is having a bad time.
Ideally you want to find toys that are small enough to come along on a trip, but engaging enough to keep your child occupied. Some toys that have stood the test of time include Rubik’s Cubes, lacing boards and other toys that engage both the mind and motor skills. Puzzles are another great option
as they can be easily brought aboard and take up a large chunk of time. There are magnetic puzzles available as well, so they can be brought on even the bumpiest of rides. Hand held gaming devices, like Gameboys, iPads, and computers can also be useful on long road trips. Many of these devices can be used as all around entertainment systems as well, providing a platform to watch TV or movies on. While you probably want to limit the amount of screen time your children get, those devices can be perfect for road trips as they offer lots of possible entertainment options. Some cars may also feature built in entertainment systems. Whether you are looking for a new car, or renting one for a long drive, having entertainment features can be a great addition.
Not to be left behind, simple car games can be a great source of fun for everyone. When I was younger, I would play a game called “city, state, or country” on road trips with my parents. In it we would name either a city, state, or country, and then the person who followed would have to name another city, state, or country that started with the last letter of the previous city, state, or country. Not only did it kill off hours at a time, the game was a great chance to learn and have fun together. Other games to play include “I spy” and “License Plate Poker”. A deck of cards can also be a simple but welcome addition to any vacation.
Road trips also provide a great chance for your children to read. The long hours can seem to disappear when you are wrapped up in a good story. Even for younger children, providing some picture books or other interactive books can be beneficial. Take a few yourself and offer them to your children when they see you reading. A book should be a mandatory addition to any road trip or vacation.
An angry, worn-out child can be a nightmare on long road trips. Bringing toys and books, and having a few games in mind can keep your children occupied and happy until you reach your destination.