Yes, DVDs, playing cards, 20 Questions and other travel games go a long way toward keeping kids busy during long car trips. But it's also important to give them opportunities to get out of the car and move around. Even 10 or 15 minutes of active play can mean happier, healthier, quieter kids once you get back on the road!
So when you stop for gas, meals, or restroom visits, spend a few minutes playing some active road trip games too.
- Play ball! Pack a football, beach ball, Frisbee, or baseball and glove for a quick game of catch.
- Fly a kite. If you're lucky enough to find a wide-open space and a windy day, have kids take turns flying a kite.
- Jump or twist. Toss a few jump ropes into the car and challenge kids to a skip-off. Or stash a hula hoop in your trunk, if you have room.
- Tag, you're it! You don't need any gear at all for a simple game of chase or tag.
- Overcome obstacles. Improvise a course based on your surroundings. You might instruct kids to walk a curb like a balance beam, do two standing push-ups against a picnic table top, take six giant steps toward a sign, and so on.
- Find a playground online. Before you leave home, check the Kaboom! Playspace Finder for parks located along your route.
- Chalk it up. Bring along some sidewalk chalk to prompt some easy, active play.