Ways to Entertain Kids in the Car

No matter where you’re going, or in what season, if your family will be in the car for an hour or more its crucial to know ways to entertain kids in the car. In fact knowing a few good ways to entertain kids in the car can help everyone survive and actually enjoy time on the road together. Some ways to entertain kids in the car will work for your kids and some won’t. But by continually adding new ways to entertain kids in the car to your family’s list of favorites, you can take on trips long and not so long with confidence. Perhaps you might want to add some of these ways to entertain kids in the car to your repertoire.

Using What You’ve Got Car manufacturers are more often than not parents themselves. They recognize the need parents have to find ways to entertain kids in the car. They know that most parents don’t want their children glued to the in-car monitor while you are driving through Yellowstone National Park.. But they also know that using in car technology can be a huge help in producing new ways to entertain kids in the car.

Depending on the audio and visual capacity of your car, you can pack up the kids’ favorite tapes or discs from home or from the local library. Better yet, with your children’s help you can prepare mixes in advance of family favorites so that everyone feels their tastes have been considered. Then, when the time is right, take advantage of your automobile’s special features to help calm everyone down or pep everyone up with some brought from home or home made audio-visual treats.

Cataloging Kids are very observant people and they can, when it suits them, work well as a team. If you are looking for ways to entertain kids in the car you may want to enlist them in an activity called “cataloging” – which is simply the listing on paper of observed items in a set category. An oft used sample of “cataloging” is working together in the car to compile a running list of the license plates you see, by state name, as you motor along.

Cataloging license plates is a pastime that is both fun and informative and gives kids a chance to work on observing the world around them. Not only do kids learn what the different state plates look like, they may also learn state mottoes and symbols. Spotting a rare plate is a different and rewarding way to break the boredom of the passing miles.

While listing license plates may be the best known cataloging game, it is certainly not the only . If you are looking for more ways to entertain kids in the car using this same basic technique, suggest that they record the different breeds of dogs, fast food stores , makes of cars, animals or bodies of water that they see while you are driving. In fact , your own children may have some exciting ideas of their own for cataloging. The possibilities are as unique as you and your kids make them. Of course, enthusiasm and affirmation of their ideas by parents can add to your children’s self esteem as well as the general fun of working together.

Portable Games – Depending on the ages and interests of your children you may find that one of the best ways of entertaining kids in the car is to bring along small portable toys or games. For some kids a deck of cards, checkers, colorforms, travel scrabble or etch-a-sketch can squash boredom and provide entertainment. For others, toys from home like Barbie dolls, action figures and small handheld battery operated games are more likely to fit the bill.

The problem with these types of games is that invariably one becomes the family favorite and everyone wants to use it at the same time. You can avoid this in car disaster by setting some simple ground rules. Flip a coin or draw straws to see who gets which toys to begin with, then as you travel parents can call out “switch” at the end of 15 or 20 minute intervals, indicating that everyone needs to pass the toy they have been using along to the next person in a pre-arranged direction.

Sing along Whether you sing along with the car radio or sing family favorites together, singing is one of the easiest ways to entertain kids in the car. For best results it is important for parents to sing along as well. Kids should not feel they are being told to “do” an activity but rather that everyone who wants to is invited to join in some family fun. The fact that this activity also has the potential to eat up large chunks of travel time is just a bonus. Encouraging children to participate not only in the singing but also in the selection of songs is a good way to keep everyone content and participating. It doesn’t take kids long to catch on to the fact that they are much happier and content when they sing than when they argue.

You can have some extra fun with your singing if you try to sing as many songs as you can that contain a designated word. Adults should probably do the word selection, at least initially, especially with young children. With careful selecting you will be amazed at how many song you and your children can come up with that contain, for example, the word “love”. You can all work together suggesting as many songs as possible or if you have a full car you can divide your group into teams and make this activity not only fun but competitive.

Progressive Storytelling Kids love stories , but reading in the car is often problematic. The car jostles readers and material and sometimes reading in the car can make people car sick or produce headaches. Still stories do provide a foolproof way to entertain kids in the car. Just invite your kids to participate in the telling of a progressive or developing story. This pastime requires that one person ( if need be a parent) begins to tell a story and after a few sentences stops. The next person is then obliged to pick up the tale from where the previous teller left off developing it as he or she sees fit. The tale is passed among participants in a predetermined direction and can be drawn to an end by anyone in the group.

For young children it is often fun to simply use well know tales like Goldilocks or Little Red Riding Hood and allow everyone to redevelop the tale creatively or even comically as they see fit. For older kids its equally fun to simply make up a brand new tale and see where the story line takes you.

Treasure Box – Of all the ways to entertain kids in the car, perhaps the one most loved by parents and kids alike is the Treasure Box. This is usually reserved for a very long drive or a road trip that puts you back out there for a few days in a row. Before leaving home parents secretly prepare a box of small special treasures that they know their children will enjoy. The treasures can be small toys, artsy materials, edible treats, hair bows, comic books, whatever will strike a positive chord with your kids . After each half hour ( or whatever time limit you may agree on ) your children are given one treasure determined by you. All the rest of the treasures are kept a secret and revealed only one at a time. Maintaining the suspense of the next treat helps also to pass the time. Well chosen treasures will help to keep kids busy for the intervening time period as will discussing among themselves what the next treat may be. For best results use treasures that are new to your children, they don’t have to be expensive they just need to be well chosen.

Being in a car together for some families is a disaster and for others a time when great memories are made. Knowing ways to entertain kids in a car is the first step to making sure your next trip is the type memories are made of.

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