Road Trip Games For Kids - The Saga Continues.....
It's still that time of year; you're going on that road trip to the beach, but this time…dun, dun, dun..it's with twin six-year-olds! My, oh my what have you done! Not only that, it's a 6-hour trip, in the car with twin six-years-olds. Did I mention twin six-year-olds? OMG. But no problem! This road trip is what we've been training for, the apex of all the years of parenting come down to this moment. No problem parents, you got this! I've compiled a list of do-it-yourself games, gizmos, and gadgets to keep your little one(s) busy and happy the whole time.
There are a couple of must-haves for every road trip, regardless of how long you're in the car, so we'll start there. First, makes sure you have a metal cookie sheet. As you've seen me say in previous articles, not all cookie sheets are created equal. Make sure you bring a magnet with you to make this inexpensive, yet important purchase. Target and the Dollar Store has them for literally a dollar. My advice, pick up a few extra. You know, for dad's or grandma's car while you're there. Second, magnets are essential to pulling off your little mission. Wal-Mart, Target and the Dollar Store has them in strip and button form. Buy as many as you can - these will go on everything!
Sanity Saver Bags - Your Best Friend On Road Trips With Kids
1. Paper Bag: Precut squares of construction paper, tissue paper and copy paper will do the trick. Take a freezer bag and pack it up with your paper scraps, paper cutters, kid-safe scissors, glue sticks, and plenty of stickers. In this bag, put their markers or crayons particular for their paper crafts.
2. Board Game Bag: At six years old they can play memory, bingo, and matching games. You can create board games using card stock and a little imagination or photographs. I like to buy books from the thrift stores, cut out pictures and glue them to card stock (since the creative gene my mom has evidently skipped me - but I digress). Just place them in separate freezer bags so all the parts will stay together for each game.
3. Magazine Bag: I have magazine subscriptions for days. Yes, I believed that the more subscriptions I ordered, the better my chances of winning a sweepstakes. I don't know what I was thinking, but that apparently didn't work. But I did end up with a robust collection of fun magazines to cut out! So I pack these up in their bags with a separate set of kid-proof scissors, a blank notebook and some glue sticks, And voilà - the kids have their own do-it-yourself journal!
4. The Pom Bag: I call it this because it's full of pompoms with magnets on them. But it also has pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, plastic discs and foam stickers. In this bag, the kids have all kinds of variety. The magnets on the pompoms mean they can hold them to the cookie sheets and if you put magnets on the popsicle sticks, well then you have extra fun! A neat idea with the sticks is to have the kids color them with their markers while they're stuck to their board.
5. Yarn Bag: A big hit with the six-year-old crowd! The key with this one though is they have to learn how to finger knit first. Now this part is up to you if you want to teach them before your trip so they can do it independently, or if you want to show them while you are going down the road. It’s up to you. Here's a short Youtube video to teach you first if you don’t already know how, but this is super easy and a really fun thing to do for little and big fingers alike.
6. Mad Libs: At our age, we remember the Mad Libs packs and believe it or not they do still exist! They are at the Dollar Store, or you can print out your Disney versions. I find the best way to do this with little ones in this age bracket is to give them options. Not a lot of six-year-olds can tell you an adjective so you can pre-make lists of the site words they already know and let them pick the phrase. This little game never gets old and is always funny.
7. The Editable Necklace Bag: For this particular “bag” I don’t recommend a bag at all, but a craft box or tackle box. They have many small compartments for little hands and little treats. This activity is fun and food rolled into one! Here’s what you need. Twine or string, and candy or treats with holes in them. That’s it! Let the kids create their own edible masterpiece by threading whatever type of candy, in any order, on their necklace. You can use anything from pretzels to life savers, gummy rings, ring pops, or shortbread cookies - the options are limitless. If the cracker, candy or cookie doesn't have holes you can always make them! I would stay away from chocolate strictly because of the melting factor. Unless you enjoy cleaning that mess up (in which case I can give you the number to a fantastic therapist).
8. Lego Bag: Now, I know what you're thinking, but NOPE. Hear me out on this. Remember those magnets? Here's how to do it. Take some of the Lego plates, the flat square Lego pieces that your precious babies create all those masterpieces on, and hot glue four of them together side by side making one large square. Then place magnets in all four corners and the middle. Make sure to reinforce the hot glue on the bottom of your seams; this piece is going to take a beating, trust me. Fill a freezer bag with all the Lego's you, as an individual and slightly mortified parent, can stand. The kids can place the magnetic square on their cookie sheet and build to their heart's content!
9. Button Bags: Whether you have boys or girls, at six they both love this one. Fill a sandwich bag with assorted buttons, pipe cleaners, jewelry wire or floral wire and let the kids make their necklaces or bracelets. For boys, they can make gifts for mom, grandma, aunties or teachers. If you don't have that random bag or junk drawer full of mix-matched buttons laying around your house, thrift stores usually have bags of them for a couple of bucks. Or Wal-Mart sells them in the sewing department for about three dollars.
10. Bucket of Bolts Bag: This one is more for the guys, but the girls like this kind of thing, too. In separate sandwich bags, fill one with long bolts, one with the same amount of washer as long bolts and the other with three times as many nuts. Place all three bags in one large freezer bag just to keep them together. This one is a fun way to “tinker” with hardware for the guys. They can use the extra nuts as spacers between the washers, or stack them all on the bolt, one after the other, or only use a few. It's totally up to their imagination!
11. *BONUS* House (bag) of Cards: We all have a deck of cards laying around somewhere, and chances are some of them match. For example, an old Go-Fish game, Old Maid, or an old Bicycle deck. Here's the mission, cut the cards in half horizontal, diagonal, or vertical. For a real challenge (read: more quiet time) try all three! You can cut them wavy or jagged any way you'd like. Add your trusty old magnets to the backs and put them into their bag. The kids can take these out and figure out which cards go together using their magnetic boards based on the pictures and the way the cards fit together. Call it a puzzle deck of sorts. Again, depending on your child's age, you can cut them into smaller, more complex shapes to really challenge them.
Something In Here Will Entertain Your Kids While Traveling
Hopefully, this game list is the most detailed, user-friendly list of road trip games, gadgets, and gizmos that should get you to the beach and back with minimal disruption to your precious sanity. Of course, there are always things that can come up and extend your trip unexpectedly - like traffic. So I added the bonus House of Cards game. But you can pick any of them for your emergency go-to. A lot goes on, and there is so much more to traveling with kids versus adults. But remember - more than anything it's fun, and a precious memory for them and for you.
These are the most fun, most exciting, easy, and inexpensive ways to entertain those twin six-year-olds you are about to drive halfway across the country. They'll enjoy every minute, and you and your partner will have peace (at least during the times when they're not looking at each other). Unfortunately, you know that soon, they'll notice that they're sitting within close proximity to one another and sparks will fly as they always do. But the object is to keep that to a minimum.
Enjoy the trip, and make some great memories before you even get to your destination!