Entertaining Kids on a Long Distance Move
We drive long distances, too, and we know how boooo-ring! it can be to have to sit in a car all day with nothing to do. Sure, you can always resort to bribing your kids with candy or yelling “be nice to your sister!” 18,000 times in a row. But we’ve found that entertaining kids on a long distance move can be easier (not to mention more fun for everyone).
Hungry kids are cranky kids! But sometimes you’re miles away from the nearest rest stop. Have a designated cooler or tote bag filled with ready-to-go snacks that travel well (dried fruits, pretzels, crackers, trail mix, etc.). Don’t forget a few cans of ginger ale or lemon lime soda if you have family members that get carsick!
Hours and hours on the road can only lead to one thing: boredom! (We’re sure you parents feel it just as much as your kids!) Get everyone in on the fun with these fun road trip games!
Alphabet Game – Once kids can recognize letters, have fun spotting them on billboards, trucks, buildings, or other spots along your route. For younger kids, you might ask them to “find all the B’s.” For elementary age kids, make it a bit more challenging. Start with A, then move through the alphabet. Your family can decide what the rules are for letters like X and Q.
License Plate Bingo – See if you can spot a license plate from every state (bonus points for Alaska and Hawaii!). You can keep track of it yourself on a sheet of paper or use an app like FindPlate.
Scavenger Hunt – Make a list of some interesting things you might see on your trip. (Hot air balloon, cow, red motorcycle, etc.) and tell the kids to keep their eyes peeled. You can also use apps such as eyeSPOT or Snap Quest (Snap Quest lets kids take pictures of what they find).
Journal the Journey – Have your children create a journal, scrapbook, or sketchbook that depicts your long-distance move from start to finish. They can either take photos, write about the experience, or draw pictures of their experience on the road. Once you get to your new home, sit down with them the first night and reminisce about the journey.
“Drive-In” Movie – After a long day of traveling, even the best behaved kids can get antsy and impatient. If your car is equipped for DVD watching, make sure you set aside some of the kids’ favorite movies (or add some to your Netflix queue, if that’s how you roll).
Audio Books – Select a few perennial kid favorites (The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Phantom Tollbooth) to listen to on the road. Keeping everyone’s mind occupied on the same story will not only make the trip seem faster, it’ll make for a great conversation topic at the dinner table.
Electronic Devices – Phones, tablets, and personal gaming systems are some other great ways to keep your kids entertained during a long drive (as long as it doesn’t make them carsick!). Bring along extra batteries and chargers.
Get Out of the Car
We know you want to get to your destination fast, but parents and kids alike can get fidgety after too long in the car. An app like Playground Buddy can help you find a nearby park where your kids can blow off steam (use it when you get to the new house, too). If there aren’t any nearby, you can also stop at local fast food chains with play areas, or simply bring a soccer ball or frisbee in the car to play with at rest stops.
It’s also a good idea to alternate drive-thru meals with sit-down ones. Taking an hour or so to recharge in a restaurant (even if you’re still sitting down) can do a world of good after you’ve been stuck in a car all day.
For trips that take more than a day, you may also want to schedule a stop at a tourist attraction along the way. You don’t have to plan a day-long amusement park excursion: zoos, aquariums, and children’s museums are fine. And in a pinch, a night at the movies is fun for the whole family.
Entertaining kids on a long-distance move is up to you, but getting your items from Point A to Point B doesn’t have to be! Give Cento Family Moving a call for a free estimate and to see how we can help you relocate with little fuss.