Keeping The Kids Entertained on a Road Trip

Photo credit: Gideon Haden ChomphosyThere are plenty of fun things to do around Northwest Arkansas, but sometimes you get an itch to explore some of the other wonderful places around the U.S. Whether you’re planning a climbing trip out west, or a backpacking trip out east, or maybe a summer circuit of the national parks, your travels might involve quite a bit of driving. Even the most stoic adult can get a little restless on a long distance road trip, so you can imagine how difficult it is for a child to endure 10 hours in a car. Or maybe you don’t have to imagine, because you’ve had some first hand experience.

Don’t let a long distance road trip stand between your family and adventure. With a little guidance, you can keep kids entertained on a road trip.

Playing a game is one of the best ways to kill time on a road trip. There are plenty of classic car games that will keep children and adults occupied for a fair amount of time. I spy, 20 questions, hinky pinky, the alphabet game, the list goes on. Travel board games, brain teasers, and riddles are also great options.

Sometimes they’re goofy, sometimes they’re hilarious, and sometimes they are pure nonsense. However it turns out, a book of Madlibs can make any road trip seem less lengthy, and the kids will enjoy creating silly stories as a family.

Who doesn’t love a surprise? Purchase a few little items for your kids, and hand one out at each rest stop. You don’t have to spend a fortune or buy elaborate gifts. These items can be necessities for the trip like hats, water bottles, sunglasses, hiking socks, etc.

Research facts about the places you’re going and play tour guide. Know the names of landmarks and the historical significance of the towns or areas that you are visiting. Children will love hearing stories and learning about the new places that they are seeing.

Print out coloring pages of the places that you’re visiting. Coloring is relaxing, and it can be fun for kids to see how their pictures compare to the real thing.

Take breaks and get out and play. Bring a disc, ball, or hacky sack. Maybe there’s a short day hike that you can stop at. No one likes being cooped up in a car for hours on end, so get out and stretch your legs a bit. It’s OK to take your time if it means the family stays sane. Your destination isn’t going anywhere.

Bring books for the children to read. Audio books are great for the entire family to listen in on a story together.

Map your route to include fun detours. Road trips can be much more enjoyable if the driving feels like a part of the adventure rather than a necessary step between point A and point B. Hit quirky museums, points of interest, and fun attractions along the way.

What’s a road trip without music? Put together a good family friendly playlist for the drive, and let the kids help make a playlist. Or, take turns choosing songs on the go.

A man’s gotta eat. And so do children. Let the kids help choose the restaurants on along the way. Better yet, look for fun kid-friendly restaurants on the route before hitting the road. Just make sure that they will be open when you get there.

You don’t always have to occupy the drive with entertainment. Sometimes it can be nice to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

Be sure to stop by and see us before your next road trip adventure. We’ve got a great selection of outdoor gear that will serve you well no matter where your trip might take you!

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