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Taking a long trip is as much a matter of patience as it is endurance. No matter the number of kids you have, it can be a very grueling experience. Parents have developed many creative ideas over the years to keep children entertained. Games such as "punch your sibling when you see this type of car" and "count the different license plates" are favorites. In the digital age, parents have devices to give their children that keep them tuned out and docile. To keep them more engaged with the family, here are some alternative car ride games for everyone to enjoy.
Give everyone a chance to pick the song on the radio. With Bluetooth available, each participant can choose a song from their own collection. If you use a streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify, you might have them pick a song. You could also give them the connected device and have them find a song they like. No matter how you do it, it should keep everyone engaged for a minute or two.
Pick the Pic
Each passenger gets to take one picture and then it gets uploaded to a social network and friends get to vote. There can be different contests for the funniest or the most interesting landmark. Another fun one could be to take an interesting close-up pic and see if any of the online friends can figure it out.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Like Pick the Pic, this involves everyone keeping their eyes peeled. The key is to pick something plentiful where the kids don't get bored, but obscure enough to not make it easy. An example would be a red car with a scoop on the hood. Another could be a water tower or a cell tower.
Turn your kids into documentary filmmakers. Task them with creating a video of your journey. This includes riding in the car, stops you make along the way, and anything interesting they might see. Make sure to set parameters to document something at least every hour to keep them thinking. When you get to your destination, you can edit it together with your child for some extra quality time.
This lets the kids get involved with where they are going and what they can see along the way. Have them check out the mapping app on their device. Whenever you drop below half a tank of gas, have them start looking for a place to stop for gas. Have them find a place that is near something they might want to see. Younger kids may need some help figuring this out. This presents an excellent learning opportunity, though.
Being a parent means being creative. These ideas will be useful on your next road trip. These ideas keep the kids engaged with the family instead of buried in their device without completely taking it away. Stay safe and stay sane.