Hit the Road

Summer vacation is often times synonymous with road trip.  If you’re planning a trip with the kiddos in the next couple months, here are a few off-line entertainment ideas. 

Children of all ages (and grownups too!) love a goody bag.  A travel twist on this idea is Mileage Bags from page 47 of 101 Activities You Can Do with Your Child (790.191).   Fill some paper lunch bags with snacks, small car-friendly toys and other welcome diversions to make the drive less tedious.  Before you go, have the kids decorate the bags and discuss at what mileage markers they will be distributed.    If you’re unsure of the placement of the mileage markers along the way, designate distances based on the car’s odometer.  Get creative with your bags – make coupons for items like ice cream at the rest stop or knick knacks from the gift shop.  Older children and teens may appreciate “1 hour riding shotgun” to get away from annoying siblings!

Another way to pass the time is to play “Snork” (page 76) which is a kind of I Spy game.  One person supplies clues while the rest try to identify the object.  The person starting the game should choose an object that is passed frequently such as a signpost or green car or gas station.  Each time you pass the chosen object that person calls out “snork” – or really any agreed upon word will do.  The game can be easily adjusted to varying ages and skills, such as a green car with 4 people in it.  Do be careful not to pick something that comes up so frequently that it may be “snork, snork, snork, snork…”

And don’t forget to keep reading this summer.  WPPL’s science-themed summer reading program has begun so don’t forget to sign the kids up for FIZZ BOOM READ.  Different prizes are awarded for reaching goals at the preschool, grade school and teen levels.  Grown-ups can participate too in LITERARY ELEMENTS.  Every book read (audios included) or program attended receives one drawing for your chance at a weekly prize.  The program finishes August 2nd with everyone getting a chance at some very cool grand prizes. 

If the kids need additional incentives for reading, have a Book Bonanza at home (as seen in Family Fun’s June/July 2014 issue). 

Make the Board:
1. Using strips of double-sided tape, attach 16 envelopes to a sheet of foam core or sturdy corrugated cardboard in a grid as shown (our board measures 21 by 29 inches).
2. For the labels, print your own prompts or our template below onto paper. Cut out the prompts (we used a 2-inch circle punch).
3. Fill each envelope with a prize (see suggestions below) and seal it with a label affixed with double-sided tape.

Hit the Books:
After finishing a book on a specified topic, the reader opens the corresponding envelope to find a prize. Some prize ideas could be glow-in-the-dark star stickers for a space or science fiction themed book or glitter glue for fairy tales.  For bulkier prizes, wrap them as presents and attach the book “assignments” to it.  


Some traveling fiction to rally the troops!

Fred & Ted’s Road Trip, JE Eastman, Peter

SpongeBob’s Runaway Road Trip, JE SpongeBob:Runaway

Barfing in the Backseat: How I survived my Family Road Trip, JF Winkler, Henry

Road Trip, JF Paulsen, Jim


For Teens:

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, YA Matson, Morgan

The Geography of You and Me, YA Smith, Jennifer

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, YA Brashares, Ann

How To Ruin a Summer Vacation, YA Elkeles, Simone

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