Road trips are not always the easiest on families, but with a little preparation on busy parents’ part, road trips can be memorable, relaxing, and fun.
Believe it. Fun.
All you need are a few pre-planned road trip games and simple activities to keep kids busy.
And I’m not talking about throwing in six movies back to back to back so the kids are glued to the screen the whole time or allowing the kids to play on their Leapsters or DS or GameBoy for ten hours.
And, though I remember very fondly singing my heart out to Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue (You know it–Shake your love, I just can’t shake your love. . . ) tape over and over and over and over with my three sisters on a unexpected 7-hour drive to the shore when I was younger, I’m not talking about organizing a family sing-along that will cause most parents’ brains to explode by the end of the trip.
For this New For Us Friday, what we found–and what we used on our way to the Delaware beach this past week–is something that made all of us smile. This simple road trip game got us talking and laughing and really–get this–actually enjoying the ride and our time together in an over-packed mini-van.
We had so much fun that the kids wanted to play again when we took a short excursion to visit friends in Ocean City, and they could barely wait to play until we reached the highway on our return trip home.
And thanks to Melissa & Doug, one lucky teachmama.com reader can win one part of this road-trip fun–a set of the Box Girls Family Road Trip Conversation Starters to take on their own end-of-summer road trip!
Be forewarned–it’s not just for girls (my two favorite guys loved it, too!)–and you may end up taking some last-minute road trips just so you can play it a little more.
Here’s the skinny:
- Make Family Road Trips FUN— We’ve always had to plan out our road trips, especially since oftentimes I was taking three very young children on a 3+ hour drive to and from my parents’ home.
So it’s normal for me to think pretty hard about what we’re bringing in our activity bags to keep the kids occupied.
The Family Road Trip Conversation Starters kept us chatting. . .
But the Box Girls Family Road Trip set got everyone involved, everyone occupied, and everyone thinking and chatting. At first we were not sure how they’d work, since the box says the game is for children 8 years and older, but our kids–5, 6, and 8 years old–loved it and were totally able to participate.
The Box Girls is a line of products from Melissa & Doug geared toward helping groups of people–girlfriends, family, classes, camps, you name it–talk to one another. That’s it. Talk, laugh, think, question, share, and laugh.
Each box contains cards with questions, conversation starters. And you can ‘play’ the game as loosely as you’d like, requiring each person to share his or her response for every question, taking turns, or participating as they feel comfortable.
We used the Family Road Trip set which includes 45 conversation starters, 25 quiz cards, 10 game instruction cards (just reminders of the classics many of us know), and 6 paper maps of the US that kids can use to check off license plates for the license plate game. It was really so simple–but so fun.
The cards covered questions like:
- What three things do you want to do or see on this trip?
- Complete this sentence: I brake for. . .
- Have you ever been lost?
- What favorite souvenir have you brought back from vacation?
- If you were a travel agent and booking your family’s vacation, where would you send your family?
The Quiz Cards were a little tough for my crew, who have yet to learn geography, but they covered cool topics like Which state is known as the ‘beaver state’? and Name the only state in which the first two letters are vowels. Right up my husband’s alley.
I liked the Game Cards because they were quick, concise reminders of great games to play in the car. 20 Questions, Travel Scavenger Hunt, and Counting Games along with others were there to keep things moving along smoothly.
We will definitely keep the Family Road Trip Cards in the car to use for any time–long waits, unexpected trips, and of course, our next road trip. . . which very well may be sooner than we’ve planned, since road trips are rockin’ when you’ve got a few cool things to do.
. . . thinking, and smiling for our whole trip to the shore! Woot!
The great thing about the Box Girls Conversation Starters? You don’t need to go on a road trip to use them. There’s a Box Girls Family Dinner set of conversation starters, a Box Girls Family Dinner Faith Set , a Passover set, a Christmastime set, a Thanksgiving set, a Birthday set, a BFF set, and more.
I’m looking forward to picking up a set for Maddy’s next buddy’s birthday and the Thanksgiving or Christmas set during holiday time with family. I know that as the kids get older, talking may get more difficult for so many reasons; I really believe that something small like this will help us to keep an open, engaged, comfortable line of communication with our kids from here on out. And if family and friends can be involved, the more, the merrier in my book!
GIVEAWAY: a Box Girls Family Road Trip Conversation Starter Set from Melissa & Doug
Do you want to win a Box Girls Family Road Trip Conversation Starter Set from Melissa & Doug?!
- All you have to do is leave a comment here sharing when your family would use the Family Road Trip Conversation Starter Set!
For extra entries:
- Tweet this: Make your next Family Road Trip FUN with help from @MelissaandDoug on @teachmama http://wp.me/p1NAxy-21z #weteach
- Share this post on your Facebook page–very easy!
- Share this post with a friend (just tell me who you shared it with!)
- Pin this post on Pinterest! (Use ‘pin it!’ button below post!)
By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This contest ends Saturday, August 4, 2012 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘And the Winner is. . .’ and will be notified on or around 8/04/12. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
fyi: This is an unsponsored post; as a Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador, I was given this set of Box Girls Family Road Trip Conversation Starters and one teachmama.com reader will receive one for the giveaway. Affiliate links are used within the post, so if you’re interested in buying one for yourself, please consider clicking on the links! Opinions here are all my own, influenced only by my three little travelers and our road-trip driver.