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The time is ripe for piling the kids in the car and taking a classic family vacation. In order to make the time spent in the car as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved, check out the car game ideas below. They are tried and proven successful by the parents of Parent Soup. May you not have to say, "If you don't stop, I am going to pull this car over right now" once on your travels this summer.
"Write down the cities between your home and your destination. Let the kids check off each city as you pass it. It helps them see how close they are getting."
"On a trip we took last summer I made goody bags for my son. I just took brown lunch bags and had themes for them -- I went around the house and got all Hercules toys together and then the Hercules music tape and book, and of course some kind of snack. That way, we also saved money and he LOVED it."
"Try to factor in some time to stop and smell the roses. You can use the Internet to look for things to do along your route that fit both your time and money budgets. Be sure to take a football, soccer ball, etc. for rest stop exercise."
"We have always wrapped small gifts and given them to our 5-year-old daughter throughout the trip. I have found gifts that are an activity were the best. There are great paper dolls out there. Etch-a-sketch is also a good activity."
"We take a lot of books on tape with personal headphones/tape players. Friends of ours take the personal tape players for each child. They can be pretty inexpensive and you will get a lot of use out of them. You can check books on tape out of the library, which is fun for the adults, too."
This may be a controversial idea, but it works for my family of 6. Living in Montana we do a lot of driving -- up to 15 hours on a day trip! Everyone survives! Get a bunch of rolls of quarters. Pay the kids a quarter for every 15 or 30 minutes (depending on your budget) that they are quiet/good. This is an instant reward for them. The money they earn can be used in gift shops, at gas stations, for video games. My kids range in age from 3 to 11, and all of them love this!"
"My little guys like to color in the car. We found that crayons melt, break, and get lost. So we invest in Magna Doodles. That way you don't have to worry about lost paper or crayons."