Family car trips can either be a pleasant bonding experience or a complete nightmare, there’s no in-between. Close quarters, boredom, and a lack of direct eye contact all contribute the horror stories you’ve heard and probably experienced yourself.
That fighting is a distraction, leading to plenty of wrecks and phone calls with motor vehicle accident lawyers. If you’re ready to put an end to the fighting and screaming, then check out these top car activities that encourage family bonding.
This is game is simple and fosters the imagination. Point out another family, one that might be passing in a car or sitting at a stop, and begin creating a story about them together. Each of your family members can contribute and there is no winning or losing. It’s all about having a good laugh.
Would You Rather
In this game, each person takes a turn asking the other players what option they would choose in two scenarios. The questions can be easy or difficult choices. An example would be, “would you rather eat a stinkbug or solve math problems for 10 hours straight?” Encourage a discussion as to why the choice was made to foster critical thinking, communication, and persuasion skills.
The License Plate Game
There are several ways to play game, including bingo and even arithmetic variants. The easiest way, however, is to string together short phrases from a license plate. MEA, for instance, could stand for “Mary Eats Apples.” This exercises literacy as well as quick thinking skills for children of any age as well as adults.
Sweet and Sour
In this simple game, your family waves to other people passing by. If the other person waves back or smiles, you shout the word sweet. If they do neither or give a negative reaction, you shout the word sour. If you want, you can also create a tally for who gets the most positive reactions.
When there is a negative reaction, this is an excellent opportunity to teach your children how not to behave. Sweet and Sour also provides a way to shift the family bonding experience towards interactions with anyone outside of the car, helping to thwart any growing boredom.
In this activity, family members interview one another in turns. You can encourage literacy here by having your children write down your responses. Questions can be as simple as, “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” or as complex as, “What is your opinion of the current president?”
Don’t be afraid to ask your kids questions they may not fully grasp, like the political example above. The responses are sure to put a smile on your face or give the family something to laugh about. Their answers are also an excellent look into their psyche, interests, and even problem areas in school like math or reading.
While each of these games have their own benefits for children, they all contribute to family bonding. These are excellent ways to turn a potential nightmare of a trip into one that everyone enjoys. Plus, you’re setting the stage for a fantastic vacation by building positively on your journey there.