"Are we there yet?"Being a retired teacher gives me a huge advantage. I NEVER go anywhere without a plan! Can you imagine being stuck in a camper at a campground in the rain with NOTHING to do??
Or can you imagine hours in a car with the kids strapped in car seats whining, "Are we there yet?" Or zoned out watching videos or playing games on their tablet or mom's phone?
Me either. So I plan and plan and over plan in case the first two plans don't work.
When searching out activities, I found lots of blogs, ideas from Teachers Pay Teachers, and of course, everybody's favorite, Pinterest. But what I had trouble finding were activities for grandparents. There are plenty of great activities for kids but most take a very energetic parent figure to do them. That's not us. This set of grandparents huff and puff after a short walk or the old knees start aching, the back starts screaming, and we have to sit down and take a break. I had to find things our grands would enjoy that we could do too without totally embarrassing ourselves.
You will find many, many activities here that work.
Make a Plan
Before ever getting in the car, make a plan. No matter how old your grands are, they will appreciate having things to do on the trip. My best source is Pinterest. I usually find ideas and then make them relevant for my own kids.
I have a travel bag for each child. You can find canvas totes in the sewing area in Walmart, cheap. In the bags I put—
- Travel Journal—For every trip, I give the kids a journal. It sometimes gives them an idea of how long it will take to get to places. Or has places for them to fill in times and what we did, where we ate. Go to this link to find templates to use for your own journal.
- Clipboard. I found these great clipboard storage boxes that hold paper, markers, scissors, etc. at Walmart. Here is one that's similar at Amazon.
- Zipper Pouch for smaller items.
- Markers, pencil, scissors, glue stick, paper, and activities.
- For older kids, I suggest a map with instructions for mapping out the trip; books, games that everyone can play together like 20 questions.
- Our kids love Car Bingo. We play teams, front row, middle row, and back row.
- Videos—Yes, for the really long trips, we do let them watch a video. I discuss which ones to bring with my daughter to give the kids choices. Our van has Bluetooth, a video system including a pull-down screen, speakers in the back, and headphones.
- Folding paper airplanes
- Car Bingo