Who doesn’t love a good family road trip?! We are big fans and our little ones are pretty good travelers. However, since we’re a decidedly low-tech family and don’t bring any screens along, we inevitably need some games or activities to pass the time. On our way back from Arizona last year, Mateo asked us to tell him “everything that happened” between our wedding and his birth. That tale passed a lot of time! Another fun car activity is just listening to music. I have the fondest memories of little Teo singing along with Alan Jackson to “When Somebody Loves You”. Alan Jackson is our favorite!
This year, we stumbled upon a couple new “games”. Teo came up with the first one, which we’re dubbing The Favorites Game. We each took turns coming up with a category, such as “type of dog” or “color” or “tree” then everyone went around the car sharing their favorites. We covered several topics, including state in the U.S., country, song, movie, etc. You get the idea! Although Dennis had to be somewhat prodded into playing along, this is actually pretty fun and insightful!
The other activity isn’t really a game, but the kids kept referring to it that way. As we were listening to Pandora, whichever adult wasn’t driving became the D.J. while we took turns requesting songs. Obviously, this can go on for hours! The variety of music was really fun as Teo methodically chose every Journey song he knew then several Queen songs. Dennis kept us guessing with selections from various genres and eras. Sienna kept choosing musical numbers from the new Aladdin movie and the animated ballet movie Leap!
Part of the fun is anticipating what each other will select. It’s also fun to plan ahead to what surprising song you’ll request next. The kids kept exclaiming things like: “I know the next three songs I’m going to pick!” At one point, as we approached Oxnard, I thought to myself: I’ll pick Green Day’s “21 Guns” next. A minute later it was Dennis’s turn and he chose 21 Guns! “Crazy, I was just thinking of that song!” I exclaimed.
As we sat in Southern California summer weekend traffic on our return trip home, our musical request “game” morphed into something new. Dennis chose a song from the Les Miserables movie soundtrack, which prompted the kids to start asking about the story. We ended up playing nearly the entire soundtrack while taking mini breaks between songs to explain what was happening and filling in context. This was super fun! Since we’ve really fallen in love with musicals, this will surely provide hours of entertainment in future family road trips!
What games or activities do you play on road trips?