Greetings from Yorktown, VA. I’m on yet another road trip with Deal Girl and a friend and learned something new I wanted to share with you. I’m always hunting for unplugged road trip toys as gadgets tend to keep the kids checked out. That’s fine for a while, but then they miss the best of the drive while battling Pokemon.
This trip 9 year old Deal Girl packed her backpack for the drive and it was bulging with two Perplexus spheres (Perplexii?). I almost sent her back into the house but since it was a car trip figured they would do no harm but largely be ignored- but you know what? Those silly balls kept the kids occupied for over half of the three hour drive each way and doubled as hotel room toys as well.
Please share your favorite unplugged road trip toys in the comments as I’m always looking for new ways to keep the kids off the gadgets.
Here are some other toys that have kept the kids entertained at various ages:
- Mad Libs: A blast from the past saved the Deal Family from meltdowns this weekend on a road trip gone wrong due to traffic:Mad Libs. Remember Mad Libs, those fill in the blank stories from your childhood? Much hilarity ensued when various forms of the word “fart” got inserted into the narrative, right? Still funny. Even better, as a parent, I realize they’re educational! Forms of grammar are important to learn, and when the parents play you can help expand their vocabulary. Try adding obscure adjectives to the mix. In addition to road trips, I’ve also pulled out Mad Libs at restaurants when the kids finished before the parents. They’re a lifesaver in long lines like the DMV. You can also get Mad Libs via app, but a pencil and paper works just as well and doesn’t require a charger.
- Travel Bingo: Did you play travel bingo as a kid? I passed many hours looking for a cow, then a railroad crossing to make a row. I really like this Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Bingo because it has 8 board inserts. This means you can customize the board according to the scenery. How many cows are you going to see on the Beltway? The Melissa and Doug version is also the most sturdy- the cardboard ones are no match for a juice box spill.
- Travel Hangman: Another Melissa and Doug creation that works great for older kids.
- Magnetic Poetry Go Games: You’ve probably seen Magentic Poetry at a museum shop or other offbeat gift emporium. They have a line of “go games” that are getting harder to find, but are perfect for travel. I still see a few on Amazon.
- Boogie Board: Ok, so this one is technically electronic, but the battery never needs replacing. A Boogie Board is a high-tech version of an etch a sketch. It gives a terrific option for artists who keep dropping their pencils in the back seat.
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