While I was in the throes of planning our epic 3,500 mile summer vacation, I received a wonderful surprise care package at my doorstep from some dear friends who know that we love trying out new road trip activities on our adventures.
The cardboard box included a Family Travel Pack chock filled with games, puzzles, Mad Libs, “the world’s greatest word game,” Travel Time Trivia Volume 2, (not to be confused with Travel Time Trivia Volume 1), videos and music CD’s that are surefire “boredom busters” as we motor down America’s highways and byways.
In the past, my daughters loved decorating the minivan windows when we went on trips to summer camp by using car paints that usually drip, run and are a bear to clean off. But this time, we’ve got a supply of window crayons by Crayola that come in a variety of colors and are easy to use on any surface. Best of all, they wipe off great!
I know you’re probably thinking “what mom let’s kids decorate windows on a car trip?” Well, I do. (My Diva Card got revoked a long time ago when I got married, had kids, got a dog and started driving a minivan named Maypearl, so hey why not?) Besides, I just love the idea of having my rear windshield being covered in flowers, hearts, smiley faces and sayings like “Hollywood or Bust” or “Are There Yet?” It just makes it fun.
Another one of my favorites from the Family Travel Pack is the Interstate Highway Bingo card. I know it’s old school, but I enjoy giving the girls an excuse to look up from their cell phones and to challenge them to be on the lookout for items listed on the bingo card like a tree grove, a rest area or even a state trooper (which actually could come in pretty handy).
The Family Travel Pack also included a list of conversation starters that are great ways to get families talking and sharing while on the road. There are things like – “Which would you rather explore outer space or the deep ocean, and tell us what you would like to find there?” or “Where would you fly if you could fly like Superman for the day?” or even – “What are two things we should do as a family on the weekends?” There are so many more!
And, the cool thing is you don’t have to be on a road trip to use these conversation starters – you can just be sitting around the dinner table or having quiet time before bed.
I guess the most important thing is that you spend intentional time having conversations. Take a little time to talk and laugh. It really doesn’t matter if you’re on vacation or just bumming around the house. Enjoy these priceless moments. No Diva Card required.
Carla Meadows is a Oklahoma City native, wife and mother of two tweens and a loveable Golden Retriever who blogs about building intentional family moments through the wonders of travel at home and across the U.S. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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