Not only did I want our stops to be enjoyable, I really wanted the whole trip, including all those hours in the car, to be meaningful and memorable.
So I made up these packets for the kids. Each boy had a map (laminated so they could mark our route with a dry erase marker as we went), his sketchbook, his journal, and envelopes marked with a time. On the hour every hour, they were to open an envelope and follow the instructions. Following are the “activities” we did in the car. Some things took only minutes, some took the whole hour, but I think it really helped to make the time pass quickly. These are not in the order in which we did them, and we did not even get to use all of them. The left-overs will be used for our smaller weekend travels or for our trip home.
++Read a newspaper article and summarize it for the family.
++Listen to This American Life together
++Silent reading (Joel and Dad, listen to a book-on-tape with headphones)
++Listen to a Radio Lab Podcast
++Draw something that you can see in the car in your sketchbook. Date it, don’t criticize it, share it!
++Listen to Mom read!
++Stop at the nearest rest-stop and play a family game of keep-away
++Watch a movie. Eat popcorn
++At the next gas station, buy a postcard. Write to someone back in Quebec.
++Listen to our Road Trip Mix. Be sure to call out when your songs are being played.
(We compiled a CD with 3 or 4 of the everyone’s favorite songs and then I added in a whole bunch of “road” tunes)
++Write something in your journal that you don’t want to forget about what we have done so far.
++Look around you at God’s beauty and listen to music. (American River)
++Memorize Psalm 24. Work alone for 30 minutes. Try to say it when it’s your turn. Say it together.
++Play Bible Trivia
++Stop and eat picnic breakfast. Play tag after eating.
++Sleep! We have a big day ahead of us (This one was for 5:00 am on the day we left)
++Make signs for the window and hold them up for drivers when they pass. (Have you ever done this before? It’s very entertaining.)
++Review Psalm 24. Say it out loud to everyone.
++Stop at the nearest gas station. Find the two dollars in your envelope. Go buy something for someone else in the car (Jack for Dad, Sam for Joel, Dad for Mom, Joel for Jack, Mom for Sam).