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Are you trying to make road trips more exciting for your young children, while also making connections with your kids as you travel? The key to avoiding the typical chorus of “are we there yet?” can be found in some simple pre-trip planning.
One sure crowd pleaser is to create a travel bingo game. Visit your travel destination online or collect brochures from local travel agencies. If you start planning early enough, you also can write letters to the chamber of commerce of the trip destination, requesting travel brochures. Print or cut out pictures of interesting locations and design your own family bingo game to play as you investigate your location. Create a board with the corresponding pictures and use pennies as markers. Kids will enjoy finding the sights they cut out from their pre-travel research.
Similarly, you can organize a family scavenger hunt at your destination. Ask each family member to find 10 items on a list that you have created together before the trip. You can collect free items, buy inexpensive trinkets, or use a digital camera to record images of your items. For example, on a trip to New York City, your group could find: a copy of The New York Times newspaper, a postcard showing the New York City skyline, a restaurant takeout menu, a keychain of a city taxicab, a leaf from Central Park, and photos of famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Central Park Zoo, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Whether in a city, in the country, in the mountains, or on a beach vacation, playing travel bingo and conducting a family scavenger hunt will help your family create memories and meaningful connections to last a lifetime.
This guest post was written by Melissa Stoller, co-author of “The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading.” (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009, www.parentchildbookclub.com).