Car Trip Games, and Road Trip Adventures, Traveling with Kids
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 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Hit the Road without Hurting your Pocketbook

Don’t let your tightened budget put a crimp in your fun. There are many ways to save money, even on a road trip to help cut the costs. I’ve put together an article with lots of useful ideas to get you started on the following topics:

  • Plan Ahead for Meals and Snacks
  • Plan Free Entertainment for the Kids for the Road
  • Adopt Good Driving Habits that Save Gas
  • Call Ahead for Overnights On The Road
  • Plan Your Route
  • Save Money At Your Home While You are Away

It can be found on my website at http://www.momsminivan.com/savemoney.html

Hit the road, have fun and be safe!

March 11, 2009   Comments Off

Soccer Mom Minivan talk show

“Soccer mom” Jeannie Tate hosts a talk show from her minivan. This video cracked me up. I totally love the dry cleaning that is hanging in her guest’s face. My favorite one liner is , “It’s not easy being a mother — if it were, fathers would do it!”

This poor woman spends way too much time in her minivan!

November 5, 2008   1 Comment

Chinese Cootie Catcher and more

More Fan Mail! After reading my article, a reader wrote in a while ago to share her experience with making a cootie catcher. She also sent the picture on the left.


Hello, my name is Abby. Today is my first time to visit your website:
MomsMinivan.com. I enjoy reading it very much as it brings me lot of memories about playing games with kid. Currently, I’m working for a child centre in Hong Kong where we play games with kids.

I just want to share with you about the “Cootie Catcher”. In our culture, we have the same stuff but we named it differently. we simply called it “ESWN” that stands for EAST, SOUTH, WEST and NORTH. (See the attached jpg file). Inside the ESWN, we write the “action” for the kid to do when they choose the number. For example, “sing a song”, “do sit-up”, “jump 10 times”….etc. Using the “Direction” as an alternative of “Color” is fun too.

Cootie catchers, or fortune tellers, are making the rounds in many different circles these days. I had another reader write recently to tell me that she was using my blank cootie catcher template for her Bible study group (She put scripture verses in the message area). It’s also become a cute table activity at weddings (put love messages in the fortunes, or instructions to “kiss the person next to you” or “dance the next song”). You’re only as limited as your imagination.

October 20, 2008   Comments Off

Classic Bingo for Travel

Product Recommendation from Road Trip Mom! Travel Bingo Shutter Card Game Set

This is not the old favorite “Auto Bingo”, but it does have the nifty sliding windows that kids love. It’s regular B-I-N-G-O, where the caller picks a random number from the bin and calls it out like “B-15″! Then everyone marks their cards. This one can be played over and over again since your numbers are marked by sliding the windows. A pluck of the finger marks your number!

I have found that kids will play this game much longer than the other auto bingo which is more like a scavenger hunt looking for items out side the car. Older kids especially appreciate this one. And if you offer up a prize for the winner (think lollipops, or Tootsie Rolls), you can guarantee to hold their interest for quite a while, though several games. Keep playing until everyone wins. Even the driver can “play” by having someone else in the car play the card for you!

This set has 6 cards in it, and is completely self contained. No loose pieces and no markers needed. Great for the car or a plane. A definite winner in my book. Get it here.

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October 10, 2008   Comments Off

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Shiver me timbers! September 19 is International “Talk Like a Pirate Day”! The creators of this wonderful day have their own website at TalkLikeAPirate.com. If you’ve been reading me blog over the last year, you already know that I highly recommend talking like pirates as a valid method for making a road trip much more enjoyable. You can do this any day of the year, not just this Friday. If you aren’t familiar with these methods, then check out my pirate road trip article so you too can Make Like Roger and Have a Jolly Good Time in the Car. And fer even further inspiration, here’s a video featuring the basics of the 5 A’s of Pirate-speak. Now get going, ye scallywags!


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cKCkbWDGwE]

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September 15, 2008   1 Comment

DC License Plates – License Plate Game

One of my readers sent me a message noting a US plate that is missing from my printable license plate game sheet. My dear reader noted that although Washington DC is not a state, that it should still be included in the list. I’m inclined to agree.

So, I have added “Washington DC” to the checklist of all the states for the license plate game! Now before I start getting bombarded by readers asking me to add Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, etc. I have also added a check-box for “bonus points” for spotting a plate from a US territory or other country.

Now, Go! Play! Enjoy!

September 3, 2008   Comments Off

Back Seat Out-Takes

Some people may have the impression that my road trips are always perfect…. that we go singing down the road in perfect harmony, never fighting, never getting bored, arriving on time and never getting lost. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m as normal as the rest of you.

Even my backseat looks like the floor of a teenager’s bedroom at the end of a long trip. Here’s a photo as proof.

I have also posted a few random crazy moments that occured in the back seat of our minivan this summer….

I overheard this conversation between my darling daughters (aka “DD”s) during a game of Battleship on the road:

DD1: Permission to speak freely, Captain?

DD2: Permission granted…

DD1: You are a dork! (laughter galore)

Overheard game of Mad Libs …

body part: Uvula

place: Oscar’s belly button! (Oscar is our dog)

noun: vomit

adjective: vomit-like

adverb: vomitly!

Vomitly? You gotta give ‘em points for creativity anyway. Makes me wonder how they would do at Scrabble.

I don’t sweat any of it though. Payback will come someday when they’ll be driving, and I’ll be in the backseat with THEIR kids, inspired to write all kinds of stories titled, “Traveling with Kids, or Why Grandma Drinks Wild Turkey“.

Full circle.

August 18, 2008   4 Comments

Car Sickness Blows!

Allow me to introduce my champion of chunks — my darling daughter#2 (Dd2). It’s a little ironic that she is such a barf queen now, because as an infant, she was the LEAST vomituous (I just made up that word I think) of my three children when it came to baby barf and spit up. As she grew older she thoroughly surpassed her older siblings in the heave-ho department. Most of her barfage is due to the dreaded result of car sickness. Poor child… motion sickness bags are her mainstay.

She is our baroness of barf. The terror of the technicolor yawn. A wizard at whistling beef. A trendsetter at tossing cookies. The heralder of heaving. Sweetheart of the stomach tsunami. A goddess at shouting groceries. Yup, she’s in training to be a supermodel. ;-)

We have found many ways to deal with her up-chuck when it presents its self. We try to avoid it when possible using many of these useful tips and motion sickness remedies , but sometimes barf happens anyway. When it does, I am now armed with a new product called the YakPack, a vomit clean-up kit for travel.

The kit contains vomit-absorbent/odor neutralizer, a scoop and scraper for rapid pick up, antimicrobial hand wipes, heavy duty dry cloth and non-latex gloves for clean-up. It also has a plastic bag for removal and disposal, a clear zipper bag for convenient storage, and a barf bag and absorbent lap pad to protect surfaces (although it’s probably too late to use these by the time you need the kit). The odor neutralizer smells really good, or at least it does now before the barf has been added.

Where has this been all my life? (all of her life, rather). It has everything needed to clean up when I’m on the road or in the air, and it fits easily into a carry-on bag or in my glove box. I’m SO excited about it that I can hardly contain myself.

That’s right folks, I can’t wait for my kid to hurl in the car so I can try it.

. . . Is that wrong?

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August 5, 2008   2 Comments

Pipe Cleaner Creatures – Fun for the Road

Get your kids wired on your next road trip! This is an activity that will keep them busy for hours.

All you need are some pipe cleaners, a nail clipper (for trimming the pipe cleaners to different lengths), and some creativity. A pencil or pen might also come in handy to create coiled sections by wrapping the pipe cleaners around it.

For more photos and ideas, check out the full article: Pipe Cleaner Crafts and Creatures

July 24, 2008   Comments Off

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat: Doodleballs

By The Back Seat Reviewer — Road Trip Mom’s Daughter!

Step away from the Doodle Balls. You might get addicted. These tiny magnetic balls are a perfect way to keep any kid of any age busy on a long road trip. All you do is move the magnet above the Doodle Balls to drag them around and make a picture, number, or word. Doodle Balls are also a great deal for the money. They will last a long time and be loved by everyone!!!

The only thing I don’t love about Doodle Balls is that the magnet stick is very easily lost. You can use any magnet, but it is easiest with original magnet.

Any kid short, tall, big, or small would love Doodle Balls. I like them, and so does my 9-year-old sister. I’m sure you will too.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by my road trip daughter! She is becoming a regular on my website with her product reviews and backseat opinions.

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July 20, 2008   1 Comment