Car Trip Games, and Road Trip Adventures, Traveling with Kids
 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Where to Find Road Side Attractions

My blogging pals are on Day-3 of their cross country road trip to the Blogher conference in San Francisco. They are heading across Nebraska today on their way to Denver, and it’s a long dry stretch.I have been checking out roadside attractions for them to squeeze in between all their tv interviews.

Road Side America is a great web site resource to help you find something amusing along the road to make your trip more interesting. Just enter the state you’ll be traveling through, and you’ll get a map with all the local attractions marked on it. Yesterday I told them to watch for the giant smiley face water tower at exit 76 in Iowa. Today, the Nebraska map produced lots of options, and I managed to find an eccentric little place for them to have lunch – Ole’s Steakhouse and Big Game Lounge. I am looking forward to a report. … and a photo of my pals in front of a giant polar bear or elephant.

If you don’t have internet access along your drive like they do (they are such techie goddesses), it’s no problem because there is a wonderful book: New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler’s Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America’s Tourist.

I just got back from a 1200 mile road trip myself, but looking at all the fun stuff to do in other states makes me crave the road again. No worries though, I am heading out again shortly for another pirate adventure … stay tuned…

UPDATE: They made it to the steakhouse and game lounge. Read all about it.

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July 14, 2008   Comments Off

Road Trip Playlist

Here are some suggestions for your road trip playlist! These are all “road trip” themed songs or have to do with cars or vacation. There are many suggested road trip playlists similiar to this all over the net. I made this list for my friends who are starting their Mom Road Trip to Blogher from DC to California tomorrow. Have a great trip!

California Here I Come – Pete King Chorale (OK, I know this one is cheesey, but you can’t start a trip to California without it!)
Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Peter Gunn Theme – Blues Brothers Sound Track
On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Back on the Road Again – REO Speedwagon
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I Would Walk 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
Slow Ride – Foghat
On The Road Again – Canned Heat
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Ramblin’ Man – Allman Brothers
Truckin’ – The Grateful Dead
18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses – Kathy Mattea
Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen
Slow Ride – Foghat
No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry
King of the Road – Roger Miller
I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Haggar
Running on Empty – Jackson Browne
Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
Drive My Car – The Beatles
Low Rider – War
East Bound and Down – The Road Hammers
Start Me Up – Rolling Stones
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
Already Gone – The Eagles
Free Bird –Lynyrd Skynryd
Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Route 66 – Cheetah Girls or Route 66 – Rolling Stones
California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
I’m Bad I’m Nationwide – ZZ Top/Dwight Yoakam
California Sun – The Ramones
Permanent Vacation – Aerosmith

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July 11, 2008   Comments Off

Fun for the Road: Drink Cup Battleship!

Here’s a fast and quick easy car game for the road. It’s drink cup battleship.

You can use the plastic drink lids from fast food meals for this game. Or if you’re like me and you have a strict “only water in the car” rule, you can always finish your drinks in the restaurant and take only the cup lids into the car.

Your battle ship is the button you push down (ie..rootbeer, cola, diet, other). Each person takes turns guessing someone’s “battleship”. The last person with their “battleship” undiscovered wins. You can push the buttons back up and play again and again until you wear out your playing pieces. The game is fast and easy. Great for preschoolers and up.

This has been posted on the Big Kids Car Activities page and on it’s own page for Drink Cup Battleship.

June 30, 2008   1 Comment

Rolling Reviews from the Backseat: Vanity PL8 Puzzles

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

We recently got a copy of Vanity Pl8 Puzzles. I think it is a fun and entertaining book — on the road or off. The book is filled with over 170 vanity plate puzzles and fun facts about license plates and their history, appearances on famous people’s cars, and other odd things. It was moderately challenging and very interesting.

I had loads of fun figuring out what these license plates said. Some were harder than others, but luckily the answers are in the back.

The only problem is that some kids, like me, get carsick when they read in the car. If that is the case, you can always look for real vanity license plates and try to figure out if they have special meanings. I would definitely suggest this product as a time-passer in the car to any kid, or adult who likes solving fun puzzles.

NOTE FROM ROAD TRIP MOM: This is a review by my road trip daughter! She is hoping to be featured regularly on my website with her product reviews and backseat opinions. Please give her a warm welcome!

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June 23, 2008   3 Comments

Fun for the Road: Crazy Eights

Playing cards is one of my kids’ favorite things to do when we are on the road, or waiting at our airport gate for our flight to board. I’ve uploaded some printable instructions to with the instructions for playing some fun easy card games when you are on the road or in airports.

So, if you’ve forgotten the details of how to play Old Maid or Crazy Eights, here’s your chance to brush up. As a mom, the funnest part for me is watching one of my kids try to keep a “Poker face” when he/she has just drawn the Old Maid from someone’s hand!

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April 30, 2008   Comments Off

Advice: Back Seat Couch Potatoes?

Dear Road Trip Mom:
What is your viewpoint on electronics as a diversion?

So many parents pacify their kids these days with car-installed, or portable DVD players and/or handheld video games. Could kids be making better use of their time, or do you believe such devices have earned a place in roadtrip entertainment?

I do think these devices have a place in roadtrip entertainment, but mostly as a break from other activities.

You just can’t expect children to be actively engaged and play games for hours upon hours. At some point, they just want to take a break and rest. This is when a DVD player is appropriate in my opinion. Kick back and watch a movie, then everyone will be refreshed ready to be involved again.

A family car trip is one of the best opportunities parents have to spend a lot of time really talking with their children, and it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. One of my website readers once wrote to me and said, “The trip there is half the fun because our vacation starts the minute we get in the car.”

February 14, 2008   3 Comments

Aaaarrrrrrrrr We There Yet?

After spending a day on the lake last summer pretending to be pirates, I was inspired to write an article about playing pirates on the road.

The time will pass quickly if you and your crew carry out your travels with pirate personas. Use your creativity and make every aspect of the trip pirate related. Speak like pirates. Sing pirate songs. Tell pirate jokes. Watch pirate movies. Wear pirate garb. Make pirate accessories. Basically, make like Roger and have a jolly good time in the car!

See the full article: “Pirates of the Caravan” for a bounty of ideas to get you started. If you know any good pirate jokes, please post them here and I’ll add them to the article!

November 16, 2007   4 Comments

Cootie Catcher

cootie catcher image ©2007 MomsMinivan.comI have updated the article on How to “How to Make a Cootie Catcher“! Most kids really enjoy making these from scratch; however, I’ve had a few requests for a pre-fab version, so I have answered the call. My own children are often the test subjects for new material at the website, and I’m happy to report that they were very pleased with my printable cootie catcher creation.

They especially liked that I offer two versions. One is all inclusive and complete. The other version has the “fortunes” areas left blank so you can fill in your own fortunes. Please enjoy these PDF files which are now part of the cootie catcher article, and also posted on the Printable Car Games page with all the other printable goodies.

Printable cootie catcher (pdf file) (complete with fortunes)
Blank cootie catcher (pdf file) (write your own fortunes)
images ©2007

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September 21, 2007   6 Comments