Monday, November 17, 2008

Calling all Road Warriors

I may have mentioned that we're planning to drive up the road a piece this weekend. As in, all the way to Massachusetts. It's not like I think this is going to be easy, but I start feeling vaguely disturbed every time I announce our intentions to a friend or acquaintance and hear a double-take. "Wow, that is a LONG DRIVE," they'll say. Really? I hadn't looked at it that way! I start to wonder whether we're being incredibly naive to think we can undertake such a journey, as if there's some detail we're overlooking that's very obvious to everyone else.

I've been trying to stockpile in-car entertainment items for everyone without relying too heavily on DVD's. Here's a mostly-complete list of what we have so far:

Audiobooks (Farmer Boy, Trumpet of the Swan, short ones on loan from generous neighbor)
Plastic lapdesks
Art supplies, various
Travel bingo
Rubiks cube
Old Boys' Life magazines, huge stack

Oh my gracious glorious galumphing goodness, to borrow from P.L. Travers. That list looks awfully short. Either that or my memory is toast. Probably the latter.

So, cough up, people. Give me your best ideas for free/cheap road trip fun! Twenty Questions, we know. I'm Packing My Suitcase, yupperdoodles. What else????

In return for your brilliant bits of insight, I will share with you these pictures from Ian's improv troop performance last Tuesday. My sister and I sat there laughing our nearly-identical heads off.


Jennifer Marchman said...

I Spy
Take turns telling parts of a story. One starts it off saying a couple sentences and then the next person has to pick it up from there with another few sentences, making it up as you go.
Finger crocheting/finger knitting
beeswax modeling ('cheap' if you already have it)
Just some thoughts...
And yes, you're crazy! ;)

Janet said...

I disagree (politely) with the crazy part. I HIGHLY recommend road trips for families! It is where my fondest family memories were made! Even if my brother drew a dividing line down the backseat and I only had a few inches or I would get whopped. Maybe you are crazy? No, I completely think it is well worth any headache involved!!! And I agree with less on the DVD's as well. I think we tend to lose some of the charm of the "road" when we're lost in technology!!! As for ideas, your list is better than mine usually is. :) We always stock pile paper and pens or pencils. I love finding new activity books or coloring books and making an activity pack for each child...complete with snacks. Of course, they usually eat those within the first hour and then we have to restock somewhere, but oh well.

Lydia Anthony said...

Count the Cows (or the Punchbuggies, or the License plates from Out of State, or the Red Cars, or the Dead Trees, or whatever else happens to be handy) Pick a distance, say, 50 miles, and let each kid count a different thing (or couple of things, if they feel ambitious). Then, after a while, do the count again and see if there seem to be more of something in a different town/state. Or let them predict which of two things there will be more of in the next 50 miles. Or turn it into some kind of competition.

Mad libs are great. Get Ian to make a mad lib for everybody else to fill out - I'm sure it would be brilliant.

Play the rhyming game like Fezzik and Inigo in the Princess Bride.

Turn it into a long, group-improvised song. See if you can come up with a steady tune.

That's all I got for now. But there is this fantastic Klutz book that got me all the way from California to Kentucky. Here it is, for next time, perhaps:

Hmm, I should be taking notes too. I'm going up to Chicago with the ATL college saints next week. Woohoo!

nicole r said...

i agree with janet -- LOVE family roadtrips. some of my fave fam memories -- and one thing i wish we still did.

i was a little older than ian when my parents first packed us all in the van (i think i was 11, making my brothers 9, 6 and 4).

books on tape was always a hit.

another fave was this road trip game that was a scavenger hunt. it was a list of things you have to "find" (see along the road). the version we had was a proper game, with cards in a box and so forth, but methinks you could improvise a pretty good version too.

Tracee said...

music! we still love the tape you gave as a party favor at one of Ian's birthday parties. you can do the chicken dance in the car you know. LOL

tamvandijk said...

Mad-libs are great--especially if you make them up yourself using scenes from things you've done on the trip (and include spaces to name someone in the car). Things as simple as a stop at a gas station can become quite hilarious! Also, here's a site that has a checklist with photos of all the license plates (my husband and I use it on all our road trips :)

For more ideas, "" looks like a good site.

Good luck!

Nicolle Boswell said...

A GREAT audio book is Freddy and the Ignormous by Walter Brooks!!!

Anne said...

I don't think I have any insight, but I'll just wish you well on your journey! I remember taking road trips when I was younger, too, and those were some fun times. Looks like you have lots of good suggestions, so I'm sure you guys will make out great!

Vanessa said...

Is that a mullet I see on the kid with the green shirt??????

Never did road trips with my family. . .we were deprived of great adventures!!

jennifer said...

Yeah for Farmer Boy. My oldest never tires of reading it (nor of pestering me to make him a set of morgan horse finger puppets.) I should get the recording so he can listen any time.