As we head out the door to visit Kingfisher Ranch with Hub’s family for the weekend, I thought I’d post some ideas for keeping teens/tweens/elementary age children occupied and happy during long drives.  Why do I think they will work?  Because we’ve had success with them:

*Of course there are the obvious–CD’s in the music player and DVD’s in DVD players.  We don’t happen to own a vehicle with a DVD player so we’ve had to use Hoob’s individual player at times.  We prefer other forms of entertainment though.

*Books on tape from the library are a great way to pass the time.  Choose books that have lots of action or are of particular interest to your children.

*We like to play “Choose my boyfriend/girlfriend.”  As we drive we look at people we pass and then decide if that person is a suitable boyfriend/girlfriend for someone in the car (even the little kids are included).  Some of the pairings have been quite comical.

*If you are ever stuck in construction traffic make friends with the people next to you.  Our girls are quite outgoing and usually roll their windows down and begin conversations with those in other vehicles that are stuck as well.  We’ve even passed snacks back and forth between vehicles.

*Another construction traffic tactic is to show an object from your car to the occupants in a car near you.  Keep showing them objects until they catch on–they are supposed to show you objects they find in their car.  It usually doesn’t take long for people to catch on and sometimes the game gets quite hilarious as people try to find the most unusual objects to show.  When we showed a broken umbrella once we got cheers from the group of boys in the car next to us.

*Still another construction traffic tactic is to pull as close to the orange cones as possible and have your passengers reach and try to touch them through the windows.  It is hilarious to watch the line of cars behind you copy what you are doing.  Of course as you begin to leave the construction area everyone should once again fasten their seatbelt.

*Singing favorite songs can help the time in the car go by quickly.

*A joke telling marathon is always fun.

*Stopping and taking pictures of interesting or unusual sites can help break the monotony.  On the way home from a ball tournament last weekend my sister, daughter, and I all spotted an unusual cemetery and stopped to take pictures of the elaborately decorated graves.  It kept us entertained for thirty minutes and the rest of our family enjoyed the pictures when we got home.

*Listening to the local radio stations as you enter areas you have never been can be informative and entertaining.

*Reminiscing about past adventures and funny happenings can help the time seem to fly.

These are just a few ideas that have worked for us.  We are off for our weekend ranch adventure.  Hope you all enjoy YOUR weekend!