Travel Fun

by Doris Schuchard

Road trips are a great opportunity to explore new places, spend time with your family and leave the ordinary behind.

Me Mail
Before you go, purchase plenty of postcard stamps. On each day of your trip, buy a postcard, write down what happened that day and mail it to yourself. By the time you get home, you’ll have a trip full of memories to read!

Map the Route
To create a board game, mark your hometown and vacation destination on a map with two circles. (First ask Mom or Dad if it’s OK.) Now draw a curvy path between the two circles. Divide the path into 35 spaces. Color in the spaces: 20 green, five red, five blue and five yellow (in random order).

To play, take turns rolling a die. Move your marker the number of spaces rolled. If you land on green: stay; red: go back to start; blue: receive an extra turn; yellow: lose a turn. The first player to reach your travel destination wins.

On Line
Pick up a free map at a nature center. Start by placing a dot on a landmark in the middle of map. Player one places a dot on another landmark or destination and draws a straight line from the second dot to the one in the center. Take turns drawing and connecting dots without crossing over any other lines. Who can successfully draw the last line?

Alphabet Scoop
While riding in the car or waiting for a meal in a restaurant, draw a five-by-five tic-tac-toe grid. Ask a parent to randomly call out letters (excluding x, q and z). As letters are called, randomly fill in your grid. If a vowel is called, fill in two spaces with that letter. When your grid is full, see how many words you can find, searching forward, backward, up, down and diagonally.

On a Roll
For this car game, you’ll need two dice. Players take turns rolling, adding the two numbers together after each roll. The first player to reach 100 wins. If a player rolls doubles, he loses his points and must start over.

Travel Mad Libs
Pick up travel brochures at places you visit to create your own hilarious mad libs. Have one player cross out random nouns, verbs and adjectives from the brochure. A second player names new nouns, verbs and adjectives. Read your new story for a laugh.

Get the Picture
Before your trip, have each person in the family create a list for another family member. Use a disposable (or digital) camera to capture photos of each item on your list: the cabin you stay at, a historic statue, the Iowa state sign. When you get home, share the pictures and relive the fun.

Travel Puzzles
Make puzzles with your extra maps or postcards. Cut maps into interlocking pieces or cut postcards with wavy, zigzag cuts, etc. Time yourself putting them back together.

Sand Trap
Dig a hole and bury a plastic pail in the sand with the open top at ground level. Toss or roll a small ball into the pail (you may also try “putting” it with a stick). Each turn, take one step back. See which player can get the most holes-in-one.

Shell Toss
Play an American Indian game with stones or shells you collect. You will need a cup and three different colors of shells. For example, 10 white shells, 10 black shells and one pink shell.

Put one white shell and one black shell in the cup with the pink shell. Shake the cup and toss the shells out. If the pink shell falls closer to the white one, the player who tossed the shells keeps both the white and black shell. If the pink shell lands closer to the black one, the opposing player gets the black and white shell. Take turns. The winner is the person who collects all the black and white shells.

This article originally appeared in the June 2007 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2007 by Doris Schuchard. Used by permission. Photo © oddharmonic/Flickr; used under Creative Commons license.