I headed on a road trip today. I am so excited! I'm thinking a 5 passenger car with 2 adults and 3 children is any American's dream vacation. Seriously, I'm excited. While I'm a romantic at heart, I do realize I need to do some work ahead of time to help pass the time on our 12 hour drive there (and another 12 back) trip.
You probably have those games you played as a kid...the license plate game (find the most states) and the alphabet game (find all the letters in the alphabet, in order, on the road signs)--the ones I remember the most.
I decided a little Car Bingo would be nice. I even bought candy bars for the winners (if I have to cheat to win, I will). I just printed out a 5x5 table in a office word program, adhered it to patterned paper that I have no idea how I'd use otherwise, and laminated it with contact paper (cheapest way I know).
On the drive, we can make our own Bingo boards using any theme we'd like. The first one we'll do is type and color of vehicles (i.e. blue van, red truck, white semi, etc...). My youngest is 5, oldest 11 so I have to make this work for all of them.
We could also do it with the states on license plates, advertisements (we're in Wyoming, so for quite a bit of the drive there won't be a whole lot), or whatever. And because we covered it with contact paper, we can use dry erase markers and it will erase fairly easily and be set for another game with another theme.
I'm using a reusable snack bag I made to house my dry erase markers. I figure they would be safer there than in a plastic baggy.
I do LOVE the license plate game so I did an online search for "picture of license plates for 50 states" and found lots of great options.
I printed out 3 so all the children could have their own copy. I put it in a protective sleeve which served a duel purpose. It protects the picture but also, we can cross off the states we spot without actually ruining the picture itself. When we get home, we can erase and be ready for our next road trip.
On the other side, I just put in a picture of a US map that outlines all 50 states.
The kids can color in or cross off all the states they have visited. For this trip, my youngest will be going through 2 states she's never been to...possibly 3 if I feel like taking a detour to Kansas. The other two will be able to add 1 (maybe 2) to their list. I'd love for us to visit all 50 states before they move out. We've got the west pretty well covered and a small chunk of the east, but still PLENTY to go.
And then I printed out this license plate map cause it was just too cool not to.
Maybe we can come up with something clever to play on it. Or maybe we can just look at it and love it.