My sister is taking my five-year-old niece on a road trip this week, and she made the most awesome Fun Kit to keep her occupied during the long stretches of time in the car. Here’s what it includes:

Map of the trip

  • Major destinations are highlighted so my niece can follow along with their progress.

Road trip scavenger hunt

  • This has been completely customized to the specific route (e.g. Look for the “Welcome to Oregon” sign), and divided into three phases. It also features items specific to my niece’s interests like cars that look like the characters in the movie Cars.

Road Trip Tickets to be “cashed in” during the trip

  • J gets to choose the next three songs on the iPod
  • 20 minutes of sing-along songs
  • J gets 20 minutes with mom’s iPad (which has been pre-loaded with kid-friendly apps)
  • J watches a movie on the portable DVD player
Don't forget the teddy bear! By Flickr user -Snugg-

Don't forget the teddy bear! By Flickr user -Snugg-

Games and activities:

  • Etch-A-Sketch
  • Lite Brite
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • A travel journal! Lined notebook, pens, stickers of things they’ll see/do on the trip
  • Disposable camera

Car came catalog:

  • Alphabet game – spotting the letters on signs,  license plates, etc.
  • “Little Johnny” –  My sister and brother-in-law will post hypotheticals like: Little Johnny is eating crayons – do you tell the teacher or not? Or Little Johnny is climbing out the window. Little Johnny is making faces at me, etc. My niece learns when it’s appropriate to tell an adult and when it’s tattling.
  • Grocery List – The first player names an object available at a grocery store that starts with the letter A. The next player has to repeat what the first player said and then add another grocery item that starts with a B. If you forget a grocery item, you’re out, and the game continues until the player with the best memory wins.
  • Who Do We Know? - My sister and brother-in-law will pose questions such as, “Who do we know who used to be a skydiving instructor?” or “Who do we know who was born in another country?” or “Who do we know who worked at a fish and chips restaurant?” and then my niece gets to guess which one of our friends or family members the statement applies to. It’s a fun way for her to learn a little family history and personal biography.

Sounds like a road trip I’d like to go on! What would you add?