"Are we there yet?" Labor Day road trip tips for keeping kids busy

Labor Day is almost here — the day you officially say goodbye to the swimming pool, backyard barbecues, bathing suits and school-free days. 😢

But before you get down in the weeds with homework and after-school activities, you’ve decided to make the most of your last three days of summer with a quick road trip. (Yay, you!) You’ve planned your destination, you’re packing your bags, and looking forward to a fun five hours on the road with the fam for a proper summer send-off.

Wait. Did you say five hours?

Road trips are no piece of cake with kids, especially if you’re in the car longer than four episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants ... and especially if that road trip only spans a couple of days.

Breathe in, breathe out. It’s OK. We’ve searched the Internet for a few fun ways to pass the time so you can enjoy the trip and get back home to officially begin fall without losing your mind.  😂🙌

The ‘Would You Rather’ Game

Older kids love this one and it can somehow go on for hours. Print off a list of “Would You Rather” questions and get the whole family involved. Make everyone explain their answers! Responses to “Would you rather get a stain on your shirt or walk into a pole?” can get pretty hilarious.

(Pro tip: Bring earbuds and Pandora yoga radio for any time you need a break from what’s going on back there.)

Here’s your sign

If you have new readers in the car, a great way to keep their skills sharp is by asking them to read signs or billboards as you pass by. If you’re traveling at a decent speed, this requires them to think quickly and can introduce them to lots of new words. Keep track of how many they get right!

It’s all in the packet

Throwing together a binder or folder of activity sheets accompanied by crayons and pencils can fill breaks between games and give you a little peace and quiet. Include coloring sheets, word finds, crossword puzzles — and Mad Libs like these are super fun.

License plate game

Discovering how many travelers you see from different states is a classic throwback road-trip game. The Suburban Mom offers a printable license plate sheet that allows you to keep track of the ones you pass by on the road.

Keep their hands busy

Remember when you used to play with silly putty? Guess what, friends. It’s still a thing. You can buy it or make it, but it’s guaranteed to keep those little hands busy while they’re sitting in the car. If you’re not all about messes, though, and don’t like the idea of that ball of silly putty potentially ending up on the floor of the vehicle (eew), then grab a bag of pipe cleaners and let them bend and create to their heart’s desire. Those are a little easier to clean up. 😉

“Hey cow!”

If you’re driving by farms, let some fresh air into the car and some energy out by telling the kids to yell “Hey cow!” as they pass by a herd of cattle. How many cows turn their heads to look determines the winner. Silly game? Yep. Lots of fun for them, you bet.

Have a wonderful Labor Day, and may the road trip gods be with you!

But what will you wear? We have the perfect comfy road-trip shirt for all your crazy mom moments.



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