Carplay Diem

It is that time of year when people pile into cars and hit the open road to visit friends and family. 

Being stuck in a car for hours does not have to be boring, or an unpleasant experience. Seize the day to play and have fun on your road trip. Joe Desimone was a farmer who understood Carplay Diem and the need to enjoy the journey. Instead of bringing his fruits and vegetables to an outdoor market to sell in boring cardboard boxes, he essentially created a parade float showcasing the prized beauties from his farm. 

Pike Place Market proprietor, Joe DeSimone.

Pike Place Market proprietor, Joe DeSimone.

The voyage can be enjoyable for adults and kids with a little planning. Creating a way for the family to interact with one another in the car can be a challenge when individuals have their faces planted in their electronic devices. Here are some ideas for having an interactive road trip with your children:

Make a busy box for each child. Take a shoe box and have the child decorate their own entertainment box. Include objects they can manipulate with their hands easily and from their car seat. Consider objects where the child uses her/his imagination. Include novel things that has the potential to engage the child for an extended time period. 

Check out audio books the whole family can enjoy for free from the public library. A favorite author of ours is Kate DiCamillo. She writes interesting stories that can entertain both children and adults.

Make and take snacks the family can eat at rest areas or on the road. Have kids help pick out what to include in their snack bag. A carabiner can be attached to the back of the seat with his/her bag of goodies and/or other objects needed for the car trip.

Play games in the car. Word Association games are where someone in the car begins with a word. Others in the car say words associated with the original word.

A game of “I Spy with My Little Eye Something _____…” is where each person has a turn coming up with an object that others have to look for outside of the car.

The license plate game is a fun way for kids to learn about geography and states.

The 20 Questions game is where others in the car ask questions that can be answered with yes or no of the person who has thought of a person, place, or thing.

Here is a picture of my glamorous Mama going somewhere in her muscle car. We could make up a story about where she is going all dressed up. While in the car, pick another car on the road. Be sure everyone in the car has gotten a good look at it. Then make up stories about the people and/or the car.

My Mom circa 1969

My Mom circa 1969

Finally, the Going on a Picnic game gets players thinking and talking about what they would bring on a hypothetical picnic. Feel free to create a variation on one of these games, or the car can make up their own game(s).

This time when you travel by car with your family, make a positive memory each person can take with them into the future. The memories of interacting with one another cannot be replicated from playing Angry Birds for 16 hours. Play and have fun on your road trip by interacting with each other. Carplay Diem!