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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Unplugged Vacation Travel with Kids Part I



Right after the excitement of the county 4-H fair we took off on a family vacation.  I am not talking any vacation.  I am talking a 3550 mile round trip to visit my brother and sister in law in Connecticut. 

In. The. Truck.

Oh and the kids were totally unplugged.

I know what you are thinking.  Have they lost their minds?!

Honestly, the boys didn’t fight until we were headed home and I was fighting a head cold and was losing patience.  If we have the Ipod, tablet, DVD player, etc in the back seat someone is always complaining that
  • I don’t want to watch that movie.
  • He got to pick last time!!  It’s my turn!
And, my favorite…
  • He got the tablet 10 seconds longer than I did that‘s not fair! 

Really, there weren’t that many arguments unless they were super hungry or tired and they would have happened if they had technology.

So what did the boys do in the back seat for 3550 miles?

This is Part one of an Unplugged Vacation for the kids.

Auto bingo
I played this exact game with my brother when we were kids.  I found it at Lehman’s an Amish supply company in Ohio.



Alphabet Game
Another game my brother and I used to play.  Find each letter of the alphabet in order on signs, store fronts and even inside the vehicle.  No coupons does not qualify for the letter Q even though it makes that sound.
  
I Spy
I didn’t even have to suggest I Spy.  The boys started on their own and really seemed to enjoy it and observed more of the country side.

Legos
OK, yes we picked up quite a few Legos in the back seat and on the floor, but one of the big green squares kept everything they built in place and provided hours of entertainment.  I would suggest one big piece per kid.  Right now, we one have one for the whole family and you just need more space for all those barns, buildings, silos and cows.



Maps
We stopped at a tourist welcome center in almost every state along the way.  I know we all have GPS in the car and on our phones, but map reading is still a skill I think kids should learn.  They followed along as we went by the town exits.

Tourism Brochures
Since we did stop at all the welcome centers, the boys were quick to pick up brochures on things that looked interesting to them.  They even read them to us trying to get us to stop where they wanted.

Don’t Break the Sugar Bowl
Also known as the Quiet Game and all kinds of other names.  This one was instituted in heavy traffic especially if we were trying to find an exit. GPS lady and I were the only ones allowed to talk, so we could make sure dad didn’t miss and exit.  They even made dad be quiet.  LOL

I am being totally honest when I say that I did not wish once that we had some electronic device in the back seat to entertain the boys.  Maybe my kids are not normal or maybe all of us parents need to make them take a trip back to the dark ages (when we were kids) every once in a while, so they appreciate what they have a little bit more.

Be sure to check Part II of Unplugged Vacation Travel for more ideas.

Have you ever taken an unplugged trip with your kids?  What other ideas do you have to entertain the kids without technology?

-A (Crazy) Kansas Farm Mom