Fun Ways to Keep the Kids Occupied Till 'We're There'

Five fantastic ways to keep the little ones amused

"Mom…dad…are we THERE yet?" For those with kids, hearing this age-old question from the moment you leave the house 'till you arrive at the destination is not only irritating, but impossible to satisfy with any answer. Whether you're traveling by plane, train, automobile, or some other form of transportation, keeping the kids occupied is essential. If not for their entertainment then for your own sanity. Here are five fun ways to keep the little ones amused, replacing, "Are we there yet?" with lots of laughter and an all-around good time.

This won't keep them occupied

"Guess Their Lives"

This game is perfect for public transportation, be it bus, train, plane, ferry, etc. Pick a person or a group and have the kids make up stories about what their lives might be like. Perhaps the woman with the black trench coat and dark glasses is an undercover agent. Or the laid-back fella in Bermuda shorts and a straw hat just won the lottery and is off to his own private island. The kids will have a blast creating characters and spinning storylines. Let their imaginations flow as new people come into the picture. Surely, the stories your kids come up with will be far more interesting than what these people's lives are really like!

"I Spy"

If you want your kids to focus on their surroundings rather than how much longer they need to sit in their seats, try a game of "I Spy" to keep them occupied and engaged. You can lead the game by choosing something for the kids to look for or they can give clues about something they're eyeing, and the other kids (or you) can guess what they're looking at by asking questions to reveal telling clues. For instance, your child may spot a herd of cows on a farm along the country road you're taking. To play the game, someone else in your group will get hints by asking questions like, "Do you spy a person, place, or thing?" "Is it moving or still?" "Is it bigger than a car?" Whoever guesses correctly wins, and the game goes on and on…until you "spy" your final destination.

"Pass the Picture"

If the kids are sitting in the back of the car or next to one another on a plane, train, or bus, creating artwork that's a joint effort makes getting from point A to point B a blast. A large sketchbook and some crayons or colored pencils are all you need. One kid can start the picture, then pass the sketchbook to someone else who will add their own creative touch. Keep passing back and forth until the "masterpiece" is complete. Two artists are always better than one when it comes to collaborative creativity. Take home the drawing when you return from the trip as a memento of your family vacation.

This kid clearly needs something to

"Sing-a-Long" (or car-aoke)

When traveling by car, singing your way through the streets is always a blast. No matter your level of vocal talent, making music as a family makes the ride more riveting. Sing along to the radio or a set list you've prepped for the trip, or play some karaoke tunes and call it "car-aoke" instead. Take turns with who's on lead vocals, and you can even rate one anotherAmerican Idolstyle. With music fueling your road trip, the time will fly by. Here's to a family that toots their own horn!

"Snack Swap"

If you are traveling with kids, you're going to need snacks. Hungry bellies and long trips just don't mix. But rather than giving each kid a snack and calling it a day, make the snacking a little more special. Everyone packs their own snack, but when you get in the car, swap yours with someone else's. This way, the snack is a surprise, making munching more exciting. Bring along a bunch of mini-snacks, like baggies of cereal or protein bars, so you can snack swap multiple times throughout the journey.

Are we there yet?

Any tips on keeping kids occupied while traveling? Oh, and kids… we're there!


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