If you are anything like us, the holidays or just visiting family in general means traveling. Some of our travels are under an hour, while others range from 4 hours to three days. So I am always looking for fun ways to keep the kids entertained in the car. Not to mention I’m a fuddy duddy and refuse to just put movies on the whole time. They need to interact, look out their windows, and play games.
During one of our many trips to see family in Pennsylvania, we starting getting the kids to look for local landmarks that we knew were coming up. It was a great way to get them looking around and a cool conversation piece once we did find it.
Once we passed the college where J and I met, the girls asked us all kinds of questions. Amazingly, they STILL have questions every time we pass. I also got sick once making this trip when I was pregnant with Miss B, that is one of their favorite landmarks to find…the stop sign where mommy got sick on the side of the road.
The game sort of stuck. Now we play it not just when we are going to the farm (a trip my kids know very well), but we play it all the time.
Side note: For those of you who loathe the “Are we there yet?” question this is a fun way for them to keep track!
Travel I Spy
After a few more trips to the farm I decided to turn this into a visual game! So I found pictures to represent all of our favorite landmarks and just put them in a word document as you can see below. Now I can stick it in a dry erase sleeve and the girls can mark off the landmarks as we pass them so they know exactly where we are on our trip.
We are planning to drive to Texas this summer, so I’m already brainstorming the I-Spy landmarks for that super long trip! 🙂
- Yellow Bridge
- University of Delaware
- Welcome to Pennsylvania sign
- Longhorn cows
- Crazy stop signs that daddy does not enjoy
- Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster
- Lady Liberty
- Blue Penn State House
- Old Mail Pouch Barn
If you are heading to a new place or maybe one you just aren’t AS familiar with you can always use signs (exit signs, road numbers, state lines) as your landmarks. For little ones that are learning to read this is also a great way to get in some letter and number recognition.
Not to mention that this is a great way to have conversations with your kids while you are driving. You can point out cool places, statues, animals or talk about experiences you had at places you pass.
Bonus Game (older kids): You could also print or just draw BINGO boards and have them write in landmarks they think they will see on your trip. Then they can cross them off as you go!
So if you’ve made it this far into this post you are probably thinking I do not have time to make an I-Spy game… no time at all. I completely understand (even though I started and finished one during an episode of Caillou) you can always just do this verbally.
Come up with a few places that you know of and have your kiddos look for them as you drive! You never know what fun conversations you’ll have and what you or your kids might learn!
I hope you enjoy this idea and that your family does, too.
Until next time,