Sunday, March 31, 2013

The "Are We Almost There?" Road Trip

“How long until we get there?”  This single question must be built into the DNA of every child, because there is likely not a parent in the world whose kids haven’t uttered these words on a short or long road trip. My daughter was planning a 10 hour road trip with her three kids over Easter break.  Heck, you can’t even take a 30 minute car ride with the kids without someone asking, “Are we there yet, or how much longer?”

I knew intervention was needed to keep my daughter from having an epic melt-down when the kids started with the, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Arewethereyetarewethereyetarewethereyet?!!!!  I had a plan; a good plan I might add, a plan of all plans, an ‘are we there yet’ road trip plan.

I printed out a picture of a mini-van and road signs. Each picture has a front and a back side so mommy doesn’t have to hear, “Not fair, I can’t see the picture.” And we all know that NEVER happens! Cut out mini-van and the signs. Double sided tape worked like a charm in securing the front and back sides together.
A small hole punch and grommet pliers were used to create an opening at the top of each sign. This opening is where the paper clips are inserted to secure the signs and car to the string.
Here's how it works. All the cut-out signs will be attached to a string using paperclips. One end of the string is attached to the van's sun visor or mirror; the other end is tied to something in the back of the van. 
When the road trip begins, the mini-van graphic is parked at the start line. Every 45 minutes into the trip, the kids get to move the mini-van up to the next road sign.
The kids rotate turns to avoid any fighting over who gets to move the van. Since this is a 10 hour trip, I placed 13 road signs on the string along with a start and finish graphic.

Each time the van moves forward, the road sign is removed from the string and placed behind the mini-van. When the vehicle reaches the finish line (AKA destination), all the signs will be positioned behind the van.
There are countless variations to this road trip idea. If you're traveling to Disney World, make graphics of Disney characters. Use graphics of different States, license plates, historical landmarks.
When you are done with the game, simply wrap the string around a 4 x 3 inch piece of cardboard (to keep it from getting tangled) and store in the glove box for future use.

I will be using this same idea at Easter to tell the story of Christ's death and resurrection to my grandkids. The timeline will start at the Last Supper and progress to the cross, the tomb, and finish with the resurrection. The kids will enjoy moving Jesus along the timeline as the Easter story is read. Visual props breathe life into a story.

If you would like to recreate my Are We Almost There road trip you can download the graphics here.  

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