I don’t do well with down time. Never have. I don’t really do ‘open-ended’ play. I’m not the type of guy who sits around. I need something to accomplish.
Sunday, I got home from work earlier than expected, and needed something to do BESIDES laundry and vacuuming, my hobbies. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and it’s hard to find something EVERYONE can participate in; or wants to.
We came up with a plan. We went to a bingo card generating website, and made our own “road trip bingo” cards, filled with things I thought we might see on a car ride in rural Maine. We had things like tractor, horse, railroad crossing (for Jake), NH license plate, etc.
We all piled into the grocery-getter and made our first stop at Udder Heaven, the ice cream truck downtown that the kids had been meaning to try out. With cones in hand, we began our trip. The plan was to head down the interstate to Howland, take the scenic tour through LaGrange and into Milo, then Brownville, Norcross, Millinocket, and back home.
We never made it past the local Circle K. Jake had been snacking on watermelon all afternoon, and was peeing every 20 minutes! He was third in line, and you should have seen him hopping up and down, whisper-yelling “I can’t hold it!” in the crowded convenience store.
We made the trip to Howland as quickly as possible, all the while Jake and Gabe were getting progressively covered in chocolate ice cream. Jake had it all over his face, and it was literally dripping over Gabe’s hand and into the (blessed) napkin in his lap. By the time we got off the interstate, the ice cream was done, and we were ready to begin our game.
Gabe and Liv knew exactly what to do. Jake, however, took a different approach. “Step 3,” he announced, “find a cow.” He spent the first 15 minutes looking for a cow. Note: we never did find one.
Liv was the first to achieve a BINGO, but Gabe wasn’t far behind. It was a nice little addition to what would otherwise have been a “boring” ride through the country side. Best of all, there wasn’t an electronic device in sight. We had some great family togetherness, sang along with the tunes on the radio, and really took in our surroundings, thanks to the game.
The highlight of the whole trip came when we were stopped at a railroad crossing because there was a train coming! The lights were flashing, the horn was blaring, and the train was chugging towards us. I thought Jake was going to come out of his seat. He made us roll down the windows and turn the radio off. He’s spent countless hours watching videos just like this on Youtube, but has never gotten stopped like that in real life. He was still talking about this morning!
Total trip time: 2 hours.
Ice creams: 5.
Bingos achieved: 4.
Memories made: dozens!
If you want a cheap and fun family adventure, print off some free BINGO cards, load the kiddos into the mommy-wagon, and go on an ice-cream fueled scavenger hunt! You won’t be disappointed.