When I was in college, I volunteered to take my three very rambunctious cousins to the water park for the day. It was well over an hour drive to get there, and I needed something to occupy the boys, all under twelve at the time, on the trip. Fortunately, we stopped at a gas station on the way and I discovered there was a large jackpot up for grabs in the lottery. And being creative, I told them that we could split the jackpot when we won if they could come up with the most creative way to spend it.
That $3 investment was the best idea I ever had. The boys not only spent the whole trip down fantasizing about their big win, but also the whole way back.
They all decided to buy large mansions. And then all the mansions melded together and they each built on the other’s ideas. One wanted a game room filled with all the best electronics. The second wanted a bowling alley with lanes to accommodate all of his friends. The third, the youngest, wanted a large go-cart track outside. They added pools and luxurious bathrooms, each topping the other, and before we knew it we were there.
It was a fun way to spend the trip. And now, when I take my own children on a long trip, when we stop for gas we pick up a lottery ticket. And although I know I stand a much greater chance of getting hit by lightning on the way, I still enjoy spending some time dreaming with them for a while.
How do you occupy your kids’ time on road trips?
This post originally appeared on Live by Surprise on November 30, 2016.