Predict the future.
Pass around a travel guide and invite kids to share things they’re most looking forward to doing and seeing—and why.
Make weird choices.
Create a deck of index cards with wacky “Would you?” questions, such as “Would you rather be a frog or a firefly, and why?” or “Would you rather live in a house filled with spaghetti or fruit snacks?”
Bond over proud moments.
Share a proud moment from when you were your kid’s age—like the first time you swam a whole lap of the pool without stopping—and ask your child to do the same.
Create silly sentences.
Get everyone to choose two things spied out window—like cows, billboards, bridges, wacky roadside attractions, and weirdly shaped clouds—and ask one kid to create a silly sentence using all the words.
Ask your child to explain—words only, no devices—how to play his or her favorite video game.
Let each kid describe what life would be like in your family if he or she were the parent and you were the child.
Live your dream.
Give everyone a chance to describe his or her perfect day, starting off with breakfast and ending with bedtime.
Find some heroes.
Take turns choosing a character you admire from a TV show, book, movie, or video game and describing what makes that person so cool.
Talk about when you were cool.
Let kids ask you questions about what your life was like in those mysterious and (to them, at least) boring days before they were born.
Get tv ready.
On the way home, take turns playing a travel show host. Describe the food, fun things to do, and hotels in the place you visited.