Sunday, July 29, 2018

Surviving A Road Trip With Kids

Photo by Andrew Neel
I recently took on the challenge of driving my two children, two and six, to upstate New York by myself.  I generally don’t like to do this.  I usually enlist the help of a grandparent or friend, or wait until my husband is available to go along.  This time, however, no one was available.  I was really nervous about the 5 ½ hour drive, but I really wanted to attend my Grandma’s 90th birthday celebration.  So, we set out on the trip.  I brought the usual snacks, books, toys and Etch A Sketches.  We did several stops and even had their favorite foods, hamburgers and chicken nuggets.  It went a little better than anticipated, but there was one hour where they were fighting so badly and grabbing each other across the seats and screaming.  I had had enough and was at my wits end.  Finally, I put in a CD of children’s music.  Magically, they began to calm and sing along.  I had peace and quiet for those 20 + songs at least.  Whew.
When I pulled in to my destination, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I had survived the trip.  Just barely, but we did.  After this experience, I decided to enlist the help of my mom’s group for some road trip ideas.  (MOPS/Moms Next at Grace Brethren Church, check us out this Fall!)  Nothing is better for ideas than other moms who are in the trenches!  Steal and enjoy these ideas from mommas who know how to road trip with kids and please post your own ideas in the comments so we can continue the conversation.  Look for the next blog in this series coming soon from my sister-in-law who travels all the time with her kids.  Happy summer!  Alisa

Audio books have really cut down on the amount of time spent on the tablet.
Puzzles and brain teasers really kept our kids entertained.
Rubix cubes
Etch A Sketch
US map:  when you see a license plate from a state, mark it off on your map.
A cooler full of sandwiches and drinks.  Lots of snacks!
Bring a travel potty for emergencies.  (Especially for those potty training kiddos!)
Travel Aquadoodle or books from Target with the water pens.
The Color Wonder sets.
An unusual amount of snacks, but not too much water.  (Less potty breaks!)
Usborne sticker books, car bingo games, Target $1 spot for new little trinkets, notebooks and activity pads.  Bring out a new option every few hours.
For long trips, make a chain link where each child gets to rip off a link every hour.  (They loved the times when they fell asleep and woke up and got to rip off two or three links all at once.)
Melissa and Doug Scratch Art activity pads.
Travel bingo game.
Plan stops where there is a Chik Fil A if possible.  Playtime and good food (and great service!) make getting back in the car so much easier.  (As long as it’s not a Sunday!)
And my all time favorite response…
Leave the kids at home…lol.

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