31
Jul

Kids in Cars!  Does the idea of it bring up feelings of dread and fear or do you have thoughts of fun and adventure?

Whether it’s going to the beach or lake for the day or traveling on an extended car trip, it can be a challenge to keep the kids entertained and relaxed.

After you have packed extra trash bags, wet wipes, juices, snacks and other basic supplies, think about what you’ll do to pass the time.

Many cars today are equipped with DVD players and extensive audio systems that will keep the children’s attention for a long time.  However, if your car is not equipped with one of these modern conveniences or if the kids get bored with their “in-car” selection, here are some tips and ideas that just might help to head off any unwanted upsets.

Before you head out, plan your trip to include multiple stops along the way. It will be necessary to build in extra travel time for bathroom and stretch breaks. Many rest stops have picnic areas so packing a picnic for your stop can add to the adventure. If you are going from one state to another, it might be fun for the kids to collect maps from the region and to mark the roads along the way to track their progress. Encourage them to decorate the maps with notes or drawings of what they saw on that part of the trip. Once home, their personalized map can be framed as a memento of the family holiday.

Encourage each child to pack their own small bag or backpack with favorite toys, books, snacks and PJ’s. Packing their own bag is a great way to engage them in the planning and anticipation of the trip. You may also want to have back-seat car totes that are accessible to each child. This Babyville car tote project is easy and can be completed in a few hours. 

If you are going to be traveling for a number of days and need an incentive to keep the kids happy during the hours of car riding, you may want to go to one of the dollar stores and purchase a few simple items to giftwrap as special rewards each day.

Most libraries have a great collection of audiobooks so for traveling with older children, listening to a good book can be engaging for the entire family.  For younger kids, be sure to have a music playlist that includes a variety of sing along songs, lively pop tunes and even a few quiet naptime music selections.

Remember as parents, a family vacation should be enjoyed by all and don’t forget you will need a break too. With some creative thinking and pre-trip planning, your road trip can become a memorable outing for the entire family.

Meet the author

Ellie has been sewing cloth diapers for several years now. It all began with a call from her friend Jean who shared an idea she had for a cloth diaper sewing program and...Read more

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