Monday, November 24, 2008

Traveling with the kids

It's never easy on little ones to get in the car for hours on end strapped to a seat. I know lots of traveling is going on this time of year, including my family. We are headed to the Smokies in 2 days! Not a bad drive at a little over 4 hours. To go to Grandma's it's an 11 hour drive! We only do that drive every other year if that.

Anyway, I've been preparing for our trip and thought I'd share some things I've learned along the way and this link to some good traveling tips too. Course we have given into the DVD player in the car. Very helpful.

Other things I have done in the past on the really long trips are as follows:

*One big hit was a bead chain. I used the big plastic pony beads you can get at the craft store or Walmart. I gave my kids each a new bead every 30mins they didn't complain or cry. Then they got to put it on a string. Every 5 beads they won a dumdum. With this, we made an 11 trip with not a single kid crying (baby doesn't count) and my kids do NOT sleep in the car....maybe an hour at best.
*Aluminum/tin foil. Great for making non messy sculptures.
*Shoe box. Draw a little race track in the bottom and include a matchbox car. For older kids (non young toddler types) include magnets and draw a maze on the bottom and let them use a magnet under the box to push a magnet in the box around the maze.
*Special snack mixes. Goldfish, cheerios, nuts, sunflower kernals, mini marshmallows, M&Ms and pretzels. I get those cute animal cups in the paper plate section of the grocery store that have the flaps that cover the opening. Those are easy for little hands to eat out of then close up when done for minimal spillage.
*Stickers, crayons and spiral notebooks. Self explanatory.
*For girls, magnet paper doll sets. Boys, low volume hand held video games (Target has some cute ones....race car, baseball, basketball... in their seasonal/stocking stuffer section.)

Another problem with traveling with small kids is you usually are going to a place that has no toys, so it's just more stuff you need to bring. I let my kids pack a small tote bag of stuff. Easy to bring things are small mats with train tracks or roads and bring along some trains or cars. I'm making this playmat for our trip.

I think that's all I have for now and I've got a TON of stuff to finish/pack. This will be my last post til next week when we get back. Lots of blog action/reading to catch up on then too! Thanks to the sweet ladies in my blog group who gave me awards!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!


carrie said...

Thanks for the tips! I'll use them one day. I just traveled 12 hours one way with my 5 1/2 month old... not fun, but she did pretty well considering!

Jessy, Greg, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

I love the bead idea! Gotta remember that one! We have a 24+ hour drive to my folks. One thing that worked for our kiddos was getting lots of cheap stuff from Dollar Tree (most was on clearance for less than a dollar & if they get lost or broken no big deal) then wrapping it in tissue paper. Whenever they got restless we'd toss them a package to unwrap. Some items were pez dispensers, gooey frogs, toy snakes, coosh balls. Another fun activity were balloons. We would blow them up and the kids had a blast batting them around and trying to get them to stick to things. Oh, one more, we got a big bouncy ball to pull out at rest stops. It really helped get their zoomies out! We ended up watching only two dvds the whole 48+ hours of the trip!

Deanna said...

Thanks for the tip! 24 hours! wow that would be insane! lol
Our Thanksgiving trip home was a 4.5 hour trip that turned into over 8 hours due to traffic and the kids were miserable and one was sick. Was NOT fun. Funny thing is the 2 smallest are really good on trips, it's the oldest that was whining and crying (course he was also the sicky).


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