Let’s face it, no kid wants to stay seated in a car for 2 hours quietly – never mind 21 hours. Be sure to come up with as much as you can to keep them happy on the way. Happy children = Happy parents behind the wheel. Here are some tips for keeping them entertained and HAPPY on your drive:
Think about packing an activity bag full of different things to do. Crayons, colouring books, games etc. When they start getting restless, pull out a new activity for them to do. For Q (2) we packed him just a simple colouring book with crayons, but for H (4 and in JK) I found him a dry-erase activity book so he could practice his letters. All things were purchased at a low cost from the dollar store.
In your bag you can also pack special treats and toys to reward them for good behavior. When they get a little unruly remind them of their surprises and see if it will help calm them down again in hopes to receive one. (Okay, so a little bit of bribery can go a long way… 😉 ) The lap trays that we loved so much last year came in really handy for their activities. And guess what? I will be giving one away at the end of trip!
Pack LOTS of snacks. Snacks keep children quiet. Quiet children keep parents sane. Whenever we would find the boys getting fussy, we would get them a snack, and more often that not it would quiet them down instantly. You can pre-pack things like granola bars, trail mix or muffins. If you are travelling across the border into the United States (like we did), you will need to stop once you are over to get some fruit and vegetables. Grapes were a favorite on ours. The more snacks you have for when they get hungry, the less you will need to stop. The less you need to stop, the sooner you will get to your destination.
Their Favorite Shows/Movies
If your vehicle doesn’t already come equipped with a DVD player, think about picking one up. We bought a dual one for this trip so that both boys could watch the same thing. Long road trips are not the time to limit their tv watching (of course within reason) – Once again, happy kids = happy parents. When the activities and snacks failed, we would put on a favorite movie or tv show on for them to watch. In most cases, other than when they were asleep, this would make for the most peaceful moments on our drive. Choose movies and shows that they normally watch at home for a little bit of familiarity.
Make sure to take some breaks for silly time. Stop at welcome area’s and let them run around, stretch their legs, and breathe in the fresh air. Change diapers, and visit the bathrooms. Do a little dance and have some fun.
Check back soon for more on our #FloridaFunshine vacation!