Road Trips with the Kidlets

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‘Tis the season for travel.  The fact is, most of us who work outside the home will get a few days off in the coming months – starting tomorrow!  And, many of us will take some of those days to visit with family and friends that we might not get the opportunity to see as much as we would like.

My husband’s family lives about 7 hours away from us and that means we don’t get to see them nearly as much as we would like.  But, we take every opportunity we can to make a road trip for a visit.  That means three day weekends and any vacation time we can scrape together is usually spent traveling in our car with our two littles to visit Grammy and Gramps.

So, with many of you traveling this week {and in the coming weeks} I thought I’d share how I keep my two littles entertained during those long drives.

1. Keep ‘em busy:
To keep Judah (who is a little more than 3 1/2 years old) entertained and busy I pack him lots of things to do.

  • I pick up packs of stickers that I find cheap at the dollar stores (and free in the mail!) and squirrel them away until we take a trip. Stickers paired with a small notebook will keep him entertained for a while!
  • Coloring books with “special crayons” (ie: ones he doesn’t use any other time) like Crayola Twistables work great!
  • Crayola color wonder paper and markers are great for the car because the markers don’t write on anything but the “magic” color wonder paper! (keep your car interior marker free!)
  • I spy games and car bingo are also great games that will kill time (see my Pinterest board for road trips for lots of great ideas and links!)
  • Judah has a hand held game called a MobiGo that we pack for road trips.  We only let him use it on road trips so that way it will be new and interesting and will keep his attention longer since it isn’t something he gets to play with on a regular basis.

2. Pack lots of snacks:

  • We pack our own cooler with snacks and drinks and keep it inside the main part of the car where it is easily accessible (not in the trunk).  Not only is packing your own snacks cheaper, you can make sure you pack some healthy alternatives and not just sugar.
  • Fruit like grapes, apple slices, and whole bananas make great snacks for the car as well as crackers with cheese or peanut butter, tubes of Organic yogurt, squeezable apple sauce, raisins and other dried fruits, and pretzels.

3. Make regular stops:
Little kids need breaks to get out and stretch their legs.

  • Keep a frisbee or ball in your car and stop at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break and a fast game of frisbee or kick ball.
  • We pack our own snacks and drinks to save money but we usually make at least one stop for gas and let the kids go in and pick out one special treat.  This gives them something to look forward to and we usually try to work it in when everyone is starting to get stir crazy! By the way, did you know Racetrack now has many healthy snack options available?  It is called the Better for you line and it includes items like Kind Bars, Yum Nuts, and Pop Chips, among many other items.
  • Stop for lunch.  If you are traveling a long period of time (like our 7 hour trips) I recommend stopping and sitting down for a real lunch instead of hitting a fast food joint and eating in the car.  Although it means you’ll arrive at your destination a little later, it is so helpful to let everyone get out, move around, and get a good meal in them (which usually means a nap will follow!).  Besides being healthier, it is also just plain easier to feed little ones inside a restaurant strapped to a high chair rather than in a car seat while trying to drive!

Where ever you are headed this season, be safe and remember that a road trip is more than just arriving at  your final destination, getting their is half the fun!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors

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Comments

  1. I always try to make regular stops just as you do. I pack a lunch, so we can find a park or rest stop and the kids can get out and run around a bit. I love my iPad, and it is an absolute lifesaver on the road. With the iPad, my kids can play games, read, watch movies, and even watch live TV through the DISH Remote Access app. A co-worker of mine at DISH told me about this app, and with a Sling Adapter hooked up to my DISH receiver, the kids have access to all our subscription channels live anywhere we can get a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. They absolutely love this option, and it keeps them quiet for hours. On a very long trip, my iPad is what keeps me sane. Thank you for all your other great tips!

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