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Road Trip!

All right ladies, let's gather up all of your best distractions. My husband has an internship this summer. We have to drive 20 hours to get there. That is two ten hour days in the car with an active three-year-old boy and rambunctious 18-month-old girl. How in the world do you entertain kids while on long car trips? Do you just buckle down (heehee...buckle down...road trip...never mind) and get the portable dvd player? Or do you have some super great creative ways to keep your kids from going insane and dragging you there with them before you can stop for the night?


Anna said...

Our van is equipped with a DVD player so we do bring movies along for when they have had or when I have had it. :) I put an organizer that goes on the back of the seat in front of them, I put snacks I don't mind them eating in the car, books, favorite toys, colored pencils (they won't melt) and coloring books, Etch a sketch and a few surprises to give them along the way when I can tell its time for something different/new.

cannwin said...

I've done both (I always feel slightly guilty with the mindless movies for 10 hours)... when we moved to Arizona to Montana it was a big event-- 3 days --and we were in a truck stacked full of things and a Uhaul... so made blown up copies of the trip route and took icons from the computer to mark certain landmarks (like a big lake or a canyon or a house or hotel or stop sign for when we stopped) that way they could look out for these things on the trip.

Also, made little games like 'what's outside bingo' where they had to find a cow or a cactus or whatever. Plus coloring pages and whatever other things I thought would keep them busy. Then I put them all into one of those folders with the paper holders (you know that you have to hole punch things to get to fit in)... plus a stapled zip lock bag with crayons and such inside.

Then I could switch between that and movies so they didn't get to bored with the either.

My husband thought I spent way to much time on it, but he ended up in the Uhaul with the oldest and she actually did everything in the folder so he stopped complaining.

I've since seen road map books made for kids at gas stations or walmarts so if you wanted you might want to find something like that online.

Another really really handy dandy thing is a cd full of songs they enjoy, I'm amazed at how much we used this when they were younger.

As for an 18 month old... ugh, good luck. Have you thought of driving at night? That way they are asleep the entire time. We've done that before too, and it works pretty well (except our parents always have mild heart attacks about the concept)

Christine Archibald said...

We have a portable DVD player and it is a lifesaver! I agree that 20 hrs of movies doesn't sound like the best idea either. There are some great game ideas that would be age appropriate that would be fun like: the alphabet game (finding all of the alphabet letters on the signs), I spy, etc. You might also want to research the route you are taking and find some good places to get out and run around. Look for good parks, malls with playgrounds, Mc Donald's with a playground, etc. You can combine potty breaks and meals with the running around breaks too. A new toy for the trip might help too. Also have some window shades, my son always complains about the sun! (it is hard to see the movie with the glare) Good luck and have fun!

The Paynes said...

When we moved to Texas, 16 hours away, I opted to take our time, doing it in 3-5 hour stretches. We have 4 kids and the baby is not even one, and hates his car seat and doesn't nap in the car, either. My mom made us this awesome travel basket with snacks, new toys, color books, crayons, markers, stickers, two movies(gotta get new ones!)and activity books. That really helped. Every time we stopped for the potty, they could pick out something new. I felt bad about the endless DVD, but it's only two days of their lives. We stopped by about 6pm and stayed at hotels along the way. Try to find one with free breakfast and a pool. To let them get their energy out. You may just have to stop a lot, or try the overnight driving. Best of luck!

Cassi said...

I desperately need ideas for this too! We are driving to UT on Sunday and then back on Friday! That's 2 18 hour trips in one week! Then we are doing it again in July when we move!
We have a portable DVD player that we are counting on to help us all stay sane. And we will definitely be getting some "new" movies from the library to watch.
I also want to make a little road trip bag for each of my kids that has fun things they can play with. I like Erika's idea of having them be able to pick out something new at every bathroom stop.
Parker and Mayli like to listen to stories. I downloaded a bunch of children's podcasts onto my ipod that we can listen to, and they are usually free!
Jaden and Audrey are definitely at the hardest age. If i find anything that helps Jaden stay sane, I'll let you know. He hates long car rides....

cannwin said...

Now that my kids are a little bit older we stop at a lot of the touristy places along the way (I don't think my husband likes this to much, but he'll survive) this helps bunches too. And then they can save things they get and put them in their journals or on their walls. They also have something to talk about when for a long time after wards.

When we came to South Dakota from Montana (a two day drive) we stopped at Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial as well as Little Big Horn and this massive tourist trap called Wall Drug which after the 44th (not exaggerating... we counted)sign we just had to stop at.

It makes family memories.

Another fun thing we did was we got our picture taken in the town near Mt. Rushmore... it was one of those old western pictures (the one in my intro) and we LOVE that picture, it was worth the time and the extra bucks to have that memory frozen in time.

Staci Kramer said...

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