Summer is here and so is the time for the family road trip!!!!
Traveling on the road with children, grandchildren, young friends, and favorite nieces and nephews can be fun and challenging. Having mini DVD players, games on the iTouch or iPad are awesome, but you if want to expand horizons a bit beyond screen time; here are some ideas and resources for your next road trip:
1)Take your’ child’s favorite music CDs or load up the MP3 player with kid’s music. In the baby area of our Walmart there is a display of children’s CDs with a listening center so you can listen to them before you buy. Don’t forget lullabies for quiet times and classic nursery rhymes too.
- Your local library may have children’s CDs that you can check out.
- There are free kids music downloads at Free Kids Music.
- Kidsongs.com is another place to search for, purchase and download children’s music.
- Here is a summer song list for kids!
2) Go to the library and check out books that are new and different. Also get books that describe your destination and activities.
3) Mom’s Minivan has printable games that are very fun! You can slip them into a sheet protector and play using dry erase markers so they can be used again. I was totally impressed with this website. Here are examples of Bingo, a scavenger hunt, and tic-tac-toe:
Update: Here’s another great road trip bingo printable that is really cute too.
4) Be organized. Games that have been printed can be put into a folder or 3 ring binder. Depending on your children you might want to have access to the binder and supplies to give to them as needed. However, another option is to give each child their own binder with the activities they enjoy. The binder gives them a place to write and a place for paper, a packet of crayons, pencils, stencils, and small activity books (all shown below are from Walmart). A pencil holder that you can snap into a 3 ring binder works very well to keep things together.
5) Get a map or atlas that your older kids can use. You can purchase maps that are laminated or you can print one from the internet. Highlight the route, mark stops and sights, then slide them into a sheet protector and put into their binder.They can follow the route of the trip which is a great way to teach map reading skills. Trust me…when they leave home for college you want them to be able to read a map even if they have a GPS!
6) Know some classic road trip games like these from Disney’s Family Fun website.
7) Be prepared with a new book or small toy (or a toy or book they haven’t seen in a while) to whip out when boredom really arises.
8) Know where rest stops and parks are located. Pack a Frisbee or ball so that the kids can play when they have the opportunity.
9) Change seating arrangements. Sit in the back so you can read together, talk about the sights, snuggle and share some cheerios.
10) If you have babies and young toddlers consider traveling at night if possible. Just be sure that you are rested and can safely drive at night. Be safe!
11) Here are some preschool apps for your iPhone or iTouch. They are from 1+1+1=1 an awesome tot and preschool resource!
12) If you are grandparents or other loved ones traveling with your favorite little folks, make sure you know favorite foods and routines. Keep track of their blankie, binkie, or any other favorites. I (yes, I did… and I’m the mom!) left my daughter’s ‘moe’ (beloved blanket) at Grandma’s and could find nothing that substituted for it. Everything was pushed away with a tearful “no Moe!”. Feel free to learn from our mistake.
Most importantly ~ keep a sense of humor and have fun together!
What is your favorite traveling tip, resource, or activity?
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