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Car Trips With Kids

Apr 18, 2008
Taking a long car trip with your children can be a trying experience. Parents have all heard the question "Are we there yet?" or the words "I have to go to the bathroom" five minutes after they have just past the last bathroom for miles. For parents with more than one child, it can sound like professional wrestling in the backseat. As boredom is the main cause of the whining and complaining that the children are doing, the secret to surviving a long car trip with the kids is to come prepared with numerous activities and toys to help keep the little ones busy.

First you can pack a small lunch basket with healthy snacks so the kids will not complain about being hungry. It might be a good idea to avoid salty snacks as this will cause your children to drink more which can lead to you having to make more bathroom stops. You also might want to avoid snacks and drinks that have caffeine or sugar in them. These will give the kids more energy than they need if they are just sitting in a car for several hours.

Next you can pack toys for your younger children. You should ask the child which toys he wants to take as well as picking a few on your own so that you can choose ones that will take up the most of his time. There are portable toy chests available which may be an option for parents who travel a lot with their children. If you only travel occasionally, an inexpensive alternative would be a plastic storage tub, preferably one that comes with a lid. Both the portable toy chests and the storage containers can be easily carried back and forth from the car and come in various shapes and sizes that can fit easily in your backseat.

There are also traveling games designed especially for long car trips available for you to purchase. These can be as simple and inexpensive as check lists that involve pads of paper that lists different items that your child can check off as they spot them along the road. These lists can include vehicles that you pass, a restaurant along the way, and animals that you might expect to find in the area that you are traveling through.

A more expensive alternative to these checklists are electronic handheld video games. Any parent who has these games in the home can tell you that a child can spend hours sitting in one place playing these kinds of games. The handheld versions have become quite elaborate and have many of the same features that the home versions do. Again, some of these electronic games can be expensive, but depending on how much your family travels, it may be a worthwhile investment.

There are also free activities that you can share with your child on long car trips. A good old-fashioned game of "I spy" or a sing-along of your child's favorite songs can pass the time.

Whatever activities that you plan to use to keep your children occupied on a long car trip, make sure that you choose ones that are easy to do in the backseat. Just make sure that you plan something to keep the kids occupied. . It makes for an easier and happier journey.
About the Author
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