a special feature by Kay & Leslie, Founders of Grandparentslink
Ahhh, those infamous ‘road trips’ with children!!! Before you pull out of the driveway there’s that familiar ring,“Are we there yet?”It’sa question we all hear over and over. To preserve everyone’s sanity, plan ahead, and incorporate these 10 tips.
1.) Carefully check your car before you hit the road – get a tune-up and be sure to check oil, water, tires. Is the spare tire fine and ready to go? Do you have a good first aid kit? Flashlight?
2.) Review your route ahead of time. Do you have a map? Do you need specific directions to a particular location on your trip? Figure out the best places and times to stop. Take in to consideration your children/grandchildren’s lunch and nap schedules. If you are stopping each evening, do you need to make a reservation ahead?
3.) Pack carefully. Take a cooler in the car that you can easily access. Fill it with everyone’s favorite healthy snacks and drinks (lots of water for sure!). Bring extra plastic bags, and garbage bags as well.
4.) Make sure you have changes of clothing, the kids’ favorite pillows and blankets, extra diapers and underwear, toys, books, games, and CD’s. Is there a special stuffed animal that must come along?
5.)Bring surprise food treats. And– bring surprise activities, such as colors and coloring books, stickers, crafts, a new CD, a new book. You can even make a special bag for each child filled with the surprises. As the day, or days progress, the kids can be rewarded with treats from their very own “surprise” bag.
6.)In order to break up the long spans of time on the road, bring books on CD that the whole family will enjoy. If you have a mini-computer or tablet, let the kids play their favorite apps for an allotted period of time, say 30 minutes. Or, let them watch one of their beloved DVD’s.
7.) At some point during the day, have one of the adults hop in the back seat with the kids. It is a nice diversion and brings new energy to the family dynamics.
8.) Take breaks. Stop for lunch, the bathroom, points of interest. Stop at a park and let everyone run around, and stretch their legs. It’s good for you and it’s good for them.
9.) Play family games, like rhyming words, “I Spy”, or make up your own games. Sing songs. Make up songs to a theme of the day, or a favorite topic.
10.) Do not make the day too long for the adults or the kids. Remember to make time for the whole family to rest and stretch, and have a relaxing meal together.
And please…if you have a car problem, carefully pull over to the shoulder of the road, put on your hazard lights, and call for help.