My kids are 4 and 2 and have always done pretty good on long trips. They can entertain themselves and don’t mind being strapped in their car-seats for hours on end. Here are some things I’ve learned to make our trips more fun.
- Activity Folder- I make Ashlyn a folder with all kinds of activities in it. I put connect the dots, word searches, coloring pages, adding, phonics papers, mazes, anything I think she can do on her own. She loves to show me how many she can do.
- Bag of Books- Both my girls love to look at books. I pack a tote bag full of different kinds and put the bag in the middle of their car seats. I always buy (or check out from the library) a few new ones to surprise them in their bag. I also put a sticker book for each of them too.
- I always pack lots of crayons (the twist up ones so they don’t melt in the car) and give them each a pad of paper. They love post it notes because when they are finished writing on them they stick them all over the window. Stickers are also fun. Emily loves to stick them on herself and pretend they are bandaids.
- Books on Tape- this works for a while but most kid books on tape are so short it’s almost not worth it. Regardless, I still pack a few.
- DVD Player- I only let my kids watch this when we go on long trips so it’s very special for them. Plus I want them to be able to entertain themselves and not think it’s tv time every time we go somewhere. But on long trips it’s a life saver.
- Present Bag- My mother in law wraps individual gifts and numbers them for each girl whenever we travel. They look forward to it and get so excited when I tell them they can open a present. The gifts are little things like post it notes, stickers, pieces of candy, a book usually for each, a cd with kid songs, etc. My only rule with this is that they can’t ask, “Can we open a present.” I surprise them throughout the trip with one.
These are just some of the things that make our trips easier. It makes it fun and gives them things to look forward to.