Wednesday, August 12
"Are we there yet?" "How much longer?" After the excitement of loading up the car fades, and you're facing the reality of being stuck in the car for 8 hours on the highway, what do you do with the kids?
We thought we'd conquer this problem last year by borrowing our neighbor's portable dvd player system. It helped, I guess. But I didn't really like the extra noise of a movie playing, or trying to skip the movie back into place every time after a pit stop. And to be honest, the kids were tired of it pretty quickly, too.
So this year, we're taking a different approach. Yes, we're still borrowing the dvd player, but here are the three other things we're going to try to make the trip more fun for all of us.
1.) I made a map of a big mountain, and I cut out a car out of cardboard. The bottom on the left side of the hill is home, the bottom of the other side is our destination. The plan is to tape the car on a different spot each time we stop. This way, the kids will have a visual as to how much farther we have to go. When we're at the top of the mountain, we're halfway there!
2.) I'm making little goody bags for specific stops that I know we will make: crossing of a state line, getting to a major monument, etc. Each bag is marked with a child's name and the destination where we get to open it. Inside the bag are little fun things I know they like. I've put everything in there from Japanese puzzle erasers, to Smencils, to mini mandalas, to Calico Critters, to little sticker books, to a kaleidoscope--anything that I think will entertain them for a bit.
3.) I'm packing a box of toys that can be played with in the car. Here's what's in my toy arsenal so far:
- Magnetic dolls: boy and girl
- Find It!
- Moody Bear puzzles
- See and Spell
- Potholder Loom
I know that traveling with three kids will still be tiring and frustrating at times along the way, but I also know that I'll have fun ways to help us all cope. It also means we'll have easily portable activities to keep us busy inside the hotel room or grandma's on the inevitable rainy day. I hope it helps someone else out there, too.