Thursday, April 21, 2011

Traveling with Kids: Car.

Ok, so as I've mentioned before we don't have a DVD player or playerS in our car.  It's a conscious decision I've made to make car time one of imagination and family time.  At least, I am fairly sure I was conscious when I came up with it.  :)

But, that doesn't mean that I am not trying to entertain my kids like a seal at Sea World. :)  Here's what we've done in the past

  • A trip to the dollar store for tiny things that I wrap in newspaper.  It's just so gosh darn exciting to unwrap a present.
  • We have 100 mile prizes.  Each morning, Drew will reset his odometer and we give out a prize each 100 miles that we travel.  Sometimes it's a treat, sometimes it's a game we all play, or sometimes it's a toy.  I have actually done 100 mile tickets, but it's a LOT of work and while the kids adore them, I think that's something I could only do back when I had just 2 kids.  :)
  • Music.  I try and vary the music so everyone's happy.  Also, I try and make it set the mood.  Like Enya when I want some REST from those people in the back.  It usually works. :)
  • We play the ABC game -- where you find the letters of the alphabet in order.  This is a really fun one, less fun going through Nevada where your only choice is lisence plates of passing cars, but it's still good.  Sometimes we play where we find someTHING that starts with those letters instead of the actual letters.
  • Car BINGO.  I've found some good game boards for those online.  Kids love them.  Again, not so great in Nevada.  Did I mention most everything isn't so great in NEvada.  Except, of course the brothel coffee houses? :)
  • P has a little "car purse" that I give her that has a few toys in it.  She loves having her own little bag and it helps keeps things a little more organized then chucking a toy at her every 10 minutes. :)
Anyway, that's all I can think of right now, but of course I'd LOVE to hear any other tips.  I will say that once a kid can read it's a whole new world in the backseat.  Yay for literacy!


  1. I LOVE the idea of a little prize every 100 miles, Thank YOU! :) We have also chosen NOT to have a DVD player in our car...

    but we have really enjoyed listening to some books on CD together as well.

    We also like to make up songs... each person says a new line... and we'll use a melody everyone knows like popcorn popping or something.. FUN stuff.

    I hope you are headed to LOGAN.

  2. Let me start by saying I HATE car trips. Seriously. Now that that's out of the way, bravo to you, you are amazing, but we knew that already. :) We have had a dvd player since our first was a little baby and I'll never do a long car trip without it (or at least I hope we won't). Though we do try to leave it as a "last resort" kind of thing, only if the kids are super cranky or are fighting and won't do other activities. But then again we're in a different situation of sorts with children who have disabilities. Now that my daughter is a bit older she is getting better at entertaining herself in the car. We put a big bin between the two kids carseats that has books, coloring items, toys (cars, princess dolls, etc.), stickers, and snacks. Neither can read yet but they still love flipping through books. Both think it's hilarious to cover themselves head to toe in a sheet of stickers so that keeps them occupied for a while, and my daughter loves coloring so that definitely keeps her occupied for a bit as well. We play fun music that everyone likes which also helps the time go by. My kids don't understand the usual "car games" because of their developmental levels, but I do still try to interact with them about what we're seeing around us as we drive.


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