Long Car Rides? No Problem!
Long car rides with children can be a handful! Parenting expert Robert Nickell a.k.a. Daddy Nickell, founder of DaddyScrubs.com <http://DaddyScrubs.com/> and father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. See his suggestions for parents to make car travel easier, and even fun!
1. Plan ahead. Make sure you allow enough time for food and bathroom breaks. If you are running late you and the kids will be stressed. Remember that stops take longer with kids.
2. Pack a “travel bag” for EACH kid. Pack their favorite books, coloring pages, stuffed animals and activity books.
3. Invest in some travel games (headbands, cards, bracelet making kits).
4. Invest in a travel DVD or gaming system for longer car rides.
5. Books on tape engage the whole car.
6. Stop at restaurants with play lands. Give the kids 10 minutes to run around and use some energy.
7. Let them sleep. It may throw off your schedule a bit, but it will make the car ride more tolerable!
8. Play “I spy,” “the alphabet game,” “license plate game,” and “car bingo.”
9. Switch up seats. Sometimes a new point of view means a whole new outlook on the trip.
10. Require them to go to the bathroom whether they think they need to or not.
11. If you have time, swing through attractions. Going 10 minutes out of your way to see a landmark will break up the trip and create shorter legs. Remember that “getting there” should be fun.
12. Plan your route, but be flexible. Often times the side roads really don’t add that much time but allow you to see more and be adventurous. Stop to dip your toes in a local stream, hit the little candy shop in town or take your picture by the state boundary sign. These are the parts of the trip you will remember most.
13. Have fun. Sing along with music, tell funny stories, laugh out loud.
My biggest tip!
14. Relax. You are the leader of your gang and they will take their cues from you. The more calm mom or dad is, the better the kids will be! If you are uptight and yelling, the car ride will be no fun for anyone!