Some parents may dread the car drive with their kids during vacation this summer. It’s true that long car drives can wear on parents’ nerves and make for some antsy kids! However, a little preparation can help. Here are some survival tips for traveling with kids this summer.
1. Car Toys
Instead of allowing your children to bring along their favorite toy from home (although that’s fine, too), try having a few toys that are “car only.” Those toys are only brought out when your kids are in the car, so even if you travel frequently, there are still “new” toys for the trip.
2. What Kinds of Toys?
It’s true that not just any toy will work well in the car! Games with lots of tiny pieces, for instance, are probably not a great idea. But there are some toys that are more conducive to car travel. Here are some suggestions.
- Dry-erase boards
These don’t have to be just a plain board. There are activity kits available that come with a dry-erase board and various transparencies and other fun things you can do with the dry-erase markers.
It’s not for everyone, but this classic toy can provide lots of entertainment for some kids. And it’s mess-free!
- Activity Boards and Games
For toddlers and some preschoolers, these activity boards can save the say. They are the type of boards that are interactive, and some have sounds and lights and other features. They range from pushing buttons to hear animal sounds to spinning blocks to create an adventure. Keep a few specials ones of these for trips with your young child.
Magnet sets and magnetic games are great for the car; the magnetism keeps the pieces from falling all over the vehicle. There are also books available with magnetic characters and boards to go with them.
3. DVD Player
Okay, maybe this sounds too easy. But many parents swear by their portable DVD players for long car trips. If you are not the kind of parent who really approves of a lot of screen time, remember it’s only for one day in the car. Choose DVDs from the library beforehand if you need something new to watch.
4. Coin Challenge
One idea that some parents have employed with success – especially if there is bickering or other undesirable behavior going on – is to give each child a roll of quarters (or whatever coin you’re comfortable with). Each time they make noise, start a fight, or are engaging in behavior that is unacceptable, they have to give you (the parent) one of their coins. Whatever coins are left can be spending money at your destination.