Sitting in the car for hours on end is no easy task for kids. Even I have trouble sitting still without complaining on a long car trip. Help your kids get along and avoid driving you crazy with these tips.
Make Them Comfy
Before you pull out of the driveway, make sure your kids are safe and comfortable. Put them in comfy clothes and slip on shoes so they can take them off in the car. Don’t forget about pillows, blankets and stuffed animals for extra comfort.
Give Them a Visual
You don’t want to constantly remind your kids to stop fighting or be quiet. Give your kids a visual reminder of the behavior expectations. You’ll need a clothespin for each child. Paint each child’s clothespin a different color so it’s easy to identify. You can even do one for the adults so the kids don’t feel targeted.
Each person’s clip starts on the passenger side visor up front. The clothespins stay there unless someone starts misbehaving. Remove a child’s clothespin if her behavior isn’t acceptable. This reminds her to shape up quickly.
Give some sort of reward for everyone who stays on the visor. For example, you might let everyone whose clothespin is on the visor choose a little treat at each stop you make.
Keep Them Busy
Don’t expect kids to entertain themselves in the car. Pack plenty of small, mess-free activities for the kids. This might include a scavenger hunt, travel games or coloring books with colored pencils. Don’t bring crayons on a hot road trip unless you want a waxy, colorful mess in the car.
Snacks are another way to keep your kids busy and fend off hunger-fueled crankiness. Pack a basket or bag of snacks for each child that are already portioned out.
If you start feeling stiff or cranky, imagine how your kids are feeling. Use your own experience as a guide for when to stop. You’ll likely need to stop a lot with kids in the car. A little time to stretch their legs and play can refresh your kids enough to make it further down the road without problems.