Whether you’re driving or flying, traveling with children of any age can be challenging. Parent’s are going to hear, “Are we there yet?” and, “I’m bored,” countless times. As a mother, I’ve come up with some great ways to keep the kids entertained while traveling for Memorial Day weekend.
Journal: Whenever we take a trip, I buy my children a journal, crayons, pencils, stickers etc.. It’s a great way for them to write down their experiences and document their vacation. My daughter loves looking at the ones she made when she was younger. It always brings back funny memories.
The Circle Story: A fun game for a long car ride is the Circle Story. One family member starts it off, saying something like, “Once upon a time there was a pig who didn’t know how to oink.” Any opening line will do. Then the next person adds a line to the story and so on and so forth. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and let your children use their imagination. Usually, the story ends up being really funny.
DVD: If it’s a really long trip, break down and get a DVD player for the car if you don’t have one. No, you don’t have to let the kids watch hours of TV, but one movie can be a lifesaver when they get really grumpy or have been in the car for hours on end. Just make sure it’s a movie they both like.
Stops: Please, if you don’t want fighting, tired, car sick children; then make stops every hour or two. I mean, it’s a mini vacation for your family. It’s supposed to be fun. Sometimes moms and dads need to lighten up a little bit and stop being so worried about the schedule. If you see something interesting or fun on the way, take the time to do it. You’ll always remember it. Kids grow up fast.
Snacks: Take snacks that are healthy but that they can put together themselves. Like crackers, cheese, turkey slices etc…it’s time consuming to build a cracker and cheese tower…let them do it! Take a picnic lunch so they can get out of the car and run around a little bit. Bring a Frisbee or soccer ball and stop at that nice looking park on the way.
Flying: Take a laptop for movies, crayons and paper, a couple of favorite small toys, and little snacks. A small snuggle blanket and pillow are also a great idea. If we are going to fly, I usually keep my children up late the night before, so they sleep on the plane. Don’t forget gum so they can pop their little ears!
Project: Give them some sort of project or goal to reach by the time you get to your destination. A really good one that takes up a lot of time is a cartoon. You’ll need sheets of paper taped together or a roll of paper, two rolling pins and a small box. Cut holes in the box and stick the rolling pins in..one on top and one on the bottom. Have the kids color scenes on the paper and tape them together. When they’ve colored a full length cartoon, you tape the top sheet to the rolling pin and roll the bottom onto the bottom pin. Turn the top pin and watch your cartoon!
Read: If my children ever tell me, “I’m bored,” I reach in my purse and pull out a book I know they haven’t read. Knowing the genre your child is really interested in helps a lot. I always buy a few books each month to keep for the “I’m Bored” moments.
Happy Memorial Day. Have a safe trip and a great weekend.