“Are we there yet?!” just might be one of the most dreaded sentences in a child’s vocabulary—especially when you’re on a lengthy road trip. But, since this is the season for visiting friends and family—often in other states—we thought it was the perfect time to share some tips for keeping your little ones occupied and happy on a family road trip. Feel free to add your best tips in the comment section.
A movie is always entertaining, whether you’re cozy at home or riding in the car. If your vehicle is equipped with a built-in video player, make sure to stock up on a variety of films—some old favorites and a new one that your kids have been clamoring to see. Or, if you’re bringing along an iPad or computer (don’t forget the charger!), you can preload movies onto it, so that they’re at the ready for a smooth ride.
Handheld video games—or kid-appropriate games on your own smartphone—are a fun way for little ones to while away the hours of a road trip. Extra tip: Look for games that have a volume control setting, so you can mute the game for the enjoyment of the other passengers in the car!
The family that sings together, stays together. Ok, that’s probably not a real saying, but singing as a family is fun, especially on a long ride. Before your trip, download some sing-along-friendly tunes or burn a CD, and prepare to make new memories with your little passengers.
Who doesn’t remember driving down the open road, playing games as a family? I Spy, the License Plate Game or Punch Buggy are all favorites. Think about fun—and even educational—games you can play and get even the littlest members of your family involved! Bonus: Visit www.radroadtrips.com for creative games and downloads to keep the whole family engaged.
‘Phones to the Rescue
If you’re the lucky parent of more than one child, you know that sometimes older ones don’t want to watch “baby movies” and sometimes the little ones only want listen to their favorite tunes on repeat. To alleviate any strain or disagreement over what programming is on, consider bringing a couple of pairs of headphones. That way, while one child is listening to the radio or an MP3 player, the other one can watch a favorite movie—all without disturbing the other (or you!).
For really little ones—who might be too young to engage in games or singing—you might consider planning the bulk of the drive time around their napping schedule.
When all else fails, moms know that an extra special—and new—treat can often do the trick to calm restless children. Before your trip, swing by an inexpensive store (like the Dollar Tree or Family Dollar) and stock up on a few thoughtful treats. Puzzles, coloring books or a new stuffed toy could allow for some added contentment on a lengthy trip.
Regardless of where you’re headed, your friends at Graco, wish you a safe and fun ride!