"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Traveling with kids

We have some major road trips planned for this summer. Our first consists of driving from Kansas to southern Utah. This is 17 hours and over 1000 miles. We will stop twice on the way there and once on the way home.

Then we make the big move from Kansas to Virginia. Jed will be driving a moving truck. I'll be driving our car with three bored, loud, sick of being in the car kids. This is an 18 hour drive (not adding time due to the slowness of a heavy truck) and again, over 1000 miles.

Basically, we're driving from ocean to ocean (except we're stopping in Utah and not going all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

How do you entertain your kids in the car for that long?

We're already on our second portable dvd player and it's crapping out. Our experience has been so horrible with both of them that we'll probably never buy another. We'll just continue to tell our kids that when we went on family car trips as kids, we had one game we had to share with our two siblings and the only music to listen to was our parents tapes. You know, like the [insert old craggy voice here] when I was a kid, I had to walk uphill in snow both ways to get to school.

About two years ago we had to drive from Kansas to Pittsburgh, PA (14 hours) for my husband's grandma's funeral. We did this on a regular weekend having to work until Friday afternoon and needing to get back to work and school on Monday morning. Yuck. My friend Tiffany, who married a boy from Scotland and thus travels on planes a lot WITH KIDS, made us a little travel kit. So sweet and such a great idea. I've used it again when we've gone on longer road trips.

This is the travel kit. She wrapped up a bunch of snacks, candies, activities and on the wrapping paper was a rule for when we could open it. Here are some examples of rules you could use:

Spot license plates from 5 states.
Spot license plates from 15 states.
Enter a new state.
See a truck with three trailers.
Cross a river.
Someone in the car is sleepy.
Someone in the car says they are bored.
Recite the ABCs backwards.
See a train.
Someone asks how much longer.

So I've gathered a number of activities, workbooks, coloring books and toys to wrap up. And I plan to check out a huge amount of books for Princess Sparkley because she reads like crazy. And we'll get some kid books on cd from the library. What else can we do?


Cristin said...

Even though we own a portable DVD player, I think kids should have to do what we did and suffer through it! They can play games, sleep, count trees, eat... I don't know. Maybe you could drug them up during the trip so that they would sleep the whole way?

Angela said...

I have a hard enough time keeping myself entertained.

Erin said...

I feel your pain. Tiffany is an awesome traveler. We have benefited from a kit of hers as well. Stickers! Snacks! The kids loved it. What a great idea. My older kids will go for hours with the audio books, but sadly there is not much you can do to entertain a one year old. Once you have a lot of kids (especially spaced out in a minivan) the portable DVD doesn't work too well. GOOD LUCK

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