Summer Survival Guide
Taking car trips with children can be challenging. Here are 10 tips for helping the ride go swiftly and smoothly:
1. Pack food and snacks: Bring plenty of snacks, juice packs and treats. Items like plastic cups to dispense drinks from the cooler and packaged wipes are critical.
2. Bring fun stuff: Dole out little surprises for the young ‘uns, and don’t forget balls and Frisbees for rest-stops and roadside picnics.
3. Share a story: Share a book on CD with the family or make sure everyone has their own audio player.
4. Word games can be fun. Try The Sound Game and The Alliteration Game:
The Sound Game: Look out the window of the car. Young children can name items they see, and then figure out what the first sound is.
The Alliteration Game: This one can be funny. Find alliteration words for a child’s name, or a friend's name. Make them as funny as possible. Or use names of animals. For example, "loud little Louie" or "silly Sammy Snodgrass" or "leaping Larry lizard." When your kids gets the hang of it, they will take off on their own.
5. Take a break: Allow ample time for rest stopsafter two hours in the car, stopping for a break gives everyone a chance to stretch and renew their energy.
6. Nap time: Sleepy heads will enjoy the rest and you’ll enjoy the quiet. Be sure to allow a few minutes for them to fully awaken before you stop or arrive at your destination.
7. Map it: Give your kids their own copy of a map of where you are going. Show them how far you have come, how much farther there is to go and let them mark it with a crayon. Every time they ask "How much farther?” have them take out their map and see for themselves. You can buy wall maps, travel maps and travel guides or for more fun, you can also print driving directions with a map when you click "get directions" at MapQuest.com or RandMcnally.com.
8. Stop for a picnic: After a stop at a grocery store or deli, find a place where the kids can run aroundfun for the kids, relaxing for the adults and a money saver, too!
9. Shake a leg: Choose a park or school playground where the kids can loosen up and burn off excess energy.
10. Try to avoid last minute rushing, which stresses everyone, and enjoy your road trip!
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