Monday, October 30, 2006Making Do on Mondays: Roadtrip in Peace
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Time to face the fear of long hours in the car with your children as you travel to Grandma's house or other relatives if you so choose. What are some ways to make your time on the road as peaceful as possible? Tell me please; I'm asking for suggestions as well as posting my own! We'll be trekking the 5 hours to our families on a couple of occasions during these next few months.
- Hope is the one who gave me the single greatest tip so far: have a car bag of toys. These toys are ONLY brought out for road trips... so they retain their novelty. I put the ugly little toys I didn't want in my house in the car bag, while also picking up a couple $1 bag of miscellaneous junker toys from garage sales or thrift stores. Novelty is key here. Let the kids play with the toys in the bag but don't let them have them all at once. And save a couple of the more enticing toys hidden until you feel the emergency "I'm about to throw myself out on the road" moments. Good little toys are often found in those machines in front of stores and such. An added treat for kids is if you wrap some of these toys.
- I also have a couple of books that only come out in the car.
- Kid music. I'm sorry, but sometimes you'll have to sacrifice your favorite CDs to hear Peter, Paul and Mommy for the upteenth time. Invest in some enjoyable kid music. Sia gave some good recommendations here.
- Consider renting some stories on tape or CD from your library... you might just catch your little ones in a state of being willing to listen!
- Bring fun little snacks that last a long time in your car. I like fruit leathers and also trail mix because it takes the kids longer to eat (they spend several quiet minutes searching for and prying out the M & Ms before settling for the nuts/raisins).
- Swallow your pride and go to McDonalds. I personally loathe the place and their food but on a stormy day, it's perfect to find the golden arches from the freeway and order a chicken nugget so the kids can burn some energy on the indoor play structure. A couple bucks for sanity? Sure, I'll take it.
- On the same note are shopping malls. Most malls these days have a kids' play area that'll help settle the munchkins down. While it's free, the tradeoff is the convenience that McD's has.
That's about all I have for now though I'm always looking for more ideas...
-Ellie: Oak Harbor, WA
Labels: useful ideas