We spent the better part of four days driving in the car 10-16 hours each day. We
were are crazy! I am amazed that we lasted the entire trip without resorting to DVDs to entertain the kiddos. We already shared the toddler clipping toy, it was great for our youngest! Here are 10 other things from our Big List of Road Trip Tips that were the most helpful in our latest journey:
CRIB SHEETS AS SEAT PROTECTORS:
These were great! I don’t know if your kids are like mine, but the car always looks like a disasters has struck after a long car ride. Using Crib Sheets as seat protectors was great! They were the perfect size to cover a full bucket seat, or to use as the bottom of a bench seat. The crumbs and bits of trash were contained. Car clean up was a breeze.
FROZEN JUICE BOXES:
Freeze those lovely juice boxes and they will serve multiple purposes on the trip. They will be harder to drink from (if you give them the boxes frozen), meaning the kids can only take sips – no guzzling and the subsequent bathroom break! They also work great as doubling as a refrigerator. We layered our frozen juice boxes in an insulated tub with breakfast burritos and sandwiches on top of them. Having ready meals meant less stopping on the road (or we could stop at fun places like a park vs. a restaurant).
TRINKETS, TOYS (AND A TOY SCHEDULE):
Every year this has been great! We package the toys in different ways, using some of those old plastic Easter eggs (my toddler especially loved putting the egg together and apart), wrapping paper, aluminum foil (not for kids who still put things in their mouths), etc. Half the fun was playing with the gift wrapping! We had our kids on a 20 min schedule (with an hour break in the morning and a two-hour nap break in the afternoon). Every twenty minuets they would get another toy, a crayon, a book, or we’d listen to a CD/silly song, play a game, read a story, get a snack/drink, do seated exercises, etc. Having a schedule gave the kids something to look forward to – and helped break up the monotony.
These were in part for us, the adults, driving for multiple days in a row can lead to highway hypnosis – fast! My hubby and I enjoyed RadioLab, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, and podcasts from the NewYorker. The kids enjoyed a few of the iphone apps, especially interactive books from PicPocket Books (They loved , and listening to books on tape. Thanks friends from Mom Loop, Mom Forum, for helping inspire our playlist!
Rachel is the founder of the blog, One Crazy House. She is the co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! and The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and six children.