Tips for Traveling with Kids…

On Friday, the kids and I load up into the car and head for my parents’ home in Georgia. Friday we get as far as Kentucky, and Saturday we head for Cartersville.

By my kids’ definition, this will be a “real vacation,” as in “involving at least one overnight in a hotel with a pool, wireless Internet (my husband’s idea), and waffles.” Sadly, Computer Guy will not be with us.

So … I need to come up with ways to keep them entertained without turning on the video player that has remained silent for the duration of Lent (insert back pat here). Since Good Friday doesn’t seem like a good time to break that particular record, it will remain that way for a few more days. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

* Pick up some books on tape from the library … maybe this will be a good time to introduce them to the ORIGINAL “Narnia Chronicles.”

* Award my son his most coveted prize — a deck of Pokiman cards, which I have stubbornly withheld (not for any real moral reason but because I can’t STAND the little buggers) until he can do all 100 math facts in his substraction deck in under 5 minutes. So far he’s halfway there.

* Buy the BIG BOX of crayons for each of them, along with a monster coloring book and drawing pad. That should be good for two hours or so.

* Pull out the collection of children’s books my publisher Cheryl Dickow sent to me for their Easter baskets. (That’s my book at the top of the page, “Behold Your Mother.”)

* Pull out my childhood reperatoire of car games (license plate alphabet, I Spy, Cracker Barrel I Spy, etc.) and goofy songs (“I’m Wild About Cars that Go WAH AH AH AH… ooga, ooga,” “Austrian Went Yodeling,” “BINGO,” and the full Keith Green Collection.)

* FUN Basket: a basket full of treats they don’t get at other times of the year, to be doled out in half-hour increments. Ding-Dongs, Life Savors, blueberries, smell-good markers, little puzzles, and stickers. Plus extra batteries for their LEAPSTERS, which they can earn at the rate of one for every 30 minutes they go without bickering. (They need FOUR to get the game going.)

* Photo Box. Each of them get a gallon size bag with family snapshots (you know, the duplicates squirreled away in that box in the corner of your house) that they get to cut out and clue to a piece of construction paper. At the end of the trip, they get to hang their artwork in their room.

* Map Quest. Each of them gets an inexpensive map with our trip outlined in marker, which they get to put a star on each time we stop (or every two hours, whichever comes first).

Any of you have other ideas?

1 thought on “Tips for Traveling with Kids…

  1. GREAT tips, Heidi!!! On Monday, we’re leaving for a (much needed!) mini-vacation to Pismo Beach, which is just over two hours from our home, so your ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanx!


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