7-Letter Words That Starts With O For Animal The Family Road Trip – 11 Ways to Save Your Sanity, See More Sites and Have More Fun

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The Family Road Trip – 11 Ways to Save Your Sanity, See More Sites and Have More Fun

I have three children that I love with all my heart, and I can tell you that – sometimes – the idea of ​​packing them in the car and driving through the hot countryside where they will argue, invade each other’s space, and ask to stop and pee 14 times a day, terrible to my heart. I tell you, be afraid.

And yet, especially in this economy, there are days when it’s not easy to fly. There are times when we must get into the car to go somewhere.

Here are some tips (mostly learned the hard way) about how to have more fun on a family road trip.

1. Before you go, visit the library, buy a guidebook or visit your favorite travel websites to find kid-friendly parks, attractions, pools, and water slides . Try to engage in at least one activity that will be fun for your child each day (especially on driving days.)

2. Get your kids involved in the planning process. Ask them what they want to see and do along the way. Ask them to ask their friends about good places to stop or eat on the way. Let them take turns being the “captain” and making decisions about where to stop and eat lunch or a rest area to choose.

3. Let your kids engage themselves “go bag” with small activities, mazes, books, and treats along the way. A child-friendly map is helpful. Same with two binoculars. Also, colored pencils or markers and games, puzzles, coloring books and plain paper. It is also fun to add a disposable camera for each child and a blank journal for them to record the journey through their own eyes.

On the day of the trip, surprise them with a couple new items for their “to go bags”… items that cater to their individual tastes and ages. Maze books, a tool for trying their hand at making cute animals, fun facts about the places they will visit, etc.

4. Come up and learn new crafts that kids can do in small spaces: Finger knitting is perfect for younger children (search online for patterns). Older children can crochet or knit.

5. Find a new book of creative car travel games. Here are just a few, but you can find oodles more in books at your local library or bookstore:

The Alphabet Game: Try to find each letter of the alphabet, in order, on license plates, road signs, keyboards and more. Two other ways: find things that start with each letter or try to find all the letters, in order, on the license plates of other cars.

20 Questions: One person finds an object in the landscape or in a car and gives everyone 20 questions to guess what the object is.

License Plate “I Spy”: Make a chart of all the states. Skip each one as you see a license plate from that state.

Letter Bingo: Print Bingo books with words (or pictures) of things you will see on the trip.

6. There is no shame in using a portable DVD player and a couple of movies. Rent new movies along the way at DVD rental kiosks.

7. Get a few new apps to get you through. We’ve covered several miles playing Wurdle, Fruit Ninja, and – more recently – Angry Birds. Tiny Wings is a good game that is, well, less annoying.

8. Bring the best music. We love belting out old songs, like “Oh My Darling, Clementine” and “Tumbling Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweeds” – but we’re such dorks. Find a CD or put together a playlist that everyone will enjoy listening to.

9. Bring small balls, a football or a Frisbee and have an easy, ready-made game when you’re standing at a rest area or park. Or use the timer on your watch or cell phone to time your kids running laps around the recreation area. Anything you can do to make it fun to go out, stretch and burn some energy.

10. Set realistic expectations. Unless you plan to drive a lot at night or while the kids are sleeping, a maximum of seven hours of driving is all that will be fun for a child.

11. Create tripping rituals. For the most part, I would say it’s important to have easy access to healthy snacks that won’t spike your kids’ blood sugar. But we have certain food traditions that have become synonymous with road trips. We always get Easy Cheese and Triscuits, for example, and, when my husband drives, I write small abbreviated messages on them with squirty cheese and the kids try to decide. We also love to have pretzels and the kids try to eat only to leave one pretzel. See what fun rituals you can come up with that will help your kids build enthusiasm for the family road trip.

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