Trip Tips: Driving with Kids

  • When traveling in the car with small children, allow more time to reach your destination. Stop more often and for longer periods (30 minutes) to let the children (and you!) stretch their legs and run around. Bring snacks and drinks.
  • To amuse children on a road trip, bring books or kids' musical tapes, a clipboard to use with paper and crayons, markers, color pencils, stickers and stamps.
  • Your local party goods and dollar stores are perfect places to find inexpensive forms of amusement.
  • Try to schedule travel times around naps as much as possible. Put blankets and sleeping friends (like teddy bears) next to them in the car for comfort and inspiration. Let your children guide when and how often you stop.
  • If your kids are not used to long car rides, plan a "trial run" -- for instance, a day trip to a state park two hours away for a picnic.
  • For long car trips, the book Miles of Smiles is filled with car games. Picture-puzzle books (like I Spy and Where's Waldo) can be made into games as well: One person names an object for the rest to find in the picture. Sometimes you can borrow these books from the library, which is also a great place to find children's books on tape.
  • Make your own books on tape: Record your child's favorite stories on audio tape and then they can have the stories "read" to them in the car -- and their children can have Grandma or Grandpa read to them in the future. It's great. Bring a Travel Lite Brite, two "C" batteries and Travel Magna Doodle. Bring lap desks and art supplies for projects.
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