Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Surviving a Road Trip with a 1st Grader


Via Wiki Commons
The beautiful weather has me thinking about one thing---spring and summer road trips!  In preparation for our upcoming road trips, I have come up with a list of things to keep our little one happy while in the car.  Preparation is key, so I am glad that I took the time to do this now instead of the night before like usual!  Here is what I like to do:

1.) Scout along the route to find family friendly attractions and restaurants along the way.  I like to have an idea of what is available along the way to our destination so we know where we can stop if our daughter gets restless.  It is also handy to know food options.

2.) Print out some games like word searches, mazes, etc. to do while in the car.  I like to try to find games that fit the theme of the trip.  I also like to print out a license plate game so that we can look for the license plates from all of the states and provinces.  Be sure to provide your child with the materials necessary for the activities.  Pens, crayons, etc. can be placed in a rubbermaid.  I usually put all of the printouts on a clipboard.

3.) Provide an individual cooler.  We usually pack a small cooler for my daughter to have by her side.  It is filled with all sorts of fruit, cheese, and her favorite, salami.  We also throw in a juice box.  When she has the cooler with her, she tends not to ask us for snacks along route and is able to eat when she is hungry.



4.)  Set up a dvd player and bring a mix of new videos and old favorites.  While every kid has their old standbys, they get really excited when they have something new.  My daughter looks forward to her new movie on our trips.

5.) Make sure to bring some games and other activities for hotel rooms.  Sometimes when we make a stop along the way towards our destination, it can be a little boring.  It is nice to have some games to play so that we do not resort to watching television when at the hotel.  I usually keep items to be used at the hotel in a separate bag so that we do not have to unpack the whole car and can grab it quickly.

Some websites to check out:

Kids Health has some good ideas for activities while on the road.
USAToday has a list of some apps for road trip games.
TLC Parentables has a list of 36 printable games for the car.

Happy travels!

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