Helping Children Get through the Long Car Rides!

travelpint When children have a long car ride, it can get ROUGH.  Between the “Are we there yet?”,  and the bickering between siblings it is enough to make parents NEVER want to travel again.   There are some things we can do to help with the car ride though, it isn’t going to make it perfect but it does help.

Some ideas to help kids get through long car rides

Have a bag for each child to put things ONLY for the car/van.  Some things in my kids are DS, stuff animal, favorite toy, drawing materials, crayons or colored pencils, books, a few favorite snacks (granola, candy, dried fruit, pretzels), and sunglasses (kids love to have their own)

Videos can be great, if you have a player in the car-we do not, so we have to come up with other things.  But it can be a GREAT resource.

If you have room for the cooler they are WONDERFUL to have.  Juice boxes, soft drinks, water bottles, some fruit, all kinds of things can do in there and you don’t have to make so many stops.  Not to mention it helps save MONEY.

And our FAVORITE, audio books.  I spend time searching for ones that are good for most ages, on this trip we brought The Boxcar Children, The Silver Chair(Narnia book), and Mr. Poppers Penguins.  The library has some great ones, even for toddlers/preschoolers.  There are times no one is moving or speaking because they are ALL so engrossed in the story, even mom and dad.  We all love them!

My favorite travel resource website is Kids love travel.   George and Michele Zavatsky have done such a great job in providing resources to help parents find great places to travel to when you are in particular states that kids love.  You pick the state your going to and they have all the places kids love when you go there in their books, we already have three of them.  They have been to so many places, they even know the secrets to going to places at certain times.  For example a history place that might typically be boring for a young child, they will tell you to go there on homemade ice cream day and it brings the place to life and kids end up having a great time.  LOVE that!  You can buy the e-version and load them on your kindle or nook.

They also sell kits of games for the cars.  Travel bingo where the kids have to find things on the road trip and whoever gets a line first gets bingo and much more.

What do you do to entertain the kids in the car for those long drives?

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  1. Rachael says

    After stopping what felt like 30 times “to go pee” on what was supposed to be a 15 hour trip I asked my kids how I could make the next trip better. My 5 year old said to me “Maybe if we had some pillows to sit on because the seats are so hard.” And to think spanking them only made it hurt worse, I thought that they were just being obstinate. So for the next trip I trimmed some cushions from Walmart fabric section and put them in pillow cases for under their bottoms on top of the car seats around the seat-belts and things went much better. Another thing I do is have the girls wear shortish skirts to make going to the bathroom easier, longish skirts get in the way of the car seats so knee length or less is best and if there has to be an emergency stop in a rural area with no exits for miles I have them use a funnel I made cutting a used water bottle diagonally into an empty bottle and empty it and throw it out at the next stop, my son doesn’t need a funnel. Long trips are nice, the scenery is great but when you feel uncomfortable all you can think about is how uncomfortable you are making sure that car seats are not to hard, bladders have a chance to be emptied, and that each child has a chance for peace with their own set of noise blocking earplugs are the key to great family adventures. I also take great care to keep the kids slip on shoes in the pocket in front of them so that they don’t get lost in a pile of books and toys under their feet when we do come to a rest stop.


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