Riding in cars with boys (and girls)

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Activities: Babies, Places To Go, Toys

Wanderlust has struck my five-year-old.

"I've never been anywhere in the world," she told me recently. "Oh wait. Except for Ohio."

It's true that since we've been parents, our travel has been limited to in-state campgrounds and beaches (except for one apparently exotic weekend in Cleveland). Our vacation budget just isn't that large, nor is the level of energy I have for traveling with small children. But we do love a summer road trip and this year we have no fewer than four planned, all of them a considerable distance away.

When the kids were babies, we planned the bulk of our driving around sleeping and eating times. If the kids were snoozing or feeding, they weren't complaining. But now that they're older, I'm discovering that it's both easier and harder to travel with them. They no longer fill their diapers only miles after leaving a rest area, nor do they need to breastfeed in the middle of a traffic jam. But they also get bored really fast, their antsy legs wanting to run and play.

I've been slowly stashing away toys that are perfect for car travel, but I'm also looking for family games we can play in the car. We did a quick round of the alphabet game "I'm going on a trip and I'm taking..." last weekend, and it kept the girls occupied for a good half hour. I've done some looking around and have found a few, some of them oldies but goodies:
Of course, when all else fails, we can always borrow Grandma's portable DVD player, but I'm trying to make that a last ditch effort, you know?
How do you keep your kids entertained on a long road trip?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.