Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Travel with Kids

I have hardly gone anywhere (apart from moving) for the last year because of surgery and chemotherapy. I suppose my travel before that was kind of limited because depression sapped my energy. Anyway, it's been a while since I took the kids to visit either set of grandparents.

This weekend, we went. It was just me and all three kiddos on a 6-hour drive. I used to think that was manageable. I think I used to be crazy.

They are pretty good travelers but they are young and sitting for several hours is boring. We stopped for running around, we rotated their seats around the van, we had books and toys for entertainment. But still there is so much coaching and negotiating and I-can't-pick-that-up-I'm-driving!

I wonder if it's me. I did not feel creative about playing I Spy in the car or planning helpful stops en route. I just wanted them to leave me alone so I could drive in peace. How do other people travel with kids? Lots of pastors' families drive long distances to visit relatives. There must be a reasonable way to do it.


  1. I have a six hour drive to Grandparents houses as well. I have a few tricks. I give Mitchell a quarter for every transfer truck he makes honk. (Yes, I did teach him how to do this) And we always play the quiet game about 30 minutes before we reach the big butt (the peach in Gaffney, SC). And we play the hug bug game. And then after I do some of this I threaten them with their life to yell, fight, kick the seats or throw up. I gave them fun time and now they have to give me my quiet and peace. I talk tough but somehow we still end up playing the Spanish station and try dancing the La Cuca Racha in our seats. Kids win again. I hate six hour drives!

  2. Quarters are an excellent idea. My 6-year-old would go bananas for anything that involved winning money. :)

  3. We listen to children's audio books in the car. Our library has lots of quality ones. Librivox has free ones you can download.

    Some of our favorites, that both the children AND I have liked so far, between the ages of 3 and 10:

    1) anything by Jim Weiss (www.greathall.com/storytelling.html) For younger kids--Uncle Wiggily's Storybook, Animal Tales, Tell Me a Story. For slightly older kids--Famously Funny, Greek Myths, She & He, Fairytale Favorites, Robin Hood/Three Musketeers...

    2) Naxos' Junior Classics audiobooks--Adventures of Odysseus, Five Children and It, Jungle Books, Peter Pan, etc. (www.naxosaudiobooks.com/juniorclassics.htm) Our library had a lot of these and librarians have been willing to order more!

    3) Tantor's children's audio books (www.tantor.com) Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, Dr. Dolittle, Just So Stories, Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, etc.

    Many of these my children have listened to multiple times. I also appreciate the fact that they are hearing quality literature, books that they and I will remember and love forever, so different than most of the usual schlock served up in most schools (Capt. Underpants, Wimpy Kid, etc.)

    Happy listening!


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