(If you're here from Rocks, and looking for the marriage wfmw, click here for last week's tip. I have no idea how Mister Linky works, so I don't know why last week's tip is on the list. Anyway ...)
So, in the spirit of spending
We have a portable DVD player, but we don't like to use it. In fact, it gets more use upstairs in the loft than it does in the car. I don't know that it's even been in the car in the last few years. But I digress. Before we take a trip lasting more than 45 minutes (which is often, because we kind of live in the middle of nowhere), I always start by cleaning out my car. Then, I get a gallon ziplock bag for each child and write their names on their bags. In the bag goes (depending on the length of the trip): a small bottle of water; a box of raisins; a little bag of something higher in protein, like cashews or walnuts; a pencil or two; a new box of crayons (the 8-pack kind; I have about 20 of these hidden in one of my cabinets!); a new or mostly empty coloring pad; and for longer trips, a new little book. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but those are the basics.
We own about 20 gazillion books, so I make sure to rotate the ones that stay in the car fairly often. My kids love the Where's Waldo? series, and they also love coloring books, so I usually buy a new one before any long (over 2 hours) trip. We've also been known to bring whatever read aloud book we're in the middle of reading, and get through a few chapters on the road.
I make sure to have their Bible tapes in the car before we leave, because I don't mind having those in the background for several hours. :) I usually bring my mp3 player to listen to when John and the kids are asleep ... which is often. My family is full of great car sleepers! I love it when my kids sleep in the car!!
If I can find anything good at the library or Half-Priced Books, I try to get books on tape or CD, and this not only provides the kids with something to do, but it also gives us great conversation starters when they get tired of listening.
We always try to schedule in extra travel time for long trips, so we can make stops whenever we need to without feeling stressed. When the kids get out of the car, I encourage them to yell and move around as much as possible to get the wiggles out. Yes, you'll get some really funny looks if you try this, but who cares??
I have a friend whose daughters know how to crochet, so she always buys then a new skein of yarn before each trip, and the girls work on knitting projects if they get bored; I'm planning on teaching Evie how to crochet in the next few months
For longer trips, I make sure each kid has a pillow and small blanket, and I keep the car a little cooler than normal, because it makes it easier for them to sleep. Have I mentioned how much I love it when my kids sleep in the car? Because I do. Seriously.
So there's a few of my traveling-with-kids tips. It's what works for me. Does anyone else out there have any travel tips? What helps keep your