Off Topic · parenting


4 of my boys.  Aren't they the coolest??!!
4 of my boys. Aren’t they the coolest??!!

We are preparing to take a rather long road trip with 5 of the kids.  Should be a piece of cake really!!  hehe…  This is the least amount of kids we have traveled long distances with in a VERY long time!  19 years as a matter of fact!!  We are moving into a new season I guess.

One of the younger ones likes to play the “I have to pee right now!”  game with us.  It makes us have to stop and he really doesn’t have to pee he just has to get out of the car and move for a while.  That trick didn’t work more than one time on the last road trip but he still likes to try it out.  It just might work this time you know!!

Of course the minute he brings that one up, guess who really does have to pee!!  Nothing like the power of suggestion!!

We are used to traveling with a large group.   Our last road trip was actually a few years ago when we drove to Texas and then Arkansas with 7 of the kids.  We somehow made it through without the use of dvd players.  This time also, no babies or toddlers.  That makes things much different too!  Much easier really!

This time we will pack the nook, the kindle and the ds’s.  Along with chargers and games.  This will help with lots of the time since they really like playing with them.  They are older too so that will help. They can play games and entertain each other a bit more now.

I also pack story tapes.  We love to listen to books on cd or tapes when we drive.  We have been known to drive just a little more just to finish the story!!  We have listened to the “Wind in the Willows”, “The Hobbit” and “My Daniel”, among others.  The library has a good selection of kids stories on tapes.  Pick one that would interest the most of the family.  The one that isn’t will be fine and will more than likely get sucked into the story later!!  I am not sure what book we will get on this road trip, but a friend had given me several that I may just pack along and try on the road, as well as get some from the library.

We play the alphabet game a lot on road trips.  Sometimes “I Spy” but that tends to get to random.  Some like to “spy” things that are passed long before anyone can guess what they are looking at!!

Drawing and coloring are also good activities.  Getting a new kind of markers and drawing pads are a novel thing and can give you another hour of peace!!  Using things that you don’t normally do keep the interest going.  So pack in a few “How To”-type drawing books too.  We just got 2 new ones that we will take with us.

a road trip funny!!
a road trip funny!!

Simple games also are good for road trips.  Card games are fun– Uno is a big one with our family.  We may take some of the cards from the game of “Things”.  Its a new to us game from Christmas. This one hold their interest for quite awhile and its fun to play!  Another one that just has cards to it, but may be a bit tricky to play in the van, is “Logos”.  Its one from a year ago last Christmas.  That one has to do with guessing Logos from famous brands.  Sometimes you have to see the logo and guess the slogans so it may be a bit tricky.  I will look at it and decide.

Small toys like matchbox cars or small action figures like “Polly Fashions” are good for the road.  Just leave all those really tiny pieces at home.  They will be lost before they can play with them anyways so save yourself the headaches.   “Barbie” could come along to.  Just forget the tiny pieces.  We will probably bring some Legos too but will have to figure out how to manage those..  All those tiny pieces!! Maybe they could just get packed in the back for once we get there.

Take a pillow, favorite stuffed animal or doll, and a blanket for those naps.  We all get sleepy on road trips so be prepared for when nap time hits!!  On this particular road trip, we will be driving straight through starting Saturday night, so this will be a high priority.  Even though I know several will not sleep much overnight.

Another suggestion I have is to get in your head a list of impromptu games or activities.  Sometimes those kinds of things are a life-saver!!  Some things I have done are;

Draw a line or a squiggle on a piece of paper.  They have to finish the drawing using that line.

Start a drawing on the bottom of a piece of paper.  Fold it so the next person cannot see what you have drawn.  Hand it to the next person to add to the drawing.  Continue on until the paper is full.  Unfold and see the funny picture.

Whistle practice.  Can you whistle?  Work on that for a bit.

Start a story.  Each person has to add a  part incorporating each part of the story so far.

Look around for some of those kinds of activities.  Family Fun magazine has a good collection on their website.

We are all excited about this road trip coming up!   Its going to be a different road trip for us with just this younger bunch. Looks like the older ones will not be coming at all at this point.  That will be good and bad, since this younger bunch will enjoy some much needed one on one time with Mom n Dad.   Forming some new and healthy bonds and memories with this bunch will be fun!  Bad because the rest of the family won’t be able to come join in.  Kind of a bummer.  I like having them all around!!

I will just have to remember to take pictures!!

Do you have some ideas you would like to share?  Please post in the comments some ideas you have used and worked or tried and failed!  Thanks so much for reading my blog!!






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