Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the road again...

One of the longest drives known to mankind {or at least to this family} is the trek from Northeast Georgia  to Orlando, Florida.  It takes 8 hours and 30 minutes, but when you factor in potty breaks, stretch breaks, dance breaks {similar to stretch breaks}, and food breaks, it's usually around 9 hours and 15 minutes.  For someone who can get carsick going from my home to the grocery store {that's like...2 miles}, that long amount of time in the car is like torture.

Josh and I are both adults, which means we have to switch off driving.  Okay...Josh does all the driving.  But we occupy ourselves with audiobooks.  For our upcoming trip to Port Canaveral for our Disney Cruise, I've already procured The Chronicles of Narnia {all seven books...narrated by Patrick Stewart!}.  Audiobooks are a good way to stay entertained, though I wouldn't suggest listening to The Green Mile unless you want to cry while driving down the interstate {true story}.

But what about kids?  How do you entertain those squirmy little monsters for NINE WHOLE HOURS?

My mom had a really great system that worked for us...every hour closer we got to our destination, we'd receive a prize.  It was never anything big or expensive, but the prizes always got a little better the closer we'd get.  For example:

  • Hour 1:  New Lipsmackers {this was the early 90's}
  • Hour 2:  Disney pen or black Sharpie 
  • Hour 3:  New shades 
  • Hour 4:  Disney stickers
  • Hour 5:  Fancy water bottle {typically Disney themed}
  • Hour 6:  Sunscreen {what a fun gift!}
  • Hour 7:  New autograph book {much to my dad's disdain}
  • Hour 8:  Disney coloring book/crayons
  • Hour 9:  Disney backpack (to hold all of my new stuff}
While this plan is ingenious, it can get a little pricey, especially if you're hauling around several little munchkins.  Thanks to Pinterest, I've found a whole host of ideas to keep your little critters occupied while on the road.  Here are a few of my favorites:

*Disclaimer:  some ideas were found at  I'm just spreading the love!

  • Sing.  This is a no-brainer.  Josh and I sing in the car all the time, however, kids probably won't enjoy crooning along with Johnny Cash or U2.  I would suggest downloading some fun, Disney tunes to keep them entertained.  

  • Felt boards.  I feel wrong calling them felt boards, mostly because my Grandma was and is the reigning queen of flannel boards.  If you grew up in church, you've seen them.  They look like this:  
Check out that flannel board action!  She obviously sprang for the deluxe edition.
  • You can make your own flannel board by covering a piece of cardboard with felt.  Then, purchase little flannel people and encourage your kiddo to make up their own stories.  If you have trouble finding flannel board pieces, I'm sure Grandma can lend you a few :)
  • Buy your kid an iPad.  Everybody's doing it!  Chances are, your baby can show you how to use it.

  • Buy those swanky little DVD players for your car.  I tried to convince Josh that we needed one, but he said no.  Fun sucker!

  • Dress your kids comfortably.  I'm not saying they need to look like slobs, but nobody wants to wear jeans in the car.

  • My last piece of advice?  Buy yourself a pair of these:
Regardless of how many fun activities you plan for car travel, these will still be your greatest friend & ally.  

So...have you got any road trip tips?  What keeps your kids occupied?  What keeps you occupied?

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