Spending hours in a car with children can be difficult. Road trips are easier when parents are prepared. Successful road trips require planning and careful timing. Plan trips around naps, bring toys and distractions and be prepared to play games during long car rides.
The summer is also the perfect time to be upgrading your family car as you spend more time using it for holidays and day trips out. Think about all the things that you have planned for the summer and how many of them require the use of the car and driving to attractions and new locations. Getting a new to you car from used cars from Fords of Windsford can also make financial sense as newer cars are often more economical and can cost you less in fuel and maintenance costs. You will also have peace of mind if your current car is unreliable as the last thing we want as parents is to break down when on a family day out.
Here are some tips for long car rides with children this summer
Babies Can Nap on Long Car Rides
The easiest way to travel with a baby is to plan the bulk of the driving during nap time. The trip should start at the baby’s typical nap time. Be sure the baby is fed, is wearing a clean, dry diaper and is dressed in comfortable clothing.
Plan on extra stops so that the baby can be fed and cuddled out of the car seat during the trip. If the baby has finished his nap and won’t settle back down, it sometimes helps if someone sits next to him in the backseat. Playing with toys, playing peek-a-boo or giving him a finger to suck on may help him get through the remainder of a long car trip.
Young Children Need Naps and Distractions on Road Trips
Toddlers and preschool-aged children who still nap will benefit from traveling during their usual naptime. Even those that have recently grown out of naps may find themselves lulled to sleep by the motion of the car.
During the hours when young children are awake, have interesting travel toys available to keep hands and minds occupied on long car rides. Drawing toys like a Magna Doodle or Aqua Doodle are popular. Buy a few inexpensive toys before the trip, wrap the toys in paper and dole them out one at a time for particularly long trips. This works especially well when the toys are engaging enough to entertain the children for a bit.
Young children will need frequent stops. If you can, try to stop at the halfway point at a park or playground so the children can play. Eat a picnic lunch and let the kids run off some energy.
School-Aged Children and Road Trip Games
Older children can read in the car if it doesn’t make them car sick. If reading is not an option, play old-fashioned travel games. These verbal games make the time go by quickly.
* The alphabet game is good for kids who can read. Take turns finding each letter in the alphabet on road signs and license plates. Continue to the end of the alphabet.
* Look for license plates from different states. Remember which ones have already been spotted and name them all, in order, each time a new one is spotted.
A hand-held gaming system, like a Nintendo DS, can help older children pass the time on long car rides. Be sure the system is fully charged before the trip starts or the battery will run out.
Long car rides can be a breeze when parents are properly prepared. Time road trips around naps, bring interesting toys for children to play with in the car and play road trip games to make time go by faster.