June 15, 2012

Traveling with Kids (Favorites)

During this summer, my family of five will be spending many, many weekends away from home, with most trips lasting five hours.  We have already logged in a ten hour (one way) trip.  I also know that with a baby, three year old, and five year old, the long car rides have potential to be unpleasant (and that is not considering the adults).  For some families the solution is to put in a movie.  I really try to not use the DVD player in the car, except as a last resort.

Here are the top five ways that we passed time happily in the car for ten straight hours...one way...without a movie.  (Probably no real order here.)

1. The Tale of Desperaux audio book.  Though I didn't adore this title, we certainly enjoyed Desperaux and his bravery.  (Shall I admit I took a bit of a nap, too, so maybe I didn't follow quite as well as I could have?  It was an early morning!)
2. Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies music CD.  Instead of calling this children's music, I would call it family music.  The lyrics are often hilarious and the music itself is lots of fun.  Even my husband sings along!  My children sing the songs from this CD probably more than any other CD.  This was given to us as a gift when our baby was born, and I have to say, we ♥ it!  HIGHLY recommend this family music by Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame.  Though it is Christian music, I think many families would enjoy it.  Below is a video for "Tractor, Tractor", one of our favorites (or at least it is supposed to be there...if not click the link).  For those of you who are icked out by the title, you should see the "God Made Me" video, too.  (Really, I just think you should buy it!  YouTube has several videos, but not for the "Beans" song which Brother tends to sing before most dinners.)

3. Naps.  Of course, the children were all lulled to sleep at some point in the day.  As was I.  They do help the trip to go faster!

4. Charlotte's Web audio book.  I have been excited to share this with the children, but apprehensive as well, since Big Sis (age 5) is rather sensitive.  I've noticed that with books she wants to hear the scary and the sad parts.  To be honest, at the time of writing this post, we are only 2/3 of the way through the book.  I am not certain how she will respond to the end of the book.  However, I have prepared her that something sad will happen and she wants to continue.  (She did do well, with advance knowledge, when Matthew died when we watched Anne of Green Gables together.)
5. Talking and Grown-Up Music.  We did talk a bit, but for the most part we listened to music and books.  My husband put together the music for our wedding reception on a CD.  He also created "traveling music" for our honeymoon.  We enjoyed listening to these again while traveling.

So those are five things that kept us sane and happy during a long trip.  I should probably note that when the children fall asleep in the car, we turn the audio books off.

Share your favorite five over at Living to Tell the Story!

 Annette {This Simple Mom}

8 comments:

  1. Good ideas! My kids loved listening to Adventures in Odyssey tapes. Something I used to do for trips was to buy a few new small things -- they liked "sticker books" when little, other types of books they could doodle in or figure out puzzles in, etc., later on -- maybe a travel game, etc. They packed their own backpacks of things they wanted to take, and I'd pull out something new when they started getting bored.

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    1. Barbara, I did surprise the kids each with a gallon-sized bag with a coloring book, crayons, stickers/sticker book, and notebook. My oldest was most interested in it. They also picked out some books and small toys each. :)

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  2. I love Andrew Peterson...and I love the fact that you use the dvd player as a last resort! I have to say, like Barb, that my kids adored Adventures in Odyssey, too.

    I have a niece moving from IL to CA next week with three little ones, driving. I'm going to recommend she read this post! Have a great week.

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  3. Great choices you provided your children with on a long trip! We don't believe in dvd players for car (as a family) but over the years, when the girls were little, we would play road games (good for ages 4-16) and read lots of books, listen to cds, and of course pack healthy snacks. Now that they are older (13 and 18) we tend to talk, sing along with contemp christian cds, read, or they each listen to their own ipods, i touch games, etc. Good luck with all the traveling!!

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  4. Great ideas! Our longest car trips tend to be a couple of hours(one way) at the most so far, but we're hoping for some longer ones soon. I will have to keep these ideas in mind. :)

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  5. Oh memories of car trips with the kids. You have some great ideas there.

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  6. We used to stop periodically at a rest area or other safe spot off the highway and let the kids get out and run for a bit. Play a little catch, toss a frisbee, or just plain run. Little bodies get antsy when they have to stay in a confined space for very long.

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    1. Aunt Merna, you are so right! We had to stop for a meal, a rest stop (lengthy- with lots of running), and again to feed the baby...which ended up being a good snack time for all of us!

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