I've spent 10 hours in the car with 2-3 littles six and under (Micah and Abby car-hopped between riding with me or with Gigi and Pops) over the past two days. I'm happy to say I haven't gone insane yet but we've got another 2 (or so) hours tomorrow, 6 the next day and 4 the day after that. (Those times are including stops at Bucees, and for lunch or potty breaks.) We had minimal tears shed in the car as well which I'd say is pretty impressive with a busy 17 month old. Of course I shouldn't be saying this right now as we still have to head back home and I'm sure this could likely jinx it. So today I'm sharing a few of my 'tips' for staying sane on the road with littles.
- ONE -
We sing lots of kid friendly music. I have several CDs of the music the kids sing during praise and worship at Church and we sing those songs (along with some of the motions that we can do in the car.) Then we add in Old McDonald (or Old Man Noah to change it up and add extra animals), If you're Happy and you know it, and all those classic songs. Micah and Lexie were getting a kick out of singing today.
- TWO -
I try to plan to leave at nap time or to be driving during naptime when at all possible. This assures me minimum one, usually 2-3 hours of quiet from a sleeping baby and less time she is going to be upset about being stuck in the carseat. Today she slept the first three hours (thus making her afternoon nap a morning one but she slept from 20 minutes after getting in the car until our lunch stop.)
- THREE -
Car trip games - Micah isn't quite old enough for the alphabet game but he can join us in a game of I Spy. My mom and Abby also 'invented' a game called Trick which is now Micah's favorite. Taking turns you'll say something like "There is a dinosaur chasing us" or "It's pouring rain" (when it's all sunshine) the other person plays along for a second then says "oh you are just tricking me." Simple but Micah loves it. (And there is constantly a dinosaur chasing, eating or in front of us.)
- FOUR -
Leappad. Perfect for when you can't play another game or sing another song and need some quiet. We don't have a DVD player in the car nor could both kids watch at the same time based on where their carseats are arranged so having leappads with learning games is a good way to have some quiet play.
- FIVE -
If you see a billboard that says "hold baby alligators," pull off and stop. You'll have some very happy littles. It was only a 15 minute break but it gave everyone a break from the car and something fun to do.
You'll notice I didn't mention coloring books, notebooks, crayons.... I found these drop way too easily and then we have cries because they can't reach it and we either have to deal with the cries or pull over neither option is a 'win.' Books are good but Micah gets bored too fast not being able to read to himself and since they don't sit next to each other when he wants Abby to read to him it ends with upset littles because we can't see the pictures.