Anybody that has kids knows that travelling with preschoolers can get a little rowdy. Sometimes you don't get very far down the road at all before you have the almost irresistable urge to turn back and forget about the trip all together. Fear not weary traveling parents. There is hope. Planning is key when introducing your preschoolers to the joys of the road trip.
When children get bored they get cranky and hard to deal with. The night before the trip ask each child to choose three to five of their favorite toys to take in the car with them. Helping choose the activities can make the child feel a part of the trip, and they are likely to pick activities they will enjoy.
Parents should also choose something for the kids and bring it out as a surprise when the time is right. Bringing out something that they're not expecting will break the monotony of travel. You can get window markers that allow the children to scribble all over your car windows which they will love. Of course you will also need coloring books and crayons as well as a few pocket games to help pass the time.
When the toys and games from home lose their ability to entertain, turn to fun and interesting road games. Road games such as counting the number of blue cars or finding out of state travelers by their license plates. Spotting specific letters, such as who can spot the letter "C" the most times may have more appeal to the older kids. Parents and kids can take turns telling a story, round robin style. The story starts with one sentence from one person who passes it on. As the story gets passed around each person will add to it.
It's inevitable, one hundred miles from nowhere your child will pipe out with, "Mommy, I'm hungry." And, we all know, a hungry preschooler is a whiney, unhappy preschooler. Be prepared for middle of nowhere snack requests with fun, easy to eat snacks prepared and waiting in a cooler. Sliced apples and peanut butter, celery stuffed with cream cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches cut into fun shapes, veggie sticks, or bananas make great on-the-road snacks for preschoolers. Soft drinks and other sugary beverages should be avoided as these will just make the children hyper and restless. Sitting in a car gives them no way to burn all that excess energy off. If you supply fruit juice make sure you don't do it in a juice box or pouch. When your child squeezes the container, juice will spray the entire car.
If you think of a road trip as having the whole family together it can be a great chance to learn more about each other.
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