The infamous question – “Are we there yet”? Sitting in the car for extended periods can be difficult for anyone. Add a toddler or two, and you might start to sweat at even the mere thought. But with a bit of planning, some snacks, and lots of pastime activities, you can travel with your child in the car and make it to your destination safe and sane.
Essential Survival Tips For Traveling With Your Child by Car
Kids are notorious for needing to be occupied at all times. Traveling with your child by car presents its challenges as they must sit still and be buckled in. Here are some tips that can help you reach your destination with as few bumps in the road as possible.
Play Road Games and Listen to Music
Remember the games you used to play when you were a child? Those never go out of style. Having a list of simple travel activities can be key. Try a game like “ispy with my little eye” or 21 questions. Listening to kids’ music or an audiobook will also help the time pass. Try this Pop 4 Kids playlist on Spotify or this KIDZ BOP Kids playlist on Apple Music. Additionally, audibleblog is an excellent resource for finding the best family audiobooks for all ages.
No one likes to be hangry. One of the best ways to buy some time in the car is by bringing healthy snacks that will provide nutrients, all while posing as a distraction. Whattoexpect.com offers some great road trip snacks:
- Whole-grain pretzels, crackers, or rice cakes (optional: peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter)
- Turkey/ ham and cheese roll-ups
- Apple slices
- Drinkable yogurt
- Carrots or crackers with hummus
To help keep boredom at bay and save your sanity, don’t be afraid to set your kids up with a movie using a portable DVD player or tablet! If you prefer to keep your kid’s electronic use more educational, try these educational apps for kids in 2022 by Verywellfamily.com:
- Best Overall: Khan Academy
- Best for Toddlers: Busy Shapes
- Best for Preschoolers: ABCmouse.com
- Best for Elementary School Kids: Prodigy
- Best for Tweens: Google Arts and Culture
- Best for Teens: Quizlet
Aside from the six listed above, there are thousands of other apps that will work for your child specifically. Additionally, you could purchase a LeapFrog LeapPad, which are educational devices that serve children from infancy up to 9 years old.
Take Breaks Along the Way
Another important aspect of traveling by car with your children is taking breaks along the way. Getting out of the car and stretching on long road trips is beneficial for the whole family! Additionally, it may be advantageous to map out your road trip route ahead of time and note pit stop locations for lunch, dinner, and bathroom breaks.
Having a bag of some of your children’s favorite toys can be a saving grace when all else fails. In addition to toys, you can also throw other activities in, such as a paint by stickers book, fidgets, or even washable window chalk! The dollar store is a great place to find activities for your children that will make the time fly by.
Don’t Show All Your Cards at Once
And finally, similarly to how a magician never reveals their secrets, don’t hand everything over at once. Try breaking it up by giving your child one snack, one toy, or one activity at a time. This way, once your child becomes bored with one activity, you have another to offer up.
The board-certified pediatricians and staff at Wake Forest Pediatrics use a comprehensive approach while focusing on teamwork and open communication with patients and parents. If you have any questions about your child’s health, development, or general well-being, give us a call at 919-556-4779 or request an appointment.