Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tips When Traveling with Children (5)

Here is a great activity for long road trips with the whole family:
Write down the names of your children's favorite songs on separate pieces of paper. Mix them up in a small box or bag (an empty wipes container works great!) While you are traveling, have your children take turns pulling one piece of paper out of the box. Everyone in the car has to sing the song that's written on the paper.

Car Doldrums: There's nothing like a good long stretch to help relieve car seat cramps. If your children are in booster or car seats, they will definitely need to move around every so often. Look for parks, rest stops and other locations that offer not only the chance to stand up, but an opportunity to play. Rule of thumb: a 20-minute break for every two hours on the road -especially with little ones.

Snack-Time Tips: Juice boxes, easy-to-eat snacks, wipes, napkins and trash bags are important. Car trips are the perfect opportunity to use those Tupperware containers that are really too small to be useful at home. Be sure to prepackage each snack for each child - that way you're not trying to pass food back and forth.

Games: You played them as a youth - now it's your chance to pass along the family favorites to the young un's. The license game - ever so popular on those cross country journeys - would work for the preteen set. Toddlers and preschoolers can help learn their colors by identifying the colors of cars. And be sure you learn a few family type songs. Even if your voice isn't of concert quality, you're sure to at least amuse your children. And if that doesn't work, you can always pawn them off on other drivers by getting them to wave to people from the back seat!

Airplane Advice: Pack some finger foods, like fruit, pretzels and cereal for your children to enjoy during the flight. These items might help them adjust to in-cabin pressure changes. For younger children, try using bottles, "sippy cups" or pacifiers to help ease inner ear pressure. For older children, chewing gum can serve the same purpose.