Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Traveling with Kids

We take several road-trips a year. Figuring out how to keep the kids entertained has always been one of my favorite parts of the trip. (I'm serious! I love thinking of ways to make it fun for them.)

Someone posted recently on one of the forums I frequent asking for ideas for traveling with young kids. She had a DVD player but wanted to use it sparingly. She got lots of good suggestions about things to take along... coloring books, audio stories, suprises from the dollar store, special snacks...

Another good suggestion was to stop frequently at interesting places along the way. We love to do that when we are on vacation, but we often travel for business and can't take the time to stop "just for fun." So here's a tip I shared that came in handy especially when our kids were younger and we needed to keep moving:

We usually eat at fast-food places as we travel and we buy "happy meals" for the kids (even though we don't always ordinarily), so they got a new toy every day or even a couple times a day. Each kid had an "activity bag" (a small tote or one of those small diaper bags) in the back seat with them, and they enjoyed collecting their happy meal toys in their bags. If the restaurant will cooperate I usually try to get them to give each child something different, so they can swap toys when they get tired of their own.

We always tried to find the fast-food restaurants with playgrounds. We let the children play while we ate and took their happy meals "to go". That gave us a short break from needing to entertain them, ran off some of their energy, and gave them something to do (eat!) when they got back in the car.

And that's my tip for this week's Works-for-Me-Wednesday!

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