Friday, November 16, 2012

Traveling with Kids

     “Get your honkers ready!” our second daughter yells as we drive down the interstate. To clarify, she is talking about her arm, and making the motion to get a semi truck driver to honk their horn. 
     I have fond memories of traveling in the car as a kid with my parent & 4 siblings from Colorado to New York.  We would watch for landmarks and state lines, play games, listen to the truckers on the CB radio, and watch a movie when it was Mom’s turn to drive and Dad rode back with us. Since Mom never liked hotels, the cost or the cleanliness, we typically drove through the night. As I got older these memories turned into taking turns driving the night shift with my sister and Dad. We drank pop and listened to songs over and over, until we finally learned every word.
     It’s a good thing I still love a good road trip as we now live 9+ car hours away from my family. People always wonder how we can stand being locked in the car that long with 5 kids. “You must pack a lot of movies”, they say.  The comment doesn’t surprise me as I see kids watching moves in the cars driving around town. DVD, laptops, IPods, DS games you name it, there are enough electronics to last days in the car without interacting with another person.
     Though we do pack our laptop for movies and the kids bring their I-Pods and DS games. We want them to remember more about the trips than just how many movies we watched. They each pack a travel bag, we try to follow the one doll rule my Dad had when I was a kid, but their bags are full.  They are excited to announce when they finish a book in one trip or to showing off sketches of what they saw out the window.  Once they spent the drive logging how many license tags they saw from each state. I was surprised at their dedication to the task. It wouldn’t be a true road trip if we didn’t have an argument about who touched who, many poorly timed bathroom stops, and “Are we there yet?” wasn’t asked several times, but those too someday will turn into fun memories. As a whole, our kids travel well, and we enjoy our travel time together.
So as you load up into the car this holiday season, pack a book, paper and pencils, music for your family to sing along, and play some good old fashion car games. Kids never get sick of slug bug or one eye, and even though someone once told me it was against the law, truck drivers will still honk. J  You might be surprised the electronics may never make it out of their bags.

 Some of our favorite games:
Finder:  Take turns suggesting something to find (one of our favorites is a water tower). Whoever finds it first, picks the next item.
Alphabet game: Find all the letters of the Alphabet on signs and license tags.
States: Trying to find all 50 states on license plates.
Share some of your favorites from when you were a kid, or some you play now.

1 comment:

  1. We like to stop at various "Roadside monuments" for a break and read the plaque. Then we might play a little catch to streach the legs!


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