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Tips for Taming the Kids in the Car

The day before Thanksgiving

“Oh! You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why” are lyrics to a familiar holiday song but these words may also be said to your kids in some form during a car trip for the upcoming holidays.  To make these road trips easier, here are a few tips to keep the kids happy and parents thankful.

  • Timely Departure 
    Consider driving at night if you have younger kids, taking turns with your spouse. Start out an hour before the kids’ bedtime and they will most likely sleep through the night. By the time they wake up you will already be at your destination or close to it.
  • Extra, Extra! 
    Take an additional bag and stock it with first aid supplies, sunscreen, water, and depending on the kid’s ages – diapers, wipes, bottles and sippy cups. Even pack an extra set of clothes for each child as well. Think extra everything!
  • Comforts of Home 
    Kids will sleep better if they are comfortable-don’t forget to take some extra pillows and blankets and your child’s favorite stuffed animal.
  • Goodie Bags 
    Prepack a game/snack bag for each child. The bag could contain books, travel games (think Magnadoodle or Connect Four and a deck of cards if they’re older) and a bunch of snacks plus water or a juice box. Lap desks are also great for older kids. You can even hand out a few new toys you have hidden away for just this occasion.
  • DVD Player

This is a lifesaver at times. Take along a portable DVD player and some DVD’s (you can save some money and rent some great ones at the library). Books on CD are good as well. Plug in the kids’ earphones and away you go.

  • Bathroom Breaks
Make sure you make time for rest stops. Kids, as well as adults need to stretch their legs on long car trips. Bring some outdoor games or a bouncy seat or even an exersaucer for the little ones. If you are traveling with a toddler who’s in training, take a travel potty along with you as well!

I hope these tips help you for your upcoming holiday trips and many others.

Editor's Note: This list was compiled by Jennifer Levey, a contributor to Patch.

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