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Topic Ideas for long, long car trip? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By technopaganus On 04/07/04  

Friday morning I leave for Alabama (with my parents), to pick up my two cousins, aged 9 and 2. This is stressful for a couple of different reasons, but my discomfort isn't really what I'm concerned about here.

The 9 y.o. (Tiffany), gets very, very squirmy when forced to sit in a car for longer than a half hour or so. The 2 y.o. (Dylan) is a sweetheart, but even he has his limits. The car ride from Alabama to home wouldn't be so bad, if home wasn't in central Iowa.

Since my parents and I are leaving here (Iowa) late Friday morning, we'll be down in Alabama sometime Saturday morning. Then, we're loading the kids into the car with some clothes and a few toys, then hitting the road and coming straight home. Since there are three of us, we're trading off the driving duties so not one of us is more exhausted than the others.

But it's the kids that I'm worried about.

For Tiffany, I bought a little handheld video game to keep her occupied in the car (Yahtzee, one of her favourite board games), and I'm bringing my Uno cards along as well as my laptop computer (with the power inverter for the A/C adapter). For Dylan, I bought a little fliptop dry-erase-esque child's drawing board, and a couple of big, chunky trucks (he absolutely *loves* "twucks") that he can grab with his chubby little hands.

If anyone has any ideas for things that we can do to make a thousand-mile butt-numbing journey any easier for a pair of kids, I'd really love to hear them. Frequent stops for things other than bathroom breaks, food, or refilling the gas tank are going to be out of the question, as we have to be back in Iowa by Sunday evening.

I'd really appreciate any advice for things to occupy little ones that won't drive the three adults in the car bonkers!

By looloo On 04/07/04  

I wish I could tell you something you want to hear! Without frequent breaks you are setting yourself up for even worse of a trip. The only thing you can hope for here is that the 2 year old takes naps.

Do you have headphones for the nine year old?
Some toddler sing along music perhaps for everyone? I really wish I could help you! The last long car trip we took (about 6 hours) we got real lucky because they wanted to nap the whole time.

By faerie_eyez On 04/07/04  

Can you teach her to knit? A set of plastic needles could be a lifesaver! Go to a Dollar Store type of place and pick up some little games and toys on the cheap to hide in a bag for when the kids get ansy. We do that with bf's son and it seems to work well. It's the thrill of something "new". A cd or tape of kid's song could be great. Pillows are a must. Magazines to clip with safety scissors?

By technopaganus On 04/07/04  

Unfortunately, with time being so short for the whole fiasco, we're not going to be able to stop terribly often. Which is bad for the adults, too, because I imagine we'll all be fairly grumpy by the time we get home!

I've got a CD player for the 9 y.o., and a few CDs that I know she likes.

I wish there were some non-messy, car-friendly crafty things the older one could do, but space is kind of limited as well. :-P

By jennymeg On 04/07/04  

My daughter was 2.5 when we did our last plane trip. She was into coloring books, markers, and a sticker book. But she slept, too. The 9-yr.-old should be able to read a few books, I'd think. Maybe you could bribe her with a prize for reading a certain number of books.

I can't imagine how you can go so long without breaks (for the kids and your sanity, I mean).

By snoopy On 04/07/04  

you could wrap the toys and stuff up first and have them try to guess what each gift is. kids love opening presents! perhaps the nine year old could make some simple origami. or those cootie catchers/fortune teller things. teach her how to play M.A.S.H. that game went over really well with my husband's nieces (ages 7 and 9). make a list of different things to spot while driving, like certain color cars, trucks, birds, road signs, etc.

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