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Family Time in the Car

By Gabbi Browne

Road Trips Old Style
Katy, TX News – Summer is officially here, and many families are planning road trips. Katy is a great starting point for drivable daytrips. What to do to help make those drive times more enjoyable? Here are some simple things parents can do to help avoid the sounds of agony from the backseat.

  1. We have happily discovered children’s audio books at our local library. We check out around five every other week we go to the library. You can really find a lot online and some at your local bookstores. One rule is that no one gets the books to read along, we just have to listen to the CD. Now, if you have one child who can handle the book with care, go for it. With four boys though, it’s easier to just listen. I feel like DVDs have their place for really long trips, but a few audio books mixed in are good for the brain.
  2. Dad’s musical CD pick is a fun way to introduce our children to good music that we enjoy. Raffi and The Wiggles are fine, but after a few times, we need some of our music too. By having a few CDs of our choosing in the front, we can select which songs are all right for our kiddos. For example, we just introduced our children to Johnny Cash’s song, “I’ve Been Everywhere.” I thought “A Boy Named Sue” would be a fun song too, but my husband reminded me that at the end it includes a word that is inappropriate for them. So, we were able to pick some songs and leave others for a later time. The boys love it when Dad takes over the music.
  3. Telling a story in parts. One child starts a story by only telling two lines. Then, the other passengers take turns furthering the tale. It is a creative way to spend some miles, and I think it helps children be able to put words on ideas, which is always helpful when in the middle of a tantrum.
  4. Quiet Travel Bags have been a really big hit on the Internet these days. I’ve seen bags that you can make at home on Pinterest and Facebook. Of course, you can always buy some magnetic games for older children to play in the car, but the travel bags that have caught my eye are when you plan ahead and wrap a few activities to be opened at various points of the trip. You can wrap a chapter book, or a travelĀ game, a magazine, a coloring book, a sticker book, or some candy. At the first bathroom break, everyone opens one bag. When you cross the state line, another bag gets opened. After ten minutes of quiet time, another bag gets opened, and so on. It’s quite ingenious.
  5. Lastly, let a road trip be as fun as possible. There will be tantrums, sibling arguments, and maybe even some yelling going on. Try to take a deep breath, realize at the outset that no family’s trip is absolutely perfect, and try to enjoy each other’s company. These are memories in the making, not just the destination, but the journey.
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