Have you thought of the long hours on the road and how to make them glide by with a minimum of fuss? The solution is to keep the grandkids busy and well-fed. Hungry children can get cranky and bored children will be tempted to ruin the fun with arguments and whiny behavior.
Get ahead of the game with the following ideas
Plan to take a variety of travel snacks that can easily be distributed and eaten in the car. Ziplock bags or small plastic containers with lids help keep the food in mouths and not on the floor of the car. Small plastic water bottles or juice boxes are the way to keep grandkids hydrated. Here is a list of easy to eat travel snacks:
High fiber granola bars
Fresh fruit such as blueberries, grapes, strawberries, apple slices
Cream cheese and jelly pinwheels (made on tortillas or wraps)
Nut butters in celery sticks
Songs and Stories
Some of the best memories you’ll create with the grandkids will come as you sing songs together. Choose familiar songs and sign them out with gusto. The kids will love it:
The Bear Went Over the Mountain
On Top of Spaghetti
The Alphabet Song
How Much is That Doggie in the Window
I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
For a printable list of great kids songs with the lyrics, click here.
You may buy a few joke or riddle books to read aloud and enjoy as you travel. Kids love jokes—the sillier the better. And don’t forget that trapped in the car time is the perfect venue for a fun read aloud. Find a chapter book just right for the ages of your grandchildren and read a chapter or two at a time. You’ll have them begging for the next chapter.
Best Travel Games
Simple, compact travel games can keep children engaged for hours. Here are some of the best:
10 in 1 Magnetic Travel Game (chess, backgammon, checkers, tic tac toe and more)
Anticipate the unexpected
Road travel can have unexpected delays and problems. You may come upon construction and have to wait. You may experience car trouble or a flat tire. You may miss a turn and find your travel time increased.
It’s important to look upon your time with your grandchildren as an adventure. If you’re stopped for a period of time, why not get out of the car and explore nearby plants or trees? Take along binoculars to spy on birds. Have the attitude that each day is a new chance to explore and meet new people. A positive attitude not dependent on a tight schedule will help both you and the grandchildren tolerate otherwise frustrating events.