We spent a 41 hours on the road this year to get to our Disney Vacation. So how did I keep my sanity with 4 kids in the car?
If the kids are not happy, mom and dad will not be happy. Here is some of the things we did in the car to make the kids time more enjoyable.
- We have found the biggest time killer for them is their electronic game devices. 3 out of 4 have a Nintendo DSi and the 4th has a MobiGo! Tip: Get a car charger!
- Curriculum Books : We buy the next years curriculum books for the kids to work on when they get bored with the DS's. We also give them new colored pencils to use with them. You can also bring coloring or activity books. Tip: Give each their own bag of goodies, sharing only lasts for a little while in close quarters.
- Toys: My 4 year old needed something to keep her busy. We packed her mini-princesses to play with. You might need them on the vacation too if your going to a no-kid destination.
- Library visit: We go to the library and get each of the kids 2 books to read while they are on vacation. Mom and Dad get books too.
- Adventures in Odyssey: We have over 6 hours worth of CD's to listen too while we are driving. Not only is it great for the kids it helps keep mom and dad awake also.
- When it gets dark we use the DVD player. We like to save this for last thing when they have just had enough of each other.
- Sleep: A little tip is right after lunch drop the car temperature well into the 60's and tell them it's time for a nap. I found that 3 out of the 4 would fall asleep.
- Sing along: When it's one of their favorite songs on the radio we all sing along.
- Car games: Licence plate bingo is one of my favorites.
Here are few more things that will save your sanity.
- Plan to stop somewhere for meals. This lets them run around and get out of the car. You can pack a lunch if you want to save money.
- Bring plenty of snacks and water in easy reach. This will keep you driving longer.
- Make everyone go to the bathroom at every stop. This keeps everyone on the same schedule so mom and dad can have an idea of how long the kids can go to the next stop. Two of my kids (the girls) were potty trained after a trip because they didn't want to sit in a wet pull-up until the next stop. After arriving home we stopped using pull-ups.