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Traveling With Children

Tie small soft toys to the carseat so they can't fall on the floor.

Stretch an elastic cord between the hooks on each side of the back seat and tie soft toys on it for an infant to look at or child to reach.

Variation:  use velcro on the toys and the elastic line to attach and take off toys.

Give a child binoculars to look for things out the window.

Pack balls beach balls and jump ropes for play at rest stops.

Keep a set of toys in a small suitcase or bucket that are used exclusively for travel. 

Change or rotate toys every half hour on a trip.

Rotate seats after each rest stop.

Bristle blocks make a good block to play with in the car.

Keep hand puppets in the car for entertaining puppet shows while traveling.

Bring children's magazines to look at.

Bring paint with water books and wet qtips in a ziplock bag.

Give the children a camera to use to document the trip.

Make an activity kit by punching a holes across the bottom of several ziplock freezer bag and place in a three ring binder. Fill with art supplies or toy sets.

At the end of each day have the children write a postcard to themselves telling about what they did that day. Mail them home and when you return they will have a nice journal of their activities.

Measuring Distance

The start of the trip begins at the pinky and ends at the thumb. When the children ask "are we there yet?", show them on your hand where you are on the trip. It gives small children a nice visual to follow.

Make a paper chain with each loop representing a specific number of miles. On your trip take off a link after that number of miles.

Penny ride

Choose a topic such as the alphabet or numerals. Going in order, find an object that matches each letter or numeral or the letter or numeral itself. The person who finds it first gets a penny.

Color count

Count and graph the number of different colored vehicles you pass.
Everyone picks an animal they want to pretend to be. Take turns giving everyone clues to what animal you are. Older children may want to secretly write down each person and their animal, as they guess them, seeing who can guess everyone first.

Word race

Everyone picks a common word. After everone has word, turn on the radio and for the next five min. everytime you hear your word you score a point.