9 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied on Long Trips

Long trips can be grueling not only for you, but for your children as well. Kids get bored,and when they get bored, whining, crying, and fighting seem to take a toll on the driver.Instead of dealing with endless complaints, keep your kids occupied using these 9 tips:

Coloring Books: Coloring is therapeutic and calming and an easy bring along.Pack several coloring books and crayons to keep your kids occupied.

Play I Spy: Interact with your kids while you're traveling. Play a game of I Spy when you hit a patch of new scenery. This gives your kids an opportunity to really look at what they are passing as well as have some fun.

Make Stops: Don't just make pit stops to run into the bathroom or eat. Make several scenic stops. Get out and enjoy the view, stretch your legs, or take pictures. Kids love taking pictures, so get them involved in taking funny pictures and posing for them, too.

Take a Trip to the Dollar Store: The dollar store is an inexpensive place to buy new toys before the trip. Whenever your kids start getting restless, pull something new out of your handy magic bag. Things like silly putty, little figurines, dolls, and various toys work wonders at combating restlessness.

Buy new Books: This is the perfect opportunity to buy your kids a new book to read. Or, if your child can't read, a picture book with activities. Let your kids pick out a book of their choice, so they are sure to be interested in it. Reading is fun and a great way to get some learning into your trip.

Have Karaoke Hour: Music is always a winner on long trips. Pack some CDs with songs you all know. Have a Karaoke hour where each person gets to sing his or her favorite song to the van. Have a contest on who is the best singer, or you can all sing together.

Bring Snacks: Healthy snacks such as carrots, raisins, graham crackers, or trail mix are ways to keep your kids entertained even if for a short while. If they aren't hungry and thirsty, they are less likely to complain.

Movies: If you can get a portable DVD player or have one installed in your car, DVDs are at least an hour long distraction. You can get several cheap $5 movies and play one after another for hours of entertainment.

Play Pictionary: Instead of playing ordinary Pictionary, allow each person draw something they saw on the trip that starts with the next letter of the alphabet. For example, the 3rd artist would be letter C and could draw a car. Those not drawing have to try and guess the item before the artist is finished.

Whether it's a game, a toy, or a movie, keeping your kids occupied for long periods of time is a daunting task. With a list of ideas and fun games to play, you're on your way to a peaceful trip.

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