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Clumsy Crafter: Traveling with Kids

Friday, October 8, 2010

Traveling with Kids

If you haven't noticed, I'm not home this week. Don't get out the black gloves and mask to rob us just yet.... Damion is home. I'm traveling by myself to Dallas/ Fort Worth to visit family.

I go about once every six weeks up there by myself with all three kids for a few days. It allows me to see all our family that lives there and not feel rushed. We wouldn't be able to stay for more than two to three days if Damion came with us because of his work so I like to go by myself and stay awhile.  I think my family likes this too... I think?

So what else am I to do but let you in on the secret to traveling with several kids in a car, by yourself.

1. Learn to hold it. Not the kids, you! Chances are that when you stop to go to the bathroom, they won't have to go. But the second that you pull back onto the highway with no more exits for 20 miles, they will be doing the pee pee dance, wiggle, and jig. Hold it until they have to go.

2. Travel during nap time. I always try to get the little one up in time to play for an hour or two and then put her in the car with a nice milk bottle and the warm sun on her. Works like a charm.. most times.. the other times is why I keep ear plugs in the car. Just joking about the ear plugs. We tried it one time but you can still hear them.

3. Plan stops but not too many stops. I know someone, whom shall remain nameless, who stops every hour when they travel with their child. If you have a potty training kid then yes, this is a great idea... but if you don't then don't do it! All you're doing is teaching them that you are going to stop often so they don't need to get comfortable and hunker down. Most kids will get used to driving long distances if you give them the chance to do it. Keep in mind areas that might be good to stop if they are really restless such as parks, clean stores, kid friendly restaurants, etc. but if they are fine, keep driving!

4. DVD player. When my first child was young, I swore up and down that I would never allow a DVD player in my car. In my mind the kid would just have to learn how to entertain themselves. Then Damion borrowed one from a coworker and I changed my mind within ten minutes of the trip. Now Princess Newbie doesn't really like to travel in the car so it has been a lifesaver. If you need a good christian singing DVD for kids her age (an older) look at Miss Pattycake. You'll thank me later.

5. Bring toys but you don't have to buy new ones. A lot of people get little toys from the dollar aisle right before a trip. I'm sure their kids love this and I have done it before too. However, just dig all the way to the bottom of the toy box or get the toy you took away out of the top of your closet and give it to them when they start fidgeting. (not pulling out of the driveway). They probably forgot about this toy and it will be the same as a new one but a lot cheaper. I put a small basket of toys between the older girls seats and then bring a bag of toys for Princess Newbie that I pull out and literally toss into her car seat as I drive.

6. When they start to annoy you.. stop.  Not that my little angels would ever annoy me but when they do.. just stop. It's not worth getting into a wreck because you weren't able to focus.  Let them out of the car to run and annoy talk to others for awhile.  Be safe because they truthfully are angels that need to be protected.

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