Traveling with children can be painful, it can be beyond painful, it can be down right tortue. Your children scream for a snack, beg for a different movie, fight across their boosters seats…you start with trying to get them to play games, then you bribe them with sugar, then you just watch the mile signs slowly pass by and you fight with your husand about why you even took this trip in the first place. Sound familiar?
We are going on our thrid and final road trip this summer in about two weeks. From all these roads trips I have learned a couple tricks to keep the kids healthy and happy, and most of all to keep YOU sane.
First DON’T bribe your kids with sugar to keep them quiet in the car. Yes…I get the temptation. It’s an easy way to buy a few minutes of peace. A few moments of peace are amazing, but on a three hour car ride, or worse, an 8 hour car ride, trust me that three minutes IS NOT WORTH IT! Studies show that sugar promotes sugar highs. The amount of time a child is affected depends on how senstivie that child is to sugar but overall research has shown that adarline levels in children remain ten times higher than normal for up to five hours after a test dose of sugar! When an already hyper chid is trapped in the car the last thing we need to do is pump up their adrinaline. I recommend making and packing your own snack to help you survive the car ride. You can prep the three car snacks listed below in 10 minutes! Trust me the 10 minutes is totally worth it. It could save your marriage.
Sugar Free Granola is a great car snack because it can take awhile to eat. I put it in plastic cups with a lid and let each of my kids have one next to their seat. They can have handfuls of it whever they please. Yes, it does require a vaccum post trip, but I’m okay with that!
Sugar and Honey Free Granola
preheat oven to 350
pour one cup of oats in a bowl
add two eggs and mix
add 2/3 cup of nuts and mix well
add 1 tb flax seed
spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 mins
once cooled stir in fruit
1 cup of oats
2/3 cup of nuts of choice
1 table spoon of cinnamon
1 ts of nutmeg
1 tb spoon flax seed (optional)
2/3 cup of dried fruit (not added sugar)
My last tip for making your long car ride more managable is to play movement games. Yes that’s right… movement games! Not all car games need to be some boring verision of I SPY! You can have your kids throwing their arms in the air and kicking their legs without comprising their safety. Trust me it’s way better to give them a few mintues of safe movement games instead of fighting with them the entire ride (and they wiggle everywhere anyways)!
Ballon Punch – In our car every 30 mins (or as needed) we hand each kid a ballon with a string tied to it. We set the timer and they have 2 mins to punch, throw, kick the ballon as hard and as loud as they can!
Mommy or Daddy Says- If they are really getting antsy and need to burn some energy and we are not close to a rest stop we play mommy says in the car. The goal of this game is to get the kids to get as many wiggles out as possible while staying safe in their seat. Think hands, arms, and legs!
Chicken Dance- We have the chicken dance on a playlist in our car and we dance in our seats to the chicken dance. They can move their arms and wiggle around safety in their seat while taking their energy out in better way then hitting their siblings!
Here is a link to me chatting with FOX 4 about these ideas.