Spring should be coming soon, (no thanks to Punxsutawney Phil) and the perfect cure for cabin fever is a road trip. Finding a place to take the grandkids is easy if you check our Calendar of Events, and here are five tips to make the experience all that much better.
Trip length should be age appropriate
Younger ones can get bored easily if the drive is too long. If you need to cover a lot of distance, break it up with multiple stops, even if just to go into a gas station for a bag of chips.
Older ones can be happier for longer periods of time if you bring games that everyone can play while you drive. Avoid letting them get buried in their iPads for hours on end.
For free printable games, see: http://www.momsminivan.com/printables.html
Use a GPS
Getting lost may be fun when you’ve got nothing else to do, but a backseat full of kids waiting to get somewhere might not find it entertaining at all.
With a portable GPS that also works in the car, you can enjoy geocaching anywhere along the route.
Here’s a great GPS that fits in your pocket and here’s a GPS that’s ideal if you are driving an RV or pulling a trailer.
Take a tattoo
Did you know more than 2,000 children get lost every day? There’s only one thing worse than being separated from your child – being separated from your grandchild. Whether you are at the mall, the beach or especially a fair or amusement park, the possibility of being separated is all too great. (I know – we lost a daughter at a state fair.)
SafetyTat makes a series of quick-stick, write-on tattoos that you can fill in with your cellphone number, just in case the child wanders off. They have a number of types that will adhere for up to two weeks. An included marker lets you fill in different numbers each time they are applied – grandpa’s today, maybe grandma’s tomorrow depending who they are with.
Safety Tat also suggests making sure you take the child’s photo with your cellphone each day so that identifying the child is more accurate should you get separated.
Switch up the music
As children get older, they quickly develop their own taste in music, which will often be quite different than yours. Make an effort to try listening to theirs in return for them listening to yours – or maybe just settle on a playlist of Beatles tunes that everyone seems to like.
If you’ve got little ones in the car and no DVD player in the ceiling (like Mom and Dad have in their minivan), you might try finding some CD’s with children’s age-appropriate songs. One that will have them bouncing in the seats or dancing in the hotel room is Preschool Popstars. You can also find animated videos for each song.
Pack a kite
All it takes is an open area without trees and a little breeze and you and the kids can be flying a kite. Nothing complicated to assemble, these models are ready to fly in under a minute and even the slightest steady breeze will keep them aloft. Easiest to fly – the Parafoil folds up small enough to stick in any backpack.
If there’s a good wind (like at the beach) and you want to exponentially expand the fun, try tying a GoPro to this kite and get some footage of you and the kids from 200’ up. Mom and Dad will love it if you send those photos home.
Check for more easy to transport kites from Prism Kite Technology.