Ask Kim – April 26

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Dear Kim,

With the school year approaching its end, we’re planning a family road trip.  Destination yet to be determined.  Do you have advice around traveling with 10 and 12 year old?  How do we keep them occupied and happy in the car?


Silver Lake

Dear Pamela,

I can’t begin to tell you the number of miles my family has traveled in the car!!!  My hubby is the king of let’s get in the car and go somewhere.  No planning, with no particular destination in mind.  We pack a bag, hop in the car and pick a direction.  It is always an adventure!

Seriously though, good for you!  Some of the best memories we have with our children were cultivated on a road trip.  Our country is so diverse in its offerings you simply can’t go wrong wherever you choose to go. 

For us, snacks and drinks are always a priority.  Like the little bag of peanuts on an airplane, just a little something to “munch on” can help break up the monotony of having to sit for long periods of time.  Kids have so much technology at their disposal.  Smart phones, iPad, iPod, games and movies seem to be constants in our lives.  Of course, they’ll want to have this stuff with them.  That means, don’t forget all chargers.  Drained batteries stop the joy. 

If the road trip is meant to be a step away from the tech, you’ll find there is still plenty to keep yourself and your young people entertained.  I don’t know your timeline, but frequent stops along the way are important.  Look for those unique places along your route.  Get out of the car, take in the scenery, visit a historical site or museum, go to a baseball game.  There is just so much to do and see.  The bonus is, you don’t have to break the bank to do a lot of these things.

Oh yeah, your question was about keeping them happy in the car.  This is a perfect time to engage the whole family.  You have a captured audience, so why not!  It’s time to tell stories.  Share your family’s history and fun tales about each other.  You and the kids can make up stories, sing songs, play the alphabet game and look for license plates.  Color pictures and draw.  I have one of those adult coloring books that I always take on road trips.  Let the kids put their spin on a page.  These trips are the ideal opportunity for some much needed quality time with the kids.  You get to put your arms around them, hug ‘em, kiss ‘em and let them know how much they mean to you.  Have fun!

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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