road trip survival tips

Having recently returned from a family trip to Grosse Pointe, I thought I’d distill for you (and myself) what worked and what didn’t work while driving for extended periods of time with a 4.5 yo and a 6.5 yo. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Toronto to Grosse Pointe, so this isn’t a super long drive, but with the kids, it’s long enough!

What we learned from last time:
– the kids are likely to get motion sick, so bring along kids gravol/dramamine
– stop for a bathroom break a little ways before the border crossing, (or even at the border crossing) in case the line up is long
– don’t bring books or small things for them to do, because they get motion sick

New things we tried this time:
– audiobooks on CD from the library of their favourite children’s books
– a throw up container handy just in case
– closed back type headphones for each kid, a splitter, and an iPod with kids podcasts and music
– had the kids make their own creative maps of our trip beforehand, so they could look at it during the trip and see where we were

Did it work?
– the headphones were a success, we used them only once, but while listening to stories they fell asleep! Yes! And as an added bonus, we didn’t have to listen to kids stories, we could listen to grown-ups music. Headphones FTW!
– the maps were extremely helpful, instead of the kids asking, “Are we there yet?” they could ask, “Where are we?” and we could give them a concrete answer, then they could know whether we were halfway there, or almost there, or just out of the driveway… 🙂
– our oldest commented that she enjoyed the drawing toy (magna doodle), mainly because she used it to write out words that we were ‘testing’ her spelling with

All in all, it was a good trip, and these tips helped pass the time on the drive.

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