Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are we there yet? How about now?

Here is an oldie, but a goodie. Thanks Twitter Moms and Alamo for the blog prompt today.

First of all, how many of us get tired of hearing our children ask every twenty minutes:

Are we there yet? (Does it LOOK like we are there?)

How much longer? (Remember how we said it was going to be a long drive? Have we been in the car for a LONG time yet?)

How long have we been driving? (What time was it when you asked the last time?)

What time will we be there?
(Creative way of asking...HOW much longer?)

Oh, I could come up with a lot more, but you know what I mean. They come up with all kinds of ways of asking. And it drives a parent nuts, because you know there are ten more hours of being asked, every 15 minutes, how much farther do we have to be cooped up in this car.

So I try to make it more fun.

1. Everyone gets a dollar in dimes (or quarters, if you are older). Every time you want to know how much farther, or any derivative of such, it costs a dime.
If you don't "spend" your money, you get to keep it. Only Kati spends her dimes to find out how far we still have to go.

2. To make it even easier to not ask every 15 minutes, we announce the time, the distance and how much farther we have to go, hourly. You would think they could wait, right?

3. I pack a bag of goodies. Candy, snacks, games, puzzle books, small toys. Every hour when we announce how much longer we have to drive, and where we currently are, I give something out of the bag to each child. They can trade them and share.

4. We play bingo. Usually at stake is candy. Ashlea made a travel bingo game where the cards are laminated, so you just mark them up and erase them later.

5. On long trips (REAL vacation and not just visiting family) everyone gets a set amount of money. Whenever we stop at the store they can buy whatever they want with their money. However, once it's gone, it's gone. You just don't get to eat that day. KIDDING. No, of course, we pay for meals. You just don't get to spend any more money.

a. Only one soda allowed per day...long car rides + soda = too many potty breaks.
b. Only one sweet per day...long car rides + sweets = wild, crazy, hyper kids.

6. I print off pages with all the states to play the license plate game, which is ongoing. We play slug bug, which is ongoing.

7. I print many, many fun pages of activities and games from Mini van mom.

8. We play the ABC game, sing songs, tell stories, have a spelling bee.

9. We read, a LOT.

10. HAVE FUN! Get creative...once we had speak like a pirate. This time we'll have speak like a leprechaun.

I have to honestly say that it would be NICE to have a DVD player in the car. AND YET, every time we go somewhere I think of buying one and am always glad I don't. We really have fun on the way there. It's part of the memories.

I also print off some journaling pages so they can keep a trip journal.

What about you? How do you fill your time on long trips?

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Anonymous said...

We have only taken one REALLY long (12 hours) trip and we brought my husband's laptop (rigged it up between the back seats) for the kids to watch movies on. We bought an adapter thing that plugged into the cig. lighter and then had a regular plug outlet for the computer. We listened to music, and we fed them. We prayed that they would go to sleep :). We haven't taken a trip like that since. I think the longest we drive now is to the ocean, about 2 1/2 hours or so.

Linda said...

I like the "pay to find out how much longer" idea. Thanks for the tips!

Mom's Place said...

Going to have to implement the paying to find out how much farther...and the set amount each day!

On HUGE thing that we have done and helps a lot is, we buy the little pocket atlases for each of the kids. With a highlighter (different color if we have already highlighted another trip), we mark our route. When we see major distance signs we will announce how far to the next city.

I need to go buy 4 new atlases actually! Taking my kids to UT during spring break and then we are moving to WA this summer!

Yara said...

cheater cheater. I'm 99.999% sure you had posted all this before.
it's okay though, i still love you. And this time I'm gonna click that minivan link

Trudy said...

These are all great ideas and I am going to store them away for future traveling! I agree that the time is much better spent this way then with just plugging in a movie or tv show every time you get in the vehicle. No more brain rotting, thank you!

Twincerely,Olga said...

great ideas!We always flew since I worked for the airlines!!:)I love the money idea!!!How are you?

Beverly said...

Thank you so much for the great ideas!!!!! I am so using the coins and only a set amount of money!

Melissa said...

Great ideas! I play a dvd for my 1 year old. Veggie Tales keep him happy for hours. I listen to books on CD to keep me happy:)