Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Are we there yet????

Since we are going on vacation soon I thought I would take some time to tell everyone our vacation knew I had them, right?

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.

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?


Mama-Dawn said...

I love your ideas! We play a game similar to the Dora the Explorer show. We tell the children to look foor 3 things in the next hour that will be on our way. When they find the last thing, we give them the next list. If we're going through Memphis, we always use the pyramid as one. Sometimes we see who can find things like other travelers picking their nose, a piece of blue litter (or whatever color). And on those *special* occasions, we give treats for who can find the next rest stop :)

Aleta said...

I don't have any children and we didn't play those types of games. We kept pretty quiet or I slept most of the drive, because it was either - sleep or get motion sickness. Lol. I love all those ideas though - cool!

Anonymous said...

We have only gone on one REALLY long car ride with everyone and we didn't expect it to take so long. We brought my husband's computer and let the kids watch a movie. But, we do get the questions of how long just driving a little over an hour to my in-laws house. Crazy, I know. But, I am definitely going to bookmark this page with your ideas for when we do take a LONG car ride (which hopefully will be next summer).

Yara said...

10 hours in the car with the kids awake? You, my dear, are cruel. yes, I said it. And I mean it! So there!
: P

I was gonna say I'd NEVER drive anywhere that far with my kids... then I remembered, we just did in spring.
BUT... I left late, drove all night while the kids slept. In fact, when we arrived, they still slept an hour or two.
On the way back, we stopped. A lot. And--- we played dvd's in the van. Using a laptop. Cuz I refuse to buy a dvd player for the car. That's just well, I mean, I have a perfectly good laptop that plays movies!
My kids are not allowed to ask 'are we there yet'
if they do, I say yes & make them get off. That's how I lost most of my children. No just kidding! I haven't lost any of them! But I do say "yes, now get off and go to your room" to which they usually reply "ahhh! this isn't it, we're not there yet!"
and I say "well then... why did you ask?"
My kids are too little for me to give them money. I just use all my money myself ; P

Andrea said...

Those are SUCH good ideas! With our kids being only 1 and we're basically stuck with snacks, songs, books and little toys...but it works! :) I'm heading over to check out that mini van mom site now....thanks!! Hope you have a fabulous vacation!