By Fredrica Syren aka Green mom:
“Are we there yet?” Oh, those dreaded words from the kids! They seem to come as soon as the journey starts. This summer we’re spending 8 weeks traveling in a camper van, which, at times, means long hours driving. I have experienced my fair share of traveling with kids over the past 9 years and, as much fun as traveling is, it can be mighty rough to keep kids entertained (and I have 3 now). I can’t say I’m an expert on the subject yet, but I surely have a few tricks up my sleeve that seem to work.
- Activity books — A new activity book that includes games, coloring pages and stickers is always appreciated.
- Legos in a mesh bag — A classic toy that never goes out of style; a mesh bag is great way to transport and store them.
- Music books — My kids can play with these for hours.
- Books on tape — Since we try not to have kids watch a lot on the IPad, this is great alternative, and they love hearing a story.
- Small games
- Scratch Art Activity Set — This simple and small notepad is great. It uses a small wooden stick to scratch off ink instead of markers or crayons that can melt.
- Color by numbers — Coloring is classic fun for the kids.
- Beads — I know this sounds dangerous in a camper van, but I put the beads in a baby snack cup to contain them. That way, with a string, they can have fun making all kinds of art and other things with them.
I have found that snacks are a great way to keep my kids occupied, so I try to come up with snacks that can take a little time to eat.
- Water bottle — each of my kids have a water bottle with a lid and a straw to make it easy to get a sip but most of all prevents any spills.
- Veggie and fruit cut-ups with dip — These snacks are easy to make, cheap and healthy. It’s also fun for the kids to dip and eat. I usually make a bean puree, nut butter or a carrot and lentil dip,
- Other snacks include almost raw oat and apricot balls, fruit leather, cheese popcorn, oat and coconut snacks.
Of course I also recommend to stop often and get kids out of the car. We tend to drive only for two-hour stretches before stopping at designated rest and picnic areas so the kids can stretch their legs and explore the environment. Whenever we stop, they will find seashells, sticks and rocks they want to look at, examine, and then play with later while we’re driving again.