View Full Version : Suggestions for LONG car trip anyone??
05-22-2002, 02:19 PM
We will be driving to WDW from Michigan in July. We are taking 3 days to get there because we are going with our 3 kids (8, 6 & 2) and will be stopping in Tennessee and Georgia for those nights. My question......does anyone have any car games suggestions they can give me? I already have those hand held electronic games and some paper & crayons etc. and books. I know there has got to be more to do in the car....isn't there?? Thanks graemlins/mickey.gif
[ May 22, 2002, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Tracy ]
05-22-2002, 02:22 PM
Do you know anybody with a lap-top computer that has a DVD player in it???? That's a good way to kill some time....
05-22-2002, 02:26 PM
My friend just drove to Florida with her 13, 4 and 2 year olds. They bought a tv/vcr combo for the kids to watch videos while they were in the car. She said that the kids loved it, and that it helped the time pass faster.
05-22-2002, 02:36 PM
We're leaving in 27 days graemlins/muscles.gif , and we just purchased one of those TV/VCR combos. My 3 year old loved when we tried it out. Hopefully, it will cut down on the "Are we there yet?" since we are also taking 3 days to travel.
05-22-2002, 02:46 PM
If all else fail there is always tranquilizers. Who takes them (you or them) is up to you. graemlins/silly.gif
Gotta Love the TTA
05-22-2002, 08:29 PM
Just kidding. The VCR thing will probably save your sanity.
We found (I think at Waldenbooks, and I've seen them at Target) a book of string games with a string. You know, how to make a Jacob's ladder, cat's cradle, etc. My 6 year old (boy) loved it. Kept him quiet, except for the occasional, "Mom, look at this," for many miles.
05-22-2002, 08:55 PM
In March we drove from NYC to Disney and the portable DVD palyer worked like a charm. I purchased some new movies that I knew my son wanted before we left.
It was also nice to have the portable DVD at the hotel.
05-22-2002, 10:29 PM
Go for the TV/VCR or DVD combo. We bought one in 2000 before driving to WDW and it was wonderful to have with my then 10 year old. And in 16 days we will be loading into the back seat once again to help pass the hours of our upcoming trip. It was well worth the investment, but if you don't want to spend the money maybe someone you know has one you can borrow.
05-23-2002, 01:57 AM
The DVD/VCR ideas are great. But I can tell you that when I was that age, well 8 anyway, I was one of those kids who didn't particularly like video games or watching movies. I actually liked it when we would spot a neat mountain or something else intersting along the Interstate, and then get off the darned highway to look at it. Even now that I am in college, I still enjoy taking the back roads now and again, although sometimes I must say, I JUST WANT TO GET THERE!
05-23-2002, 09:34 AM
While I do admit we have this great mini DVD player that we take with us, we also have plenty of car games that we play. One favorite is the license plate game. Each person has a piece of paper and gets 30 minutes to write down as many different state license plates (that they see on the road) as possible. The one with the biggest list wins. Another good game is Travel Bingo--you can buy it at Walmart, Target, etc. And of course, there's the old favorite "I Spy, With My Little Eye" game! smile.gif
05-23-2002, 01:10 PM
Hey, I'm from Livonia - not too far from Lake Orion! I've driven down there many a time (when I was a kid, and also with my niece and nephew). The TV/DVD thin is definitely your best bet, but we also used to play the alphabe game (for your older kids). You have to find each letter of the alphabet, in order, on something that is outside the car (in other words, you can't open a book and find all the letters!) I used to love playing it. Q and Z are tough ones to find, so you usually end up scanning license plates for them ;)
We also played the license plate game - see how many different states you can find. Game Boys are wonderful time killers and so are the travel games you can pick up pretty cheaply at Walmart and Kmart.
Good luck and have a fun trip! graemlins/crazy.gif
05-23-2002, 01:15 PM
I would try some books on tape, something they would be interested in. Disney tapes or Cd's. :D
graemlins/mickey.gif Lisa graemlins/mickey.gif
I would have to agree with many above that the TV/VCR makes travel with kids so much nicer. It is definately worth the investment. I always spend a month or so setting the VCR to tape kids favorite TV shows, old Disney shows, etc. so they have more than the usual movies to watch.
To save your sanity (one can only take so many Blues Clues in a row) get earphones and an adaptor so more than one set of earphones can be pluged in. That way you can listen to the radio or just enjoy conversation.
05-23-2002, 02:41 PM
I see that your kids (at least the 8 and 6) year old are the perfect age for Harry Potter. Have either of them read the books yet? If not, I suggest you get the books on tape (or CD). You can buy them or rent them at the local library. They are wonderful stories that even you and your husband will get into. Each book on tape is somewhere around 10-20 hours long, and there are 4 books.
I am 23, and love the Harry Potter stories, like many other adults out there. graemlins/clappy.gif The books on tape will also allow them to use their imagination a little bit.
I don't know what to tell you about the 2 year old except...good luck!
05-23-2002, 03:03 PM
I agree with BrerGnat about books on tape, especially Harry Potter. Only, our plans for in the car include actually taking turns reading it aloud. That way everyone is included. Books on tape/cd can be quite expensive. The entire HP CD set was around $75 at BooksAMillion, while conversely each of the books run under ten bucks a piece.
And of course, it doesn't have to be harry potter. There are lots of great books for a group to enjoy.
We also like singing disney karaoke :D
05-23-2002, 03:24 PM
We like the Books on Tape idea too since you can still look out the window while listening to the story. There's also the "20 Questions" game -- my 6-year-old loves it.
Here is a recommended list of children's books on tape:
“George and Martha” by James Marshall
“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
“Matilda,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “Danny the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl
“A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket (there are five Lemony Snicket books available, the best of which are read by actor Tim Curry)
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis
“The Fledgling” by Jane Langton
“Holes” by Louis Sacher
These are from Martha Stewart's new website section on car travel, which also has tips on car travel necessities and a car bingo game for the kids that you can print out.
Here's the link for car bingo (http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel173943&catid=cat7678&xsc=sc2378)
And here's the Road Trips link (http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=learn-cat&id=cat6459&navLevel=3&navHistory=cat2+cat246&xsc=sc2378)
05-23-2002, 03:40 PM
Books on tape are always great
do you include the Disney Character word game in your car games?
If you're not familiar with it some one starts off naming a character and the next person has to name a character who's name begins with the last letter of the character that was named
05-23-2002, 03:49 PM
I'm one of those parents who dislikes the idea of using TV as a "babysitter" (either at home or on the road). We'll be making the long road trip this year as well — from Arizona to WDW — and I can share some things we've learned from past trips.
First, kids need to be trained for long car rides. If your kids aren't used to 3 or 4 hour stretches in the car, it can be unbearable by the middle of the first day. We've enjoyed shorter car trips (weekend camping works great!) in the past, and several this year, to get everyone ready for the long haul.
Second, kids need breaks even more than the poor exhausted driver. Stop every couple of hours, even if only for a "run break." We've had times to pull into a rest stop or at some park we see from the road, let everyone out to sprint around and around for a while, then back in the car again. It really does keep your energy level up and the kids energy level difused.
Third, audio books are your very best friend. Really. That's true for both the driver and the passengers, because the time really flies by when you're engrossed in a good story. Better yet are radio dramas. Last year we drove up to Northern California and enjoyed all of the Lord of the Rings books (to refresh the kids before we went to see the movie). We're also BIG fans of the series of radio dramas put out by Focus on the Family. Check out http://www.family.org/ and search for "Narnia," for example -- they're doing some outstanding productions of the Chronicles of Narnia that I'm sure C.S. Lewis would be proud of (his step-son hosts them). They also have a zillion episodes of "Adventures in Odyssey" -- a kids' radio show, and our children adore it.
Did you know that the Cracker Barrell restaurant has a good deal for books on tape? The selection is limited (and not a lot of kids stuff), but usually a bunch of recent best-sellers are available to help the driver stay alert after several hours on the road. After you buy the first one, you can exchange it for a very small fee at the next Cracker Barrell you come across on your trip.
We've also found the local library to be a terrific place for radio drama. Old episodes of "The Shadow" or "The Green Hornet" have been popular, and you might find some funny old kids' sing-a-longs mixed in with their selections. Can't be free!
There are always the classic "alphabet" games. Find a sign with a word beginning with an "A", then a "B," and so on. Or someone says the name of a city or state, and the next person has to name a city or state that starts with the last letter of the previous one. We've tried a game where someone starts humming a song from a Disney movie and people try to be the first to guess which movie it came from.
There's a great collection of learning tapes out there as well. Our kids have enjoyed "Geography Songs" (seeTHIS SITE (http://www.allstarreview.com/geosongs.html) for info). After a few road trips, my kids can now name every country in Africa (and so can Dad & Mom)!
Puzzle books are great. Actually, ANY book is great. :D
Let the kids have maps, and help them figure out how to track their progress on the map.
Whatever distractions you decide to bring, take a few minutes before you go and gift wrap them all. It makes reaching into the "goodie bag" sort of fun, because the child doesn't know what activity is coming next. And unwrapping the audio tape or whatever sort of adds both time and anticipation to the process.
Enjoy the trip, and drive safely!
05-23-2002, 05:15 PM
We invested in an AC/DC TV and a Video Player years ago. My husband built a custom stand for them to fit in our mini-van. After buying a few spitters for the plug-ins and headphones we were off...We are marathon road trip people so it has been a lifesaver for most of our trips. We live in Minnesota and usually try to drive straight through to our destination. We finally decided on last summers trip that was just to Colorado we could leave the TV home. The kids are all well into their teen years now so they now understand and have patience for the long drives.In March we rode with my parents to Orlando and my son had his laptop that plays DVD's and that was very convenient. If you plan to vacation often in the next few years the TV would be a good investment. Actually mine doubles as my "kitchen" TV when we are at home.
05-23-2002, 05:41 PM
A few days before you leave for your trip, go to your local library and take out some books if your kids enjoy reading, and maybe some books-on-tape or CD like some people have also mentioned. That way, if you decide to use them or not, they will be free anyways! ;)
05-23-2002, 05:57 PM
Having a daycare, I'm a huge fan of Family Fun magazine (Disney owned). graemlins/thumbsup.gif
They have many ideas.. these are just a few.
Things to do (http://family.go.com/travel/activities/feature/famf48cargames/) you can do a search of the whole site using the words "car games". They even have a packing list for car trips..
Also to make a small Disney activity book try Mickey and Friends (http://disney.go.com/sponsors/mazda/travel.html)
05-23-2002, 10:08 PM
WOW!! Thank you EVERYONE for all of those great (and MANY) suggestions graemlins/notworthy.gif I knew that if I asked this question on Intercot I would get a great response!! I can't wait to put everything together to play with in the car (Oh....and I'm sure the kids will love it too smile.gif ) 51 more days graemlins/mickey.gif graemlins/party.gif graemlins/clappy.gif
05-23-2002, 10:30 PM
Tracy, here's one more:
There's a deck of cards called "52 Fun Things to Do in the Car" that lists a lot of the classic car games disneygoofball, Patricia (Family Fun Mag site), and others have mentioned. I think I found it at Barnes & Noble, and you can get it at pretty much any bookstore. My husband and I are in our mid-20's graemlins/blush.gif , but we found it to be a great source of amusement on our 15-hour trip from graemlins/thumbsup.gif MD to WDW last week.
I think we found ourselves playing the alphabet game (finding the letters in order on signs/license plates/etc.) a LOT, as well as another one we sort of made up out of the blue -- pick a letter and, taking turns, think of all of the foods that begin with that letter (F = fruit, fries, fajitas...). 'Course, you can do this with just about anything besides foods (just like when you play Scattergories), but we found that for whatever reason, food was the longest-lasting and most entertaining category. :D
05-24-2002, 02:16 PM
I have not been on a long driving trip since I was a kid, and because I've lived in Florida all my life, I never had a long trip to Disney :D
However, I did ride in the back of a 1986 Dodge Caravan from Jax, FL (NE Florida) to Montreal, Canada one summer when I was about 10 or 11, and my sister (who has 2 'smalls') lives in Dallas (18 hour drive), so I can tell you what *THEY* do..
On the Canada Trip, I distinctly remember having coloring books to play with. I wasn't ever a big coloring fan, but it sure beat the heck out of looking at 1500 miles of interstate! I was maybe 10 or 11 when we went on the trip, so I remember reading books and also playing "navigator" to my mom (my dad was already up in canada). We had the AAA "Triptic" books. Whenever we'd ask "are we there yet?" my mom would pull those out and tell us to figure out where we were.
I know that may be a little more advanced for your children because of the age, but it was still fun. smile.gif
My sister always puts in Disney Music from the time they get into Florida to the time they get to my parents' house, and they also listen to it all the way down to Disney. They have like every tape Disney has ever put out--including the *REALLY* old orange MK music tapes (with the old ETR and Electrical Light Parade music).
Heck, even now my wife and I make mix cds of these tapes (we have quite a few) and listen to them on the road on the way down. You could always do that!
The TV/VCR combo sounds great too, just a little after my time!
Oh, and I'm going to Disney on June 3,4 & 5. Second time in less than a month!
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