A Trip With Kids

Are you looking at hours in the car with your kids? Are you looking forward to the time together?

Long road trips with one or more children can be anything from great to difficult. Planning ahead can tilt the needle in the right direction, though, and set you up for success.

Pack snacks. Airlines know this: keep people fed on a long flight, and they will be more content to sit and wait until arrival.

Keep some snacks light and crunchy to add texture and interest, but keep variety in mind too. Individual portions will make the fun last longer. And, of course, remember that messy, gooey, or sticky will make it harder to clean-up.

Pack activities. Electronics will only get you so far. Multiple movies will eventually get boring, even though the time passes quickly that way at first.

  • Toys that are contained work well. Older kids can handle more pieces, but even babies can play with several items on a strip.
  • Children that can read and write can also enjoy games like I Spy or Find the Alphabet. You can even make up your own, like who can find certain trucks or animals or whatnot first or most. Be creative.
  • Activity books can also be a welcome relief. You don’t need a box of 64 crayons — a few will do.
  • Get a special set of toys or books that you introduce on this road trip. Novelty is a big draw.

Plan for breaks. Know that little legs need to stretch. Plan on taking longer than if you were driving alone and in a hurry. Keep an eye out for stops that have room to run or something to see, to make the most of the time off the road.

Know what you have. Make a list of potential activities and the supplies you packed. When it’s time to move to a new activity, you won’t have to remember the possibilities. You can just pick one off the list.

Finally, remember that you set the tone of the trip. Your attitude is contagious.

Where Does It Belong?

God is the Creator of order. Scientists spend careers looking at the wonders of His organization and design. When we reflect a small amount of that orderliness in our lives, we are reflecting His character in a beautiful way.

The old adage, “An ounce of prevention…” applies here. It takes time to set yourself up for success in any area, but the time you save down the road is greater. If you have your linen closet set up so that everything has a place and (most) everything is in its place, in the long run you save hours of searching and folding and unfolding and snapping in frustration and searching all over the house. If your kitchen is ordered so that you can easily use it, you will not avoid hospitality because of the nightmare that you have every time you prepare a meal.

All that to say, putting things where they belong is crucial in avoiding chaos in life and home.

  • Set up a habit of only ever putting the car keys in one of two places saves headaches and frustrating searches. It takes self-discipline to set up the habit, but it pays off over and over and over.
  • If tools go back on the assigned shelf after they are used, they are ready for use again. A project won’t require search time just to get started.
  • Groceries are put away in the right cupboard, not just wherever they fit. It will be a lot easier to know what is there and what needs to be re-stocked.
  • Bills placed in the stack or cubby to be paid are much more likely to be paid then those scattered all over the house and car. Your credit record and utility providers will be happy, and your bank account will not have to suffer from those pesky late fees.

Again, this idea is something that has to be built into a habit. It’s hard, but it’s worth it once you put in the work. Set yourself up for smooth success. Put things where they belong.