Will you be traveling with young children this summer for a short road trip or a long vacation? If so, you will probably hear those familiar words, "Are we there yet?"
"Riding for long hours in the car can take its toll on everyone, especially children," says Milly Kaiser, University of Illinois Extension family life educator. "But with a little planning, you can make the journey enjoyable, educational and safe for the entire family."
Kaiser offers these suggestions:
· Take frequent breaks. Stretch and burn off a little energy by walking together around a rest area, park, mall or a special site you plan to visit.
· Pack nutritious snacks and drinks. Make it fun by packing a few special treats in your cooler or picnic basket.
· Take along games and video or music CDs you can play in the car. And, don't forget the old favorites that you don't have to pack. There's the alphabet game where you look for each letter of the alphabet in order, and the game where you make a list of all the license plates you see from other states on the road.
· Provide each child with a coin purse or billfold and put a set amount of money inside for them to spend on souvenirs or gifts. A family trip is a good opportunity to teach your children about the wise use of their spending money.
· Make your trip an educational experience. Visiting different parts of the country can be an opportunity to teach history and geography, as well as many other lessons.
· Pack a first aid kit that includes pain reliever, bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, thermometer, sun protection lotion and clothing, and child-friendly insect repellent. Be prepared for the unexpected.
With a little planning, you can make your vacation a good experience and a treasured memory for everyone.
Source: Milly Kaiser, Extension Educator, Family Life, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pull date: June 26, 2010