Welcome to the September 2012 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Kids in the Car
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about kids in the car.
Traveling with kids can be awesome… and stressful.
When you are planning a trip with children there are certain things that I feel are essential to the trip. Whether that trip is 20 minutes or 20 hours, I have things that don’t leave my car. Then, the list gets a bit larger if the trip does happen to be 20 hours. I will share both of those lists with you in this post.
Let’s start with what never leaves the car.
- Water bottles – I will have one or two bottles of water in the car at all times. That way, when the ‘I’m thirsty!’ subject comes up… I’m prepared! Just make sure it is in stainless steel or glass. Plastic is not good to drink from, especially if it has been in the heat of a car. In heat, the plastic more readily leaches into your water. YUCK!
- Blanket(s) – I know this one may sound strange to have in the car all the time, including summer, but for our family, it’s necessary. Seriously, what man doesn’t have the air conditioning on too high in the summer and freezes out the whole family? In the summer, we need just one blanket in the car since not everyone is going to think it’s too cold. Then, in the winter, I try to have one blanket for each child. This serves two purposes. One: When they first get in the car, they can be warm until the car warms up. Two: If we ever got stuck on the side of the road, we would be prepared with blankets.
- Wipes – This is essential if you are ever going to eat in your car. If you don’t have wipes, your kids will just wipe their hands on whatever is near them… their clothes, the car, their sibling. :)
- Travel potty – This is not something I keep in the car anymore, BUT I’m including it because it was a life saver many times in the past. When your child is potty training, or has just finished potty training, he/she can’t hold their pee for very long. So, with the travel potty, I was able to stop at any point, let her use the travel potty and then we were on our way. Also, if you travel by yourself at all or are a single momma, the travel potty comes in handy so you don’t have to take ALL your kids out of the car just for one to use the restroom. I got mine at Toys R Us back in the day. It folds up nicely and has a bag to carry it in too. Not sure if they still carry it, but with a quick search you could find that one or another one they have on the market. There are tons to choose from!
- Hair brush and spray bottle of water – This is mainly for my 4 year old. She has curly hair and it can get messed up pretty quickly. The spray bottle of water just helps to keep it from being frizzy. I will normally spray her hair with the water, then brush it. It works well to keep the frizz down. By keeping these two items in my car at all times, I keep from looking like a bad mom who never brushes her kids hair! :)
- Trash bags – Again, this is more for when you eat in the car. If you don’t have trash bags, all the food trash will end up on the floor!
Okay, I think that’s it for the ‘always keep in the car’ list. Now, the following are the items we will add to the car if we are going on a road trip that is 3 hours or longer.
- Snacks – Depending on how long the trip is, you will need food for your kiddos. For some quick snacks, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts/seeds, raisins, bananas, and apples are a good start.
- Meals – If your trip is long enough, you may need some meals to avoid spending the money on fast food. The sky is the limit on what you can bring, really. Remember, you don’t have to eat it in the car… we have stopped at rest stops and eaten on the tables outside when the weather is nice. It gives everyone a chance to get out of the car and we are able to fill our bellies and use the restroom all in one stop! On our trips, we have been known to bring all kinds of different sandwiches or wraps, sushi (no fish), and salad.
- Your child’s favorite toy(s) – This is up to you as far as what you want them to bring. Here are some things my kids have brought on trips: books, baby dolls, sewing/knitting projects, ipods, ds’, and we have some travel games they bring sometimes. You can find the travel games at most stores and online. We do limit their ipod and ds time, otherwise, that would be all they did! They complain at first, but they always find something else to do. And don’t forget to teach your kids all the games we played as kids… 20 questions, abc game, license plate game, and eye spy. Our kids love those games!
- DVD player – We don’t actually have a dvd player in our car, but I’m including it on the list anyway, because I know that so many people have it and their kids enjoy it. Obviously, that would need to be limited as well, as to not fry your child’s brain. ;)
- Pillows – When the kids (or you) want to take a nap a pillow makes it much more pleasant!
My husband also believes that you can not get into a vehicle, no matter how long the trip, without his ipod. The radio is not good enough for him, because he wants to be able to listen to exactly what he wants at all times. So, that one’s up to you.
We also just invested in a gps for the car. It is not essential, which is why I didn’t include it in the list, but it does come in handy, that’s for sure!
I hope this list helps you on your next trip!
Do you keep all these things in your car? Is there anything you keep in your car that I left off the list? Please let me know in the comments!
Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed: