On the road again Lots of breaks help kids cope with long car rides :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Josh Hawkins / Chicago Parent
August is traditionally the vacation month. So we asked readers for advice on how to cope with kids on those long road trips. Here is what you had to say:
With all of the grandparents in Minnesota, my husband and I find ourselves on long road trips a few times a year. Our children are good travelers. I pack a big bag with taped stories, cassettes with songs, a variety of books, snacks, markers and paper. If need be, one parent sits in the back seat to keep the children company or read to them. A stop every couple of hours at a rest area or McDonald’s play area may be helpful, especially for really young children. Becky of Elgin, mom of Megan, 9, and Nicole, 7
When my sons were 2 and 5, we drove out east, past Maine, into New Brunswick, across the incredible bridge into Prince Edward Island, by ferry into Nova Scotia, and back to Maine. The trip took about three weeks. I planned stops along the way to see the sights-it made each stop an adventure. Kim of Woodridge, mom of Alex, 8, and Greg, 5
We recently drove with our three kids to Gillette, Wyo. It took 2½ days. We rented a minivan-in itself a thrill for our kids, ages 8, 4 and 3. We stopped often to stretch our legs and have a snack. In addition to the healthy foods, we brought some fun foods the kids aren’t normally allowed to eat. The best advice I would offer is: Schedule a day of down time once you reach your destination. The kids enjoyed staying in and playing games and not having to go anywhere, just like they would if they were home. Marian of Bloomingdale, mom of A.J., 8, Annalee, 4, and John, 3
Please tell us... Next month September means school and the playground. How do you help your kids navigate the perils of the black-top jungle? Deadline: Aug. 9. In October, tell us about your best last-minute Halloween costume and how you made it happen. Deadline: Sept. 7. If we run your response, we’ll enter you in a drawing for a family membership to the Chicago Children’s Museum. We’ll print your first name, the town in which you live and the names and ages of your kids; please provide us with your full address and phone number for verification purposes only. Send all submissions to: Sandi Pedersen, Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: (708) 524-8360.