Lazy, Summer Days are also a time for Traveling for most families

Summertime doesn’t JUST mean HOT days…for many families it also means the “DREADED SUMMER ROADTRIP” … can you tell I’ve been on a few of these in my life? If your family is planning a trip you almost assuredly are dreading the “time in the car”…but take heart, getting to your destination can, in fact, be part of the fun…just bring your favorite travel toys and you’ll see that the kids will not only be entertained, but can even be educated along the way.

For most of us parents, the roadtrip means a lot of driving, a lot of “are we there yet” questions or “I need to go to the bathroom” comments (those last ones USUALLY come right after you left the rest stop)…and of course, when you arrive at the hotel, the kids are ready to play and all you want to do is crawl into bed and recoup. Sound familiar?

Well, we here at WonderBrains have a few options for you to consider for your trip.

If you have a DVD player in your vehicle, you probably already have a library of movies to placate your kids, but if your kids are at all like mine, while it is a blessing to have it quiet in the vehicle, you may also have a sudden pang of concern as you see your kids staring blankly at the screen with that little bit of drool coming out of the corner of their mouths as they go into their 5th hour of non-stop cartoon watching (No, I’ve never let my kids watch THAT much).

You may want to consider the “Are We There Yet” DVD. We’ve used this one personally on road trips and it’s a great resource for child-oriented trivia and road games that help pass the time. Be patient if your kids want to watch it over and over and over again though because the kids will definitely enjoy this one.

If your car has a CD Player or if your kids have portable CD players, you might want to consider our Audio Memory Series CDs. These CDs not only have great songs to teach by, but your kids will find them interesting while they learn.

Some of our other Travel Toy considerations were published in an article in TD Monthly, but simply put, we like self-contained toys that don’t have too many pieces. Try any of the products in our Travel Toys category.

Rest Stop “fun”

It’s not always easy to keep the kids active on a road trip, that’s why we try to make the most of those rest stops. First, don’t be in a hurry. If you have kids plan on making more use of those rest stops than you probably would have if you were ‘sans kids’. Some other considerations when traveling are to make resting more fun for the kids. Let them stretch their legs, run around a little and enjoy the break from sitting in the car. Giving them a chance to break out the Kikaflik or the Super Skipper will help them burn off their pent up energy. If you have kids who also tend to gravitate to the Naturalist Intelligence, you can let them bring some of their Bug Collector products along with them and give them the opportunity to explore a bit at the rest stop. (Check out our recent article on our bug projects for more info).

Arts and Crafts (Indoor AND Outdoor Fun)!

Not all Active Play has to be about running around outside, although that certainly does help the kids burn off energy. If you’ve got a more spatially-oriented child, but are still looking for some BK-intelligence activities, you might consider some Arts and Crafts options.

Many children enjoy coloring, painting and drawing and those activities can be made more bodily-kinesthetic by enjoying them outdoors. WonderBrains has many options in this area, you can choose an art project, like the Create-a-Creature series, or the Creations by You product line. If you have a child that simply does NOT like coloring in the lines, get them a standing easel a paint set or a sketch pad and crayons. You really have lots of options when it comes to finding engaging ways to get your kids going.

Art Project Kits are also great ideas to bring along on road trips, use them as rewards for good behavior in the car once you get to the hotel. We have found that this works great with our own children and many of these kits can be done by the child alone or with your help once you get situated at your hotel.

Whatever you have planned for this summer, remember that kids thrive on outdoor activities. They simply have more energy than us and need to have it channeled in constructive endeavors. Just have fun, enjoy the summer weather (avoid the hurricanes if you live on the East Coast, like us) and remember whether you’re traveling across America (good luck) or just looking for some water play/active play choices, the point about summer is to take it easy, have fun and most of all enjoy spending time with your kids.

Have a WonderBrainsFULL Summer!

Pete