Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun book for the car

Our family likes to take lots of trips. Driving for extended periods of time with five kids in the back can be challenging sometimes. As a general rule, I usually do not allow the kids to pack any toys, stuffed animals, books, etc. These things would make it into the van, but never back out, and I used to end up spending an hour each week (with their help) emptying out the black hole. Sometimes, on long drives, I make an exception for library books, since these are new and entertaining to the older kids. I also keep a couple of toys in the van for the girls, but these rightfully belong in the van and not the house, and they have a storage pocket of their own. But by and large, the policy is not to take anything.

We also do not have a DVD player in the van, and the kids do not own any handheld video game devices. I don't think these things are bad (although I do think that 99% of DVDs and many video games are), but I think kids should learn to entertain themselves, and to play and interact with one another. Boys also tend to have an addictive character about these things, and while they occasionally do watch a documentary or play a game on the home computer, these are rare exceptions, and by no means the rule. If I allowed this in the car on long drives, they would always be asking for them.

Instead, we talk, sing, I read our current read-aloud to them, or they entertain themselves. I get such a laugh out of the stories they make up and tell each other.

Recently, I found a really neat book at a used store, and have enjoyed having it not just in the car, but anywhere there is waiting involved, such as a restaurant, or in line somewhere.

Fun on the Run requires mostly no props, and is full of ideas that really are fun and entertaining. We went to Tucson yesterday where we toured a mine and later visited a wildlife museum. The drive was about two hours each way, and we had a blast with ideas from this book.

Enjoy your kids while you can, they grow so fast!


  1. Excellent points raised in this post. For such a young lady, you have a lot of wisdom. I mean that sincerely.

  2. Just ordered it! Thanks for the recommendation!!

  3. I am another one that refuses to buy games and dvds for the car. I went on lots of long car drives as a kid and I never died of boredom LOL. A tip for others that might be reading the comments: I often buy a box of sticker dots from Officeworks (not sure if you have that over there) I have a box in the glove box of the car and pass back about 10 yellow dots on a strip of paper. It keeps me kids occupied for up to an hour at a time. Once my daughter had a sticker dot on each pointer finger and they were characters talking to each other :D My little one spent about 20 minutes putting one sticker onto his knee and taking it off again. Only do this if you don't mind stickers on car seats etc I don't mind because I figure the hassle of pulling them off the seat at the end is well worth the entertainment value given to the kids


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