Road Trip Essentials for Your Child

Fathers require the same child care knowledge and insight into kids behavior as moms do. Any father is capable of day long child care with a healthy interest in their children’s well being and some fun ideas for play and social interaction.

Your kids cherish time with you and crave positive attention from Dad. One way to strengthen your bond with your child is a road trip. Extended periods of time in the car or on a train give you (mostly) uninterrupted time to converse with your child and get to know him or her, or them better. The easy pace of traveling for a few hours will prove a success with a little planning.

Taking into consideration the child or children’s age is very important. A 3 year old would be able to manage a drive to the local zoo, but not much more. Day trips are more appropriate for school-aged kids, with your choice of outing in keeping with his/her interests. Local science museums are great, but chances are your child will attend a school outing there. So be creative. Are there unusual museums around, such as a toy museum or a medieval fair? Something different translates to an opportunity for a special experience together.

If you opt for an overnight trip, bedtime necessities will be in order, including toothbrushes and nightlights! Most children need the security of a night light, especially away from home. Try to make your kids as comfortable as possible on an overnight trip. Don’t forget “blankies” or favorite stuffed animals. You’ll be rewarded with the confidence your child will have in your abilities to make him/her feel safe and happy.

Comfort in the car takes some thought. Kids need a snack on the drive, to keep them busy and satisfied. Try to pack something nutritious like cheese and whole-grain crackers, small fruits like grapes, or nuts and juice boxes. Also have some wet wipes available for cleanup after eating. Make sure you plan “potty” breaks so you call both stretch your legs.

Some children experience car-sickness; there is medicine both prescribed and OTC for this condition. If your child hasn’t had this happen before, it’s best to be prepared just in case. Do not let the kids know you have this medicine with you (unless it’s happened before), as children as very susceptible to the power of suggestion. However, if you child indicates that he/she is not feeling well, do take them seriously and pull over.

It’s a good idea to have topics of discussion ready in your mind so that you can have some good conversation. A few word games are a good idea as well. Fun ones include ‘I’m going on a trip and taking’…an article that starts with A, and then B, passing the letters back and forth. Try to remember each item so you can take the whole alphabet with you. Then there’s I Spy, and How Many Red Cars? for the small fry.

A road trip is a fun undertaking whether you go to grandma’s house or to the next state for a fair. Be your child’s guide and companion when you travel together. Be prepared so you can keep them safe and happy.