Avoiding 'Are We There Yet?'

Long car rides can test everyone's patience. What do you do to keep the peace and entertain your children on roadtrips? The local Moms Talk panel weighs in below.

Summer is here and family vacations are planned. As every parent knows, time together in close quarters, especially the car, can lead to short tempers and more than one "are we there yet?" moment. iMom.com lists several tips for traveling with younger children, as well as ideas for activities in the car.   

Q: What do you do to keep the peace and entertain your children on roadtrips?

A: I encourage our children to take a variety of solo activities with them in the car. These include books, handheld games (such as a DS) and workbooks, like word searches or math games. Then we pack card games they can play together. War and Go Fish work well on the seat between them. They each can then take one movie. 

Most surprisingly, many of the same games we played entertain my kids. Tracking license plates is always a hit. We print out a blank map before we leave and have them find and color the state as we see the plate. We also play travel bingo. Finally, we keep a small cooler and a snack bag handy. No matter what we do, the last hour of the trip home is always tough. At least I haven't had to tell them to be quiet the entire trip to that point. 

Melissa Holder, mother of two

A: My girls are older now but my husband and I still hear squeals from the backseat of the car: "Stop touching me," "move over," "you smell," "leave me alone" and my favorite, "Mom!" Unfortunately, all we can do now is take away the cell phone or computer until things calm down. I used to go to the and pick up little games and toys for them. When they would start getting fidgety in their car seats, I would pull out just one item at a time to entertain them. When they got tired of that, I would give them another one. I remember one time I even climbed in the backseat and read a book to them.

Leslie Olejnik, mother of two


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