During those long drives to Grandma's or the errand running around town, sometimes it's almost impossible for the kids to keep their hands to themselves. Here are some suggestions on how to help your kids get along during a car trip.
You may have one child who simply goes to sleep when the vehicle is in motion, but one sibling or more may not be content with smacking the snooze button. They might be the ones who prefer to smack the sleeper instead.
Rather than trying to kill yourself reaching around to hand-puppet the kids back into order, it may be necessary to keep certain items on hand in the vehicle.
Books are always a good choice for small ones to look through while bumbling along in the rumble seat. Anything with bright colors and textures are always a good choice.
Coloring books and crayons are also a good little tuck-away item, which you can keep under the seat in a small box or plastic zip bag.
Some parents never travel anywhere without a handful of DumDum lollipops on hand. They can be an absolute gem when it comes to keeping down the racket in the back.
Shocking kids into silence by barking and screaming doesn't usually work, and it only creates unhappy little creatures. Games that can be played verbally help to pass the time and keep little minds working.
Depending on the ages of the children, you can start by asking the little ones to help you make up a song using new words. For example, you might suggest using "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and replace it with "Stinky Stinky Booger Pie..." and continue on trying to make it rhyme. The sillier the better.
For elementary school types, they will enjoy almost anything that challenges them. If you have some idea of what they are studying in school, you can shout out questions and time them on the answer.
States and capitols are always a good bet, but you'd better bone up on it before challenging school-aged children. Don't be surprised, however, if you holler out "What is the capitol of Wisconsin?" and someone hollers back, "Denmark!" You'll be ready to have a parent-teacher conference on that one.
There are a million and one questions you can ask to get a glimpse into how your kids think.
The key is to keep the kids distracted from each other and focused on themselves. If they're minds are working they will be less inclined to beat the tar out of each other.
Keep food on hand, too. Apples, carrots, homemade cookies...anything that soothes the savage beast. Try to keep the sugar low and let the conversation flow.
If its a long trip, pull off and find a playground. They may need to work off some energy.
If all else fails, suggest a trip to Baby Jail.