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Parenting tips for keeping kids busy while traveling this holiday season

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 23-12-2009

A recent survey found that nearly 30 percent of parents have turned around to talk to their kids while driving, and that one in five with kids under the age of 8 say they’ve either had an accident or a "near miss" because of distractions from their children. There are some things fathers can do to keep their kids busy and keep distractions down when they hit the road with their families this holiday season.

The most important parenting tip before embarking on a long car ride with kids is to be prepared. Bring along travel-friendly snacks like apples, raisins, pretzels and mini bagels as well as drinks like water, juice boxes or sippy cups from home. Make sure everything is easily within reach when you’re on the road.

Listening to kid-friendly music or singing songs together can help pass the time, as can playing games like I-Spy. Older kids with iPods may prefer to spend the ride choosing their own music and playing travel-sized versions of their favorite games or card games with siblings.

Making a craft bag for your kids before hitting the road is a great way to keep them busy as well. Include paper, coloring sheets, crayons, markers and stickers to help pass the time.

Although many parents don’t want to encourage too much television, a portable DVD player on a long trip can be a lifesaver. Bring your kids’ favorite movies from home or borrow some from a friend or the local library. Give them some headphones and you’ll be better able to concentrate on driving instead of telling your kids to keep it down