A 10-hour trip with 7 kids!!

Heather - posted on 08/11/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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We're going on family vacation next week and driving 10 hours to get there! With 7 kids ages 2-12, It'll be a LONG trip! Any advice on how to entertain? (No, I don't have one of those DVD players in my car!)

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Victoria - posted on 08/13/2010

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Haven't done the big drive yet, I did a 8 hour flight with 2 kids aged 3 & 15 months with a 20month pregnant belly (lol) and no hubby as he was working. However, the basics are the same. A couple of favorite small toys each, crayons and colouring/activity books and even flash cards (get the older ones to help the younger) The prize idea is also a good one to motivate good behaviour and don't forget the snacks. Regular stops for bathroom & to stretch. Even print off some song lyrics and teach the kids some new songs (again older kids can help the younger). Don't forget family prayer time before you head out making a point to thank God in advance for helping the kids behave and get along while also keeping everyone safe and happy during the trip, it can be a real motivator for the kids.

Cara - posted on 08/13/2010

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I drive 14 hours once a year with 6 children. The oldest is 8. We have prizes that range from ring pop suckers to coloring books to dollar store action figures (they even have female ones so girls will join the fun) to give out along the way but only if behaving. Usually only takes a child missing one to get everyone working hard to get them. I always try to do most of the driving at night. We leave at 4pm then stop for supper at a fast food place with a playland to get energy out. I did make the trip a second time this summer with 4 and drove during the day. Just made sure to research parks and free tourist places along the way. We took pb&j's for lunch and let them terrorize the park.

Linda - posted on 08/12/2010

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1) Pipe cleaners! They're small, and the kids can spend hours bending them into all kinds of things.
2) Buy or borrow some new books/small toys for them (like matchbox cars or planes for boys, etc)
3) Listen to audio CDs. Adventures in Oddysey is great! We had been traveling for 10 hours one day listening to a whole series of these. When we finally reached our destination, the kids didn't want to get out of the car until the CD finished! Focus on the Family has several audio CDs, and you can get books on tape from the library as well.
4) Play games in the car: the old alphabet game, I spy, look for license plates (How many different ones can you find?)
5) Balloons, when desperate. The kids could bat them around in the backseat--as long as they don't come up front and distract the driver!
6) My kids all time favorite: eating! Who are you kidding--with 7 kids you'll have to vacuum the car anyway when you get back! :)
7) Singing
8) Do devotions with them. You have a captive audience! :)

One more thing to keep in mind. You can actually buy an inexpensive portable DVD player now for about $100 new. You might even get one cheaper used. We actually broke down and bought one for our 6000 mile cross-country trip last year.

Good luck! And remember...when the going gets tough, you can say, "If I have to stop the car...." :)

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Took us 15 days to drive from Calif. to Alaska (usually takes 8 days) with 3 kids and two dogs! No DVD player either. I got those seat organizers, that you put on the back of the seats, and filled it with toys. Lot of coloring books. Bought NEW smaller toys and let them open up in the car, so brand new = play with for hours. Listened to entire Pilgrims' Progress story CD, which has awesome sounds of the different voices, you can really imagine the story. Each kid had their own box, full of their things, so I didn't have to dig out any toys, it within their reach.

Aubrey - posted on 08/11/2010

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I am the second oldest of 10 kids. We moved from Illinois to Oregon (took us 3 days,8 of us kids at that time, ranging from 14-9months). We listened to a lot of Adventures in Odyssey and lots of music. We loved to play the alphabet road game where you would see a sign and find the letters of the alphabet in order until you got to z (you could only do one letter for one sign) that was always lots of fun.
And we also did a road trip 2 years ago from Oregon to Texas with the 10 of us kids our mom and dad and My husband and our son who was 6 months. That was quite a trip, lots of laughs. The younger kids loved having an etchasketch, and stuff to draw with. 20 questions and I spy where other games we played a lot in the car.

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Ramona - posted on 08/16/2010

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We are big on road trips in our family, out kids are very well traveled. My mom and her sister have also taken all the grandkids for a month camping, and a two day drive to Whyoming. They loved it. We have a no dvd player in our car as long as it is light enough to see out the window. The trip is half the fun.

Anne - posted on 08/12/2010

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From the time our daughters were 4 and almost 9 we drove to Colorado Springs Colorado for Christmas every year. WE drove through the night for about the first 10-12 years. We went from allowing 30 minutes of taking turns listening to the radio station or c.d. that each person wanted. We had already set down the ground rules , no rap stations. (This was before D.C. Talk and other Christian Rap artists.) to the girls each having their own c.d./radio to the mp3 players.

Just make sure you have plenty of snacks, try to avoid anything real salty or sugary. And remember that bathroom brakes are going to be a must. WE found that there were certain gas station chins that had better Bathrooms. If you want to find out what we learned send me a message and I will tell you what we found out.

This does not have anything to do with the children however be sure to check on the internet for the cheapest gas as you travel.

Jill - posted on 08/12/2010

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i drove 20 hrs with 3 kids ... my kids were awesome ... it was me and my hubby who fought most of the way...lol.. i had lots of snack and they brought there nintendo DS games and we had lots of movies for the dvd player....my kids were awesome through the whole trip

Heather - posted on 08/11/2010

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We are on vacation right now with our kids, ages 7, 5, and twins that are 2 1/2. We drove to Iowa and will drive back next week. One way with no kids is 11hrs, with kids it takes longer... This is the first year we ever had a dvd player in the van, my husband picked one up at a pawn shop really cheap, but the battery only lasted for about 3 hours. We do car trip journals, each family member has a journal. They can color, write, pass notes whatever. (Mom and Dad share) We also like to use them for observations. What was our favorite thing about the rest area, gas station or park, how many slides were there. What was one thing you liked or didn't like...



We also play slug bug (no hitting allowed) but calling the color of the vehicle is a must! We have fun CD's that we can sing along with. Sunday school songs and such.



We also play "I spy"...

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