Maria goes live every other week, taking turns between her author Facebook page and her private Empowering Kids with Character Facebook group. On July 18th, Maria talked about road trips! You can watch the video here.

Maria and her children are planning a road trip to northern Michigan, that will last about 5-6 hours and she shared some of their greatest ideas for making longer trips still enjoyable. If you have some ideas, be sure to follow the video link and share them!

SNACKS: Maria keeps a small cooler right in the passenger seat with some healthy snacks readily available. As she is the only driver for this trip, this enables her to grab a few snacks for herself or the children and easily pass them back (her children are all still in car seats so having them reach their own snacks isn’t a viable option). Maria and her children also create their own “unhealthy” snack necklace! These are made of cheese-its, lifesaver gummies, fruit-loops and/or honey nut cheerios. The kids think these are fun to wear, yummy to eat and fun to create!

COUNTDOWN: Maria puts sticky notes on the dash of her car with every 1 hour of the trip written on each sticky note. For example, if she leaves the house at 12:00 PM, she then has 6 sticky notes with the following times written on them: 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM. This is a great visual for the children (and herself!) as to how much time is left. This is also a great learning tool! (You can also just use a countdown of how many hours are left so that there isn’t a meltdown if you’re not there by the time you originally planned. Ex: 6 hours, 5 hours, 4 hours, etc..)

KIT: Maria has the children each have a bag with games, paper, pencils/pens, stickers, sticky notes, books and items to help keep them busy and pass them time.

WATER BOTTLE: Always a good thing.

FLEXIBILITY: Maria believes it is important to be flexible when driving (eek – I am always one to just want to get to the destination when driving to a far destination!). If you see a sign for a sight-seeing adventure, be willing to get off the intended route and see where the adventure takes you!

BREAKS: It’s important to take a break and allow the children to stretch and take potty breaks.

TV TIME: Maria’s car does have a DVD player. They go to the library right before they go out of town and pick some fun movies along with some learning movies (a favorite of theirs is Bill Nye the Science Guy). However, they do not watch movies the entire time. Maria thinks it’s important for children to watch what’s going on outside their widow, to spend time talking to each other and entertaining themselves. I fully agree with her!

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Remember that Maria alternates these videos between her author page and the private Empowering Kids with Characterpage, which provides more ideas on the monthly theme and also support from fellow parents and educators!

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Transcribed by Mandy Bush, Executive Assistant