Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are We There Yet? - Repeat

Josh and I used to make our living on the road.  The more and more kids we've added to our family we have traveled less and less...well, at least I have been traveling less.  More for my sanity and the kids stability than anything.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise to us that our kids aren't the seasoned travelers they used to be.

Either that or they have just become increasingly impatient to get to the exciting destinations we are driving to.

They used to be able to drive a 5-hour trip, no problem, but now we can't get 10 minutes down the road without the infamous question, "Are we there yet?", being asked every 20 minutes.

I had remembered someone telling me to have some kind of countdown that would help the kids be able to visualize how close we are getting to our final destination.

So here is what we did before we headed out on our last adventure:

1 - Map out how long the trip will take.  This particular trip usually takes between 3 1/2 -4 hours.
2 - Divide the trip into 30 minute segments.  You can explain this by telling your kids it's the length of a SuperWhy! show on TV.  This particular trip has at LEAST 7 of these, but I put 8 just in case we had a couple of stops or hold ups.  I also added a BONUS one in case of traffic or other cause for delay.
3 - I made a sticker chart to count down every 30 minutes of the trip and taped it in a place on the front of the car that each of the kids could see.
4 - Make a game out of it.  See if they can "catch" you placing the sticker on the chart.  For some reason this makes the time go even faster for them:)
5 - Place a sticker on your chart every 30 minutes until you have reached your destination.

This little trick worked wonders!  The kids did start to ask when it was time to put another sticker on the chart, but we nipped that one really quickly, ha!

Oh the squeals of delight that came from the back seat every time another sticker was added.  And you should have heard them when we only had 1 more to go:)