Last week we drove from Utah to Colorado (and back) to see my brother graduate from college and to visit with friends. On the way over we drove on I-80 through Wyoming and it took about 9 hours including two long stops, one at a park in Rawlins. On the way home, however, we took 1-70 through the mountains and it took us 13 1/2 hours! We only stopped one more time than on the way over. Those winding mountains really slowed us down.
Toward the end of our visiting in Colorado and especially during that long drive home there were two things that really helped us survive. Both are music oriented so I thought I'd share them here today.
First, musical instruments! I don't even know what inspired me to pack them at the very last moment, but they were a huge hit with both girls! From Melissa & Doug's Band in a Box I brought the maracas, the cymbals, and the clacker. (Read my full review here) It was cute to hear them shake the maracas together. At one point Sammi was so bored and getting really cranky so I pulled out the cymbals. As I gave them to her I promised myself that I wouldn't be annoyed. She banged them together for 20 minutes straight! And I kept my promise. It really helped her get through a difficult moment.
Another time the instruments were really helpful was when we were driving to a friend's house. We were almost there, we thought, and Sammi was starting to doze off. We knew if she fell asleep we wouln't be able to wake her up and then she'd miss playing with the kids. Plus, after that visit we had an hour drive ahead of us to Colorado Springs and we really wanted her to sleep then. So, Brent handed her the maracas and asked her to shake it so we would know she wasn't asleep. Everytime she started to slow down we reminded her to shake them again. It kept her awake the whole time!
The second thing that really helped the trip go more smoothly was her favorite CD. We'd been listening to our favorite songs and occasionally we'd turn on a movie for Sammi, which she had very little attention for so it usually went back off fairly quickly. On the drive home, which was 4 1/2 hours longer than the drive there, she asked for her songs. As soon as we put in her CD (Fun Time Classroom Songs) she started singing along and was completely happy again.
Often experts recommend getting a new toy for a long road trip to surprise you little ones. This can be a good choice for some kids. Sammi didn't play for very long with the new toys we bought her. For her, the best choice was her favorites. They brought her the most comfort and the most joy! This was a good test run for us as we prepare to move across the country at the end of June. I think we're going to broaden her CD selection so we don't listen to the same one for three days straight!
What's your little one's favorite CD?