Keep the kids happy on the family road trip with a special ‘Backpack Time’

Mommy Matters
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If you are traveling with kids for the holidays, it's often tough to find something to do while you drive.

Some people watch movies, others will play on a tablet, but there may be something fun to add to the mix.

Try packing a special backpack for the trip.

We put together some items here, but the folks at Life Hacker point out, this is something you can do by going to the items that your kids already own. No need to buy a lot of new stuff.

Keep it separate from their other entertainment and pick a point in the trip to designate as "Backpack Time" — maybe the halfway point. It gives them something to look forward to.

Put down the phone or turn off the movie, and spend time with other stuff like coloring books or an art book. Even a regular notebook will give them something to draw on.

Maybe have them draw pictures of some of the moments on the trip.

We included some colored pencils which are easier to use in the car. And for markers, make sure they're washable.

Another great idea — try a writing game. For kids who are learning how to write their letters, they can use the stylus over and over again, then erase and try again. Self-contained. and there's no mess.

Pick out a new toy for the car. Younger kids might like something soft like hand puppets, or an action figure, small enough to keep track of and something they can play with as they're buckled in.

And a special snack. Something that will work in the car, maybe individual containers or small treats. But this gives each child their own snack, and you already know what they'll enjoy.

So give "Backpack Time" a try when you're traveling. Make it a lot of fun and maybe the kids will forget to ask, "Are we there yet?"

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