I remember as a kid, long car rides were just that, long. I didn’t play hand held games. I didn’t have an endless supply of DVDs to choose from, or a smart phone to keep me entertained for hours. I brought a good book and I read while all of my siblings slept.

After I got married and moved across the country we always flew to see family. We would hop on a plane and within three hours we were there. It was just enough time to get one good movie in.

After several years of flying to see family we finally moved closer which made a driving distance of 17 hours completely doable. We’ve made that drive several times now and I’m wondering how in the world my parents did it without any forms of portable entertainment.

On our most recent trip, we watched the first movie within 10 minutes of getting in to the car and as soon as it was done, they were begging and crying for another one. I don’t know what I’m trying to prove, but I don’t want the DVD player to be on the whole time. There’s a part of me that wants them to realize what it used to be like before portable technology. I want Hallie to read in the car like I used to. I want them to play the alphabet game. I want them to sit and have meaningful conversations.

A girl can dream right?

Of course it doesn’t work out like that. Hunter likes to suck on his fingers and put them on Hallie’s face. Reading makes Hallie sick. Bennett screams if someone is not constantly playing with him. I default to the DVD player because everyone is a little happier.

And sometimes stickers help pass the time as well!

What am I missing? What are some ideas to pass the time with young children in the car without relying on dramamine?