Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Test Run

My sister and I want to take a trip to the Black Hills with her two children and my youngest daughter. Eleven year old B and eight year old D both have ADHD and have never been on a trip over an hour long so I thought it best to plan a test run.  The question was where do we take these two monkeys to find out how they will do on a long road trip? The trip to the Black Hills will be a six hour drive so we wanted a drive that would be about half that time. Luckily for us the Omaha Zoo is just about three hours away.

 I do not have DVD players in my van so this was going to have to be somewhat of an old school style trip. With coloring books, crayons, notebooks, pencils, pillows, favorite stuffed animal, lap blankets and few modern amenities [MP3 players and Nintendo DS's] we were just about set. Throw in some snacks and drinks and we were on our way.

The first hour went pretty smooth, but by the hour and a half mark both kids were getting whinny and restless. Thankfully we were just coming into an area that I knew had a small interactive museum just off the highway, so I decided to pull off for about a half hour to give the kids a break. Unfortunately the museum was closed for cleanup after the extensive flooding in the area. So instead of visiting the museum we wound up just letting the kids run around for a little bit. In retrospect this was probably better than going through the museum even though it is an interactive one.

Not long after we got back on the road it was apparent the kids were tired of the items we had brought with us and it was time to fall back on the ever faithful road games. The last hour of the trip we played various games such as the alphabet game and the car color game [each person picks a color and counts the cars or trucks of that color, the first to 20 wins].

The trip home proved to be more challenging as it was dark and although we thought both kids would fall asleep neither did and neither were easily entertained in the dark. So we have decided we can make the long trip to the Hills, but we will need to remember a few more easy road games and definitely not drive after dark. Of course we had the added benefit of spending a fun filled day seeing all the different animals at the zoo. Here are a few of the kids favorites:
wrapped around the branches is a snake

Hey it is Pumba!

What are you staring at buddy?

It was Love at first sight!

We're off to see the wizard . . .

Okay, so maybe this was one of my favorites.

Wait! photograph my good side!

Gotta love the invention of the zoom lens.
All in all it was both a fun and educational trip for both the children and us adults. We made lots of great memories and now know that we can take long trips and keep our sanity at the same time. I am excited to say we will be taking that trip to the Black Hills at the end of the month!

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