If you have travelled with small children or grandchildren then you have definitely heard the phrase…Are we there yet? But what does that really mean?
- I am bored with I spy something red or green or blue or whatever
- I am hungry even though we just ate 20 minutes ago
- I have to pee even though I went after we ate ( but I had a large chocolate milk with my lunch)
- My butt hurts from sitting too long
- I am cranky because I need a nap and who can nap sitting in a car seat????
I certainly don’t have all the answers but years of travelling with children and now grandchildren have taught me a few things. If you have a DVD player in your vehicle that works better than most things!! When my kids were small we didn’t have DVD players in our vehicles so I had to come up with other ways to keep the kids busy.
Whenever we went on a trip each child got a travel box but they didn’t get to look in the box until we were on the road! Buy a small Rubbermaid container with a lid that the child can manage if they have to take items out or put them back in. You might also want to purchase a Kids Travel Tray Table if your child is still in a car seat. There are many different types of tray tables on-line and they are quite inexpensive. Fill the travel box with small items that can be played with, eaten or sipped in the vehicle…not grape juice!
Some suggestions for the travel boxes:
- Fruit snacks, granola bars, green grapes (cut lengthwise), thinly sliced carrot sticks, small crackers, drinking boxes or a small water bottle with an easy to pop up lid/straw. You know what your kids like!
- Silly Putty, small boxes of Lego, Hot Wheels cars, sunglasses, small colouring books and crayons, easy to read books or talking books, magnetic travel games, vibrating pens or pens with multiple ink colours and paper, kids Rubik cubes, mini versions of dolls, trolls, ponies, super heroes or whatever happens to be popular at the time.
- I also take a small travel pillows to tuck beside their heads or under their legs if they fall asleep (I think it is more comfortable than dangling legs) and of course their favourite blanket!
- You can also play kid’s music and encourage a sing-a-long although that makes most parents crazy after a short period of time!
- Tweens and teens will most likely have their own music or will be on their phones so no need to worry about them!
If you are travelling when the weather is nice then pack a picnic lunch and stop at a park with playground equipment. When it comes to kids, the definition of insanity is taking a cranky kid out of a car and making them sit in a restaurant. There is nothing like a bite to eat and 20 minutes at the park to encourage nap time when you get back in the vehicle. Nap time for them means you can enjoy your Starbucks coffee, some adult conversation or a sing-a-long to your favourite genre of music!
If you are coming to the ranch with children there are lots of great family-friendly activities on the ranch and in the area. Our cabins are equipped with plastic children’s dishes, outdoor toys, indoor games and children’s movies. We also supply infant travel beds, small camp cots, high chairs, booster seats, children’s shampoo and a baby monitor.
Children love campfire suppers and we will supply the marshmallows for dessert and the sticks to roast them with. We also give the kids light sticks to play with at dusk. Activities on the ranch include horseback riding; we can walk them about on a horse (helmets provided) or, if they are old enough to ride on their own, they can do so with one of our guides in the round pen. We can also take the whole family on a horse-drawn wagon ride. The kids love to feed apples to the horses and there are horses grazing in the pasture and apples on our trees!
Activities off the ranch include, life size dinosaurs and hands-on activities at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, a trip to the top of the world’s largest dinosaur, helicopter rides over the Canadian Badlands, the splash park in Strathmore or the White Barn Fun Farm just a short drive from the ranch. And if you haven’t been to Heritage Park or the Calgary Zoo then be sure to visit them for oodles of family fun and something for everyone to enjoy!
We have lots of space and you will have your own private cabin so no need to worry about social distancing at the ranch. Everything will be sanitized prior to your arrival and the cabins will have antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. You breakfast will be prepared and delivered with food safe gloves and we will socially distance ourselves from you or we can leave your breakfast tray on the deck of your cabin and you can place it back on the deck when you are done.
Hope to see you at the ranch for a Staycation this summer!