Thursday, April 26, 2018

Antsy Kids? Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

For us, the car ride to a hike, camping or exploring is part of the adventure. Unless we're heading to the beach, we don't break out the DVD player. Do the kids get whiny? Sure. That's when we distract and re-direct.

Sometimes we play games ("I spy. . .", I'm thinking of. . .", "Would you rather. . ."). Sometimes we ask conversational questions. Sometimes we stop for a wiggle break.

Last fall I wrote about a kid-friendly podcast we enjoy.

Another go-to? Random YouTube finds via Bluetooth audio. Here are a few that usually do the trick for when the littes' car-riding patience is running low.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time: This will turn a mood around. Recorded by DJ Chapman of the Buckwheat Boyz, this song and it's accompanying animated dancing banana are simple. And talk about random. But you can can't  help but dance to it. Right up the kids' ally.

The Duck Song: There are several versions and iterations of this, but they all follow the same narrative. Warning: It's an earworm. Spoiler alert: It's also clever. And maybe a little annoying. But I dare you not to grin by the punchline.

Old theme songs and show tunes: Start thinking of shows from your childhood -- or even before -- and you're pretty sure to be able to find their theme songs on YouTube. You might be surprised how entertaining kids find the opener to Gilligan's Island, Beverly Hillbillies, Mr. Ed, and Green Acres.

Other suggestions: Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah, and my favorite: "Thank You Very Much" from Scrooge (because its catchy, super sing-able, and I love the sentiment).

One more somewhat surprising option. Type "coloring" into the YouTube search bar. Who knew that watching a simple line drawing come to life could be so mesmerizing. It's a little screen time I'm comfortable with, without committing to a show or movie.

If none of these do the trick with the cranky kids, maybe you'll get lucky and they'll fall asleep!

However you choose to travel, make sure you enjoy the journey; it is part of the adventure.

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