Drive Thru Errands: Not Just Fast Food

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I love to take my kids adventuring as to provide them with enriching and exciting opportunities. Nonetheless, it is also important to me to teach my kids that they do not always have to be busy and to be content at home.  When we are overscheduled they get cranky and my patience wanes fast.  For my family, staying in one day a week has been an effective way to help instill this value.  Additionally, I typically like to “adventure” between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and then be home the rest of the day. It doesn’t always play out that way but these two strategies seem to work well for us!

Sometimes on those days when we stay in there are moments where we need a little change of scenery.  Instead of giving in and saying let’s just go somewhere or do a last minute play date, I like to take my kids on drive thru errands within a five mile radius of my house.  I am not just talking about getting fast food, but rather creative things as well things that can teach life lessons.

One drive thru errand that is standard for me is a coffee stop.  I can keep it simple by going to any fast food joint and getting black coffee or make it fancy by going to a local coffee business and get some type of latte. Coffee is my treat and I can get one without breaking the bank! Though there is not really a life lesson when I stop for coffee, I suppose I could teach my kids to count change.  Another place we often stop at is Good Will.  Most Good Wills have pull ups that allow you to quickly jump out of your car and drop off your donations.  Going to Good Will is a great opportunity to explain to your kids that stuff  they are not using could greatly help someone else.  Prior to going, you could ask your children to find one item from their closet to donate.  In addition, the drive thru mailboxes at the post office are a convenient way to pay your bills, but you could also have your kids write letters to or draw pictures for out of town family members before going.  A few other places that we sometimes stop include the bank, where the teller will often give me suckers for my two kids, and the library.  Some libraries have drive thru book returns but if not, you could make a quick stop and let your kids have the joy of opening the squeaky drop drawer and return their books.  One more option for stopping is not a drive thru, but most groceries have a free cookie or treat for kids.  

Drive thru errands still keep us at home (mostly) and though they can be educational, some are just plain fun! This is just one way we break up our day when staying in.



Susie lives in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati with her husband and three kids. She has a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and a 14 month baby! Together, they like to explore new things in Cincinnati as well as favorite places like Summit Park and Sharon Woods. Susie is a former high school teacher and now a stay-at-home mom. She also enjoys running, being outside, spending time with family and friends, road tripping, participating in her church's activities and drinking coffee.

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