Saturday, June 30, 2012

Road Trip to survive a road trip

We are in full packing mode around here today.  Which means, I am finding things to do that really don't matter but I'm in such a frenzy that I'm doing it anyway. 
As you guys know, we have three kiddos.  T is 13, R is 10 and G is 5.  A lot of movies won't satisfy all three at the same time (although there are many that will) and staring out the window for a 12 hour road trip just isn't a possibility. 
Road Trip Kit to the rescue!  This trip to Alabama is pretty much ingrained in my head, I've been making this trip since I was 6 years old and we moved to Texas.  My grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins...they all lived in Alabama so that's where we loaded up and went during the summer.  B and I started making this trek right after we were married and then continued with the kids when we could.  It's now like a summer tradition where we visit the family in Alabama and then head to Florida for beach time. 
Although we're used to the drive, 12 hours is still a long time to be stuck in the car.  I usually pack a large tote filled with things for the kids to do, especially with some new suprises to keep them occupied for a little longer.  On our trip to Colorado, I had a bag of little surprises that I passed out during the trip, every few hours.  They all really enjoyed it.
I played off of that idea and made the Road Trip Kits for the kiddos.  We are sticking to the Surprise Route for G because he's 5 and LOVES suprises.  But B and I decided that making this little kit for the big kids for them to have in their own seat would be a better idea. 
Here's what it looks like:

That little tray?  Cute, right? I was hoping to find a something with a little more personality than khaki but nothing would have satisfied both the boys and R.  I found the awesome idea for these over at Cleverly Inspired and loved the idea.  This way the kiddos can have their own little area for eating, drawing, playing, whatever.  All you need is a cookie sheet (which I grabbed for a buck each at the Dolloar Tree!) and a vinyl tablecloth and glue.  We had to use Super Glue because we didn't have any other fancy glue to use.  B made these last night. (such a good daddy)

In the kits:

A vacation journal (aka notebook)
along with
  • pens (various colors of ink)
  • pencils (mechnical so you don't have to worry about sharpening)
  • tape
  • markers
  • stickers
  • post-its
This way they can tape whatever they want to in the pages (ticket stubs, menus from restauraunts along the way or favorites we find in the city we visit, brochures, etc.  They can do the same with the post its and stickers.  Think of it like a mixed media memory book.

  • Puzzle books

  • Magazines

  • Dollar goodies! (glow in the dark Slinky, glow sticks, deck of trick cards, travel tic-tac-toe, coloring books)

I still have my large tote and it's filled with things for the whole family. 
  • Mad Libs (that I found on clearance at the book store)
  • little cans of Play-Doh
  • Mad Gab cards
  • a brand spankin' new DVD of a movie they haven't seen yet

G has all of the same things as the big kids, he'll just receive it at intervals except for the journal. 

I hope this helps you guys prepare for your own road trips.  As stressful as it can be to pack and prepare for a vacation, once you're stuck in the car for the long haul, you might as well make it fun and worthwile.  I also printed up a fun Road Trip Questionnaire for B and I to ask each other when we get completely bored. I actually printed up questions 8-50 because I ran out of paper. No worries.  That seems like a whole lot of talking to each other anyway. 

Happy Summer everyone!  I'll be checking in soon.

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