19 July 2012

Road Trippin' With the Kiddos

While summer sort of feels like it's winding down a little, it's definitely not over for us.  In fact, we have several road trips coming up before we settle completely into our Fall routine.

And you know what road trips mean, right?  Having plenty of activities for the kiddos!

Before going on any road trip with my family we do the following:

  • Pack them each their own snack bag.  I use insulated lunch-style bags and fill them with all sorts of things in individual servings: crackers, fruit, cookies, veggies, etc.  Don't forget the napkins and plasticware if needed.
  • Allow each child to pack their own toy bag for the trip.  Mine like to use either a small backpack or a tote bag.  I do allow them to choose their own toys, but make sure they include things like the toy they want to sleep with (if I don't do this, I'll regret it later when the fave one is forgotten), a few books to read, a notebook/pad, coloring book and colored pencils or crayons.  
  • Allow each child to choose a couple of favorite dvd's for watching in the car.  We do limit their screen time, but it is a nice alternative for them occasionally (and, let's be honest, it gives mom and dad some downtime...lol)
  • Throw in a few travel games.  Some can be played in the car, some played at our destination.  We have several for the car and you can read more about them here.  This also includes some educational items, such as flash cards or trivia games.
  • Don't forget the pillows and blankets!  Each of my kiddos have their own set of child-sized pillow and matching blanket that my sister made them when they were just babies and they are perfect for the car.  You might think blankets aren't necessary for summertime road trips, but you don't want to take that risk (especially when your hubby likes it cold in the car:).  You can always leave them in the back so they aren't in the way until needed.
  • Pack a family read-aloud books!  We love to read books together and whatever books we are reading at the time, I make sure to throw in.  That way we can read at bedtime, but also get an extra chapter or two read in the car.  For us homeschoolers that also includes our family history book which is in a narrative style.  So we get some schoolwork done on the road, too, and everyone enjoys it.  
  • Don't forget the restaurant coupons!  I always try to look for coupons and freebies for places to eat where we're going.  You can check sites like kidseatfree.org or outtoeatwithkids.com to find deals in the area where you're traveling.
I'm also thinking of trying out this fun little idea for our trips.  

Of course, don't forget to pack some fun stuff for yourself, too!  I love to take my own tote bag filled with magazines I haven't yet had a chance to read, a couple of good books, my planner/calendar (because I'm addicted to it and I can get some planning done on the road), and my fave road trip pillow (it works great as a lap desk or for taking naps:).  

I'd love to hear what goes into your *road trip survival kit*!  


Erika said...

This is perfect! We're going on vacation next month and I'm planning like crazy. My kids are all little (6,4,2,0) so I've been working on busy bags for them. I've thought of everything on your list except restaurant coupons. I'll add that to my preparation. Thanks!!!

Jennifer aGlimpseOfOurLife said...

I thought having toy bags would help control the clutter. We do it, but they still somehow cover the van floor with stuff during long trips.

North Laurel said...

Great tips! We've always done the bag of stuff- toys, books, small games, whatever they wanted to take that wouldn't get lost too bad on the trip :) We have never done the read-aloud but I think books on CD would be a great substitute.
Stopping by from the Comments Club.

Anonymous said...

I made sure to have a few new toys and games.