Surviving Road Trips with Kids

by Cate on July 6, 2008

nicks-travel-box-small.jpgThis summer, our focus has been on taking mini-road trips with the kids, some just for the day, a few overnight.  Intent on keeping the “Are we there yets?” at bay, and taking inspiration from Martha Stewart, I put together a personalized Travel Box for Nicholas.  I decorated the sides, he did the top and together we picked out items to fill up the inside. 

Snacks (granola bars and fruit roll-ups), drinks (Gatorade and bottled water) and assorted activities quickly took up residence.  Nicholas and I also hit up the dollar section of Target, and added notebooks, crayons, stickers and more car-friendly activities to keep him entertained for our little trips.   Using Martha’s templates, I printed up a set of Car Bingo cards and laminated them.  They actually kept Nicholas (and The Husband!) busy for a good solid hour as they hunted for various signs and animals along the way on a recent trip to Hershey Park.  For each particular road trip, I also go to AAA’s web site and print out a map, showing our starting and ending points, and laminate it, so he can follow along our route to see how far until we get to our destination.

Does it work?

Sure does.  Enough so that he actually grabs the box on our local jaunts to the grocery store and assorted errands as well now … my attempts to explain that it was more geared towards longer trips go unheard, but hey, if he’s happy, who am I to argue?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

The Neighor (wife) July 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

It was a great idea!! The Girlfriend loved hers too.

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Patsy July 7, 2008 at 10:39 am

What a great idea! We will be taking a REALLY long road trip this summer, and I may have to create boxes for both of my boys… I love this idea!

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Tyanne July 7, 2008 at 11:20 am

I have actually started putting together a back pack for each of my kids for our trip to Disneyworld. It is about a 12 hour drive for us so they definitely need to have things to entertain them. It’s a great idea. I have something similar that I keep in the car all the time, but I didn’t want them to be fighting over it, so decided to make one for each of them.
Tyanne

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Elise July 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

That is a great idea! I need to pack something like that for an upcoming flight. Anyone reading this have flight-specific suggestions for a squirmy toddler?

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Krisi July 8, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Elise —
Not sure the toddlers age but some ideas are:
Stringing cheerios (to make a necklace, bracelet etc.) then they can eat them later.
Coloring
hidden picture games (look for them online) you have to really help them along with these depending on their age.
snacks
movie
check out michael’s crafts in the crayola section for good travel craft things.
Good luck on your travels

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Cate July 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Elise, what about making up a Plane Bingo set? Instead of the car bingo pictures, you can use pictures of things your toddler can find on the plane (tray table, flight attendant, oxygen mask, circular windows, pilot, etc.). You could probably find most of the pictures in clipart or magazines. For our set, and it might work well with you, instead of using markers to x out the items we found, I gave Nick a set of small stickers to cover the items he found. Hope this helps!

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Elise July 11, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I will try those. You guys are creative.

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Melissa July 17, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I don’t have kids (yet), but am tucking this one away for future reference – what a great idea!

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