for as long as i can remember my family took a big road trip every year from utah to disneyland. my parents had five children so you can imagine how crowded the minivan was with 7 people and a whole lot of stuff!
well my little family has continued on with this fun family tradition. each year we save our pennies to go to california and go to disneyland and the beach.
i am extremely lucky to have pretty good travelers. my kids kind of zone out and do their own thing but there does come a time in the trip where they have had it with sitting in a car.
throughout the years i have learned some things that work at keeping my kids happy those last few hours. this year i will have a 5,3 and 2 year old (all active, wiggly boys!) i wanted to prepare as much as i could to make this a pleasant trip. each day this week i will give tips and ideas for different things like- keeping your kids entertained in the car, keeping kids comfy and fun food ideas, tutorials, disneyland specific tips and more! today i'm talking about...
tips for keeping your kids entertained in the car-
+ go to the library with your kids and get a few books. my kids also love listening to books on tape ( or cd) we also have a pretty good collection at home. my kids really like the magic tree house series, curious george, harry potter, and other short stories. storynory is a great website with free stories to download. we have an extra ipod that is just for kid stuff. there is nothing worse than a killer run being interrupted by the magic tree house! nothing!
+dvd player. we were lucky enough to get my sisters old dual dvd players. i love having them in the car for long trips. i try not to over-use it though. i really like my kids to use them as a last resort, when they are getting grumpy, bored and tired.we like to get at least one new show they haven't seen, we either buy it and stash it away, or borrow one from a friend.
+the dollar store! there are some pretty cool little things to be found at the dollar stores. dollar tree has some cute little toy story toys right now. also target has a pretty cool dollar section. i have some things i got there that i will show you later.
+ try something fun that you might not think of. why not let your kids play with pipe cleaners? they can create swords, guns, animals, whatever. we did this once for my primary ( church) class and they loved it! they created animals and bracelets and all sorts of things. i have even read to give your smaller kids a roll of tape. that would keep my two year old occupied for awhile! psot it notes would be fun too.
+my friend ginnie,( she's funny) had the fabulous suggestion of giving each kid a box of band aids. our dollar tree has marvel superhero ones right now.my boys would love to have free reign over a box of band aids.
+road trip games. my kids are kind of young to play most of these but i might try a few out.
+pack a ball, frisbee or jumprope for when you take a break for the road. have your kids run around as much as possible when out of the car.
+on that note we always make it a point to either find a park and eat lunch there or visit somewhere with a playplace. if you are headed to california from utah st. george has a nice, big mcdonalds.
+costco had some great sticker books. they are around $7 but my kids love them.
+ how about a cheap photo album? that would be fun
+ magazine and other crap you get in the mail. recently my kids have become obsessed with those damn costume magazines that come this time of year. i hid them all to pull out for our trip. they spend a long time looking at them and telling me they want to be darth vader, no jengo fett, no clone trooper not a storm trooper... oriental trading, and toy magazine are equally as thrilling.
+ conatiners of any types. my kids love altoid tins, cigar boxes, lunch boxes, anything that you can pack small toys or other gadgets into. one of their favorite toys of all time is a small white tin with a handle my mother in law gave them, inside are frogs and lizards and outside is bug magnets. they play with it all the time and don't get sick of it.
tip:: you don't have to spend much money making your trip more entertaining either. there are many resources online with projects that take only pennies to make and a little time.
family fun has a whole page dedicated to road trip activities, with games, printable and more. there is sure to be something that will work for you and your family! i recently purchase a laminator for a great deal and plan on laminating most things so that they last longer. but even if they only last in the car and keep my kids occupied, then it is all good to me!
here are some i plan on using from that site-
+create a creature
+superhero paper doll
another great site is disney family
here are some of my favorites.
+felt perry the platypus. my boys love phineas and ferb. i'm making them each one of these hilarious perry felt toys.
+toy story magnets
+toy story playset
+toy story fun book
+this felt oogie boogie man is rad. what kid wouldn't like stuffing him with bugs and frogs?!
pretty sure a mini version of this light saber would amuse my kids
here are some darling girl ideas, pretty sure my sweet little 3 year old would love some of the tinkerbell things too. ( he has a thing for "his girl" tinkerbell)
+magnet boards are one of my kids favorites. we get them a Michael's of another local craft store and use a coupon.
+toobs, again we get them at micheals with a coupon. they are alot of fun and the perfect size.
find other great ideas-
what are some of your favorite tips for keeping kids entertained on the road?