Thursday, March 15, 2012

Searching for the "Idiots Guide to Roadtripping with Kids."

 This year for spring break, we're hitting the road.  You know... with kids.  In the backseat.  Like, side-by-side.  Within "mom-he's/she's-looking-at-me" distance.  And apparently I'm not the only person that's ever done that, because there are loads of amazing ideas out there that are sure to keep everyone's heads from exploding seven hours after leaving home.  (for the record, I can't help anyone with the "he's/she's looking at me thing.)
 Over the years, I've done a variety of get-you-through-til-you-get-there ideas.  When they were little, we set a timer and every hour I'd hand them a grab bag filled with fun things and they got to choose one item and enjoy.  It was often filled with gum, sunglasses, small toys, goldfish crackers, squishy things, etc.  It was a hit and it did the trick, that's for sure!  Now that they are older, we have a different set of rules.  The grab bag doesn't quite cut it.  I took this idea from Martha Stewart, using an over the door shoe organizer.  (I cut mine right down the middle, and tied each side with twine.)  Now both kids have a plethora of pockets (say that fast ten times) to put everything in.  I'll make sure and tuck a little map and camera into each of their pockets before we head out too!
 Here's what I'm taking in my arsenal.  (That sounds kind of threatening doesn't it?  The truth is, road trips with kiddos can feel a little bit like charging into battle.) Some are items I already had, and others are new ideas for this trip.
photo from joyshope.com

I loved this idea, (for the cookie sheet writing tray two photos up) but felt like they needed something to keep all of their items in, and found these bins at Target which were perfect and flat so they can draw on top of them.  This post was my favorite idea post, as I hunted for go-to ideas.  She's got a ton of great suggestions!  

In each box, I've included some of the following:
Markers and Erasable colored pencils. (don't forget a sharpener!)
Ramona, age 8 audio book. 
Travel Tangoes (really cool magnetic puzzle shapes)
Hangman  and dot to dot pads. (found at Target)
Mad Libs type games- I found these in the dollar bin at JoAnns
An assortment of funny face sticker books, coloring books, sketch books, and lined notebooks
Memory Flip game

photo from amazingmae.blogspot.com

I'm still on the fence about making my kids these pillow cases.  It's such a great idea and aren't they cute?  If I have time amidst JJ's birthday plans and packing, next week I'll try and give them a go.
photo from choosetothrive.blogspot.com
photo pinterest
A couple of really good ideas for taking food and snacks on the road can be found here.

I think we've covered just about everything... well, everything but this.  This is what I want to wear on our little roadtrip...


... and this is what I'll probably end up wearing, thanks to fickle, rainy, cold, sometimes snowy Pacific NW weather.  (Well, all but the super shiny black pants. What's up with those anyway?  What am I, a scuba diver?)


Do y'all have any good words of road tripping advice, instructions or more good ideas for me?  Pleeeeese shout them all my way.  Thankyouverymuch.



27 comments:

  1. GREAT ideas!! i'm going to need these ideas later this summer.....

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  2. Where are you going??? Good luck!

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  3. oh my gosh. thanks for clarifying you aren't wearing leather/scuba pants! that made me LOL when i saw those. the other outfit though?? LOVE!!!! have a blast!

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  4. Awwww...wish you could head down South! We're having 80 degree weather with super sun! Love the muffin tin idea for snacks...and we do the bins already with stuff to do. We also do tickets. I think it was from Family Fun or something - I have tickets/coupons for the kids. Every hour they are NICE in the car, they earn a ticket. They are worth anything from ice cream at our destination to $$ to spend on stuff once we arrive. If they are NOT NICE during one of the hours, they lose a ticket/coupon. So they may earn $5 for extra stuff, but lose the ice cream sundae. It just depends on their behavior. This has worked for us for years. My kids are now 12, 10 and 5 and we've done this since they were little bitty. Good luck and have fun!

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  5. Drive really fast? LOL No I am sure that with what you have planned and the fact that your kids seem to be really adorable and well behaved you will make it unscathed. Your ideas so far are perfect! But for reals, this is why we fly. :)

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  6. I found that books on tape (DVD now I guess) worked well. You can get them for older kids too. Our library had them to check out. If you haven't seen the Chinaberry catalog, get one! Best book/audio suggestions ever. And they are divided by age/reading level. And the audio books are different from what you see everywhere. The scuba pants made me laugh. I thought you had put them in the grouping. LOL

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  7. Have tons of fun on your trip!! You'll survive the road trip with all those fun goodies you're preparing for your kids! What a good Mama!

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  8. Love all these ideas! Have a fun trip. We are heading only 4 hours away,so thankfully there won't be too much bickering in the car. Oh, I just had the print I purchased from you the VW van and it looks fantastic. Now hanging in the play room. Once I get the playroom finished I will send you a photo. The print is so cute and adds a little whimsy to the room.

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  9. The only thing you need is a portable tv. You won't hear a peep for hours. So worth the money...and for the record road trips are the only time we pull it out. Keeps it special.

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  10. We have 4 kids ages 12, 11, 9 and 8. Road trips can be really fun. I always pack post it notes...they are cheap and easy to clean up, also scotch tape is tons of fun. They can tape their mouths shut, eyes open, nose up like a pig...the possibilities are endless. Tickets were mentioned earlier, we play with them, also clean and easy to clean up. We also like radio shows like Adventures in Odyssey and Patch the Pirate. Have fun and make some memories!

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  11. @ makin' memories- your comment has me howling!!! "tape their mouths shut, eyes open, nose up like a pig..." that is FANTASTIC!! And I can see it very clearly in my mind. I am SO doing that!!! LOL

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  12. this is great and I love the outfit you are wanting to wear!
    I'll probably be wearing something like the 2nd outfit on our Spring Break over here in CA. Looks like it decided to cool down next week when the kids are off :(
    Hope you guys have a great trip!

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  13. i wish you were my mom. road trippin with you sounds real fun. i remember being told to not speak unless spoken to. that was my mom's way of dealing with us kids on long drives. : ) so yeah, i like your ideas much better. my kids will thank you one day!

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  14. First and best advice....don't do it
    But, since you ARE doing it...I think all those ideas look fantastic! And you're just the girl to ACTUALLY do them!
    Here's an idea for the moments they fight about space (I doubt this happens to you) but when my girls were young we regularly traveled 6-7 hrs to visit grandparents. When they started yelling about not having enough room and that someone was on their side, we would stop and I'd get out and sit in the middle in the back. I took my book and just read quietly.....suddenly it became REALLY tight in the back seat and they eventually said "OK, can you go sit up front now?"........so pretty soon all you have to say is "do you want me to come sit back there with you?" and they calm down.......
    Don't be a chicken...wear the seal pants...think of the attention you'll get...you're a blogger after all....gives you something to write about...LOL
    Lorraine

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  15. How FUN!! We're hittin' the road soon too! Thank you for the inspiration to be a fun mom!! That muffin tin idea is genius!

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  16. i have no advice...we are expecting #6 and roadtrips are not in our future for a really long time haha

    as for the muffin tin idea BRILLIANT!!!!

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  17. I love that pillowcase - so cute! But then I started thinking of the practicality and really, to use the pillow you'd have to take everything out of the pocket and find some other place for it while you use the pillow so yeah, probably won't make that. Sure is adorable though. Have fun on vaca - what a great time to unwind and regroup. ♥

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  18. Every summer we would go to Disneyland and to also visit my grandparents my parents must have had a few bad trips because after a while my mom would take us three girls over on a bis PSA Airplane and Dad would come a week later and we would drive back a week later. We thought it was a blast now I know better! I agree with the TV or laptop you can pop in a movie or music or games stop at all the red box's down the highway for a buck a day.

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  19. We've made a couple really long drives (28-30 hr each way) with our kids and we do allow some videos, but we really REALLY love Adventures in Odyssey & Radio Theatre CDs from Focus on the Family. We often get them at the library.

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  20. I love this post! We travel often, and although my kids are littler, like 1 and 3, these are GREAT tips to remember for the future! I recently just found a write on/wipe off "I Spy" game to keep in the car. Simple things like a taxi, police car, hospital, and I can't recall all the others. But fun! (and easy to make yourself too!) Have a super fun time, can't wait to read all about the actual trip!

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  21. what a great idea, i am totally doing some of these for our summer family vacation if we decide on a road trip again.....last year they watched movies. thanks for sharing.

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  22. Love these ideas, especially the over-seat activity organiser! Brilliant - thanks so much for the suggestions! Have a fantastic time and I can't wait to see photos xxx

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  23. Ohh the Cinch it up Thermal Tote. I didn't know that Thirty One got their name from the Proverbs 31 girls! How lovely!!!!

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  24. Sasha, I MUST know where you got the top outfit idea...that yellow sweater, the grey top and the yellow shoes are TO DIE FOR!!! hugs, Margie please let me know at rowlesgowings@netscape.net

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  25. Haha, you could SO pull off those pants! Like a rockstar. I was wondering where exactly you were roadtripping to when I first saw them...

    Have a great time! No good advice for that age, we always leave reaaaaallly early (like 2AM) because our kids are little and we hope they'll fall back asleep. It's much tougher with your aged kiddos, I think. Have fun!

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  26. OK, take me on a road trip with you! you're such a fun mom - and I promise not to ask "are we there yet.....?"

    xoxo

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  27. you are a brave woman. LOL

    Maybe my kids are still too young to think about a road trip.

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