My family is going to Florida for spring break this year and we're driving down - 22 hours, with a very energetic 3 year old and an impatient 6 year old. (Say a prayer for me now!) Knowing these lovely qualities of my children means I've got a lot of planning to do to survive this 22 hour road trip. I've been scouring Pinterest to get ideas and running all over town to pick up... well, everything under the sun it seems. My husband thinks I'm crazy and totally over thinking this, but I know that after 18 hours and we're all tired and ready to be there I'll need some tricks up my sleeve to make time fly by!
So, this is what I'm packing to keep the littles busy....
1. COOKIE TRAY - This is a must! It's perfect for keeping all their stuff on their lap. I found these at the Dollar Store and they are smaller than most, so it's perfect for little laps.
2. ART SUPPLIES - I'm bringing plenty of crayons, markers, paper, scissors, stickers, etc for any art projects. I did buy 2 new coloring and activity books to pull out if they get bored with just paper.
3. TREAT NECKLACES - I bought this blue plastic string from Hobby Lobby to use as the necklace, then they can string on Gummy Life Savers, Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Pretzels, and cut Twizzlers and enjoy an evening treat.
4. POPSICLE STICK SHAPES AND LETTERS - I also purchased popsicle sticks at the Dollar Store and put velcro on them so my 3 year old can work on SHAPES AND LETTERS. The leftover sticks I wrote the alphabet in upper case and lower case so he can match which goes with which.
5. TOOTHPICK MODELS - Marshmallow and spice drop shapes and models with toothpicks. This is always a favorite activity with my kids, I think because not only do they get to build stuff, but they also get to eat marshmallows and spice drops :)
6. CUTTING - My youngest loves cutting things and I found this Melissa & Doug activity book made specifically for cutting, at the Gingerbread House! I think he's going to LOVE this!
7. WATER WOW! - Melissa & Doug travel pads that just use water to paint the picture. Much easier than taking paints on the road! Another Gingerbread House find. (They have tons of travel stuff that they just got in - lots to choose from for all age groups).
8. BACKSEAT BINGO - my oldest LOVES bingo, so I'm hoping he gets in to this. This is from the Gingerbread House too and there are 2 game boards in 1 pack - perfect if you have 2 kids :)
9. MANAGING BEHAVIOR - I happened to find a package of fake dollar bills at the Dollar Store (imagine that!) and I'm going to use these as an incentive for good behavior. They can earn dollars along the way for being good (not whining, not fighting, asking for things nicely, sharing, etc), then they can use that money while we're at Florida for their souvenir.
10. CALCULATOR - My oldest is obsessed with math and numbers, so I picked up a cheap calculator for him to play with. As odd as it sounds, little things like this go a long way if they don't always have access to it. I might regret packing this device because I'm sure this will end up a math game in which I'll be adding as many numbers together as possible.... and let's just say I don't share his enthusiasm for math equations!
11. LEGOS - My kids our all about legos right now. We have an entire bin full of them, so a small portion is coming with us. All I have to do is dump them on the cookie tray (and hope they don't drop the tray, ha!)
With a couple new DVDs and new apps for the Ipad, I think this trip will go smoothly. I'm not expecting perfection, but hoping we all make it there still happy to be around one another, ha!
P.S. - I should do a whole other post about the snacks I'm bringing - I'm a snack queen and always bring way too many, but my kids LOVE this about me :)
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".