This summer I am embarking on a grand new adventure.
Me. The kids. A van. 750 miles of open road.
This will be my first attempt at road-tripping alone with the kids. I've shunned the idea in the past because, typically, I was such a sleeper driver. 2 hours tops is all Scott could get out of me. Then during our road trip in April I found myself able to take 4 hour driving shifts with relatively no problem. From there, I said to myself, I could maybe do this. And now . . . . plans are set, an AAA membership is now mine, hotel reservations waiting at a mid-point, oil changed, tires rotated, car washed, and a big bag of kid entertainment is about to be packed.
The kid entertainment . . . without an extra set of adult hands to whack help the kids in the back I knew I had to be prepared. This post on traveling with kids was sooo helpful and gave me lots of great ideas.
For one, all the kids will have a shoebox size rubbermaid tote to put all their stuff in, and it will double as a writing desk. Nice idea, huh?
We went to the library today and picked up Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets audio CD's.
A map. I printed out several maps from Google and plan to glue them onto construction paper for sturdiness because I know they will get a lot of use. (Conner loves being the navigator). They can use their colored pencils to color in the route as we go and they will see exactly how much farther it is to Grammer's house. I
I've gathered up a bunch of little toys, doo-dads, games, drawing activities, etc. that I will put into brown paper lunch sacks and throw into a big tote. Then, at certain intervals (a designated time, landmark, or when the kids are driving me nuts) Conner will pull out one of the bags and hand out the contents to his dear siblings. Here's my list
- notepad and colored pencils in a zippered pouch (no crayons - don't want things falling between the seats, getting lost, and melting -- it's gonna be hot where we're going)
- pipe cleaners for bendy, twisty creations
- black paper & chalk
- post-it notes
- a new, very small toy -- a tiny pound puppy for Anna, mini transformers for the boys
- Road Trip BINGO* Download Road trip bingo.pages (I don't know if this download will work for PC users - I created it in Pages, but give it a try). There is one version for the older, "reading" kids and a picture version for younger kids.
- mini mazes - those cheap little plastic things with the silver ball that rolls around.
- handheld water game - 1.99 @ Fred Meyer. Kinda like this.
- mini googly balls
- maybe a new CD mix of fun kids songs
- stickers - with strict instructions that they only go on their notepad
- tin foil -- weird? see here. Anything to keep the kids entertained.
12 items for 12 hours of driving. I'm hoping we won't have to use them all and can save some surprises for the drive home.
To start out they'll get a new book, the map, and their box.
I think this just might work. Wish me luck!