Has winter taken it’s toll on you and your feet are itchy to hit the road? I am always ready for an adventure but ‘oh wait, these days I have little toddlers to take with me’. Road trips don’t look quite as simple as they once did.
Here is a creative way we have found to make these adventures a bit more fun for the kids. It works like a charm.
There is a bit of prep before you leave but it’s so worth it to me to have the kids content and happy as we spend the long hours in the mini van with the wheels going round and round! I often pick up extra or special things when I am out grocery shopping and stash them away for rainy days. I always pull from this ‘rainy day’ stash for the road trip bags!
This particular trip my husband had a business meeting in Harrisonburg before we could hit the road to Ohio so going into this day I knew we had a long day ahead of us! We left early in the morning and didn’t start for Ohio until about 1:00 that afternoon. I took 9 post it notes and taped them to each boys window. The 1 & 2 were for the first 2 hours, the meeting destination. And then we started all over with our counting when we were actually headed to Grandma’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!
This is how it works: after every hour they can take 1 post it note off the window and with eyes shut put there little hands into the gift bags and pull out a surprise. The surprises are simple. A box of animal crackers, a lollipop, a ‘new’ dvd I picked up at Good-will, color wonder sheets, a granola bar and a fruit snack package and/or a piece of paper and a sheet of stickers. Since counting is a part of our everyday lives these day I packed a bag with a little dixie cup and M n M’s in it. On the ziploc were instructions to count the candy before the boys could eat them. For you, your kids might be past this stage but think thru what they are learning in school and maybe you can apply something educational to their little treat surprises. This last time I added a bag with 8-10 pipe cleaners, all I asked of them was that with the pipe cleaners they come up with something creative. As you can see, anything works for your bags!!!
I usually have a few more options other then just the exact amount of hours we are on the road because you never know what unexpected obstacle you may encounter while traveling. My babies are 6, 4 and 1 and they don’t conceptually understand delays like you and I do. It’s always better to have more then not enough. If your super organized you can even do enough packages for the return trip. Your kids will adore you. For me most times on our return trip, my kids are so exhausted that I only need a few goodies to occupy them.
I don’t do these Road Trip Bags for every trip. For example when we went home for Christmas this past year, I decided that the anticipation of Christmas was enough and that they were already receiving enough goodies so we did not take them.
Whenever we arrive home from a trip where the Road Trip Bags have went with us, I always take the bags and tuck them in my closest for the next road trip adventure.
Until next time, it doesn’t hurt to at least dream of where you might want to adventure to!!