This summer I will be traveling by car for a loooooong time with my 1 and 3 year-olds. Anyone else? I am trying some new things to help make this anticipated 14 hour car trip a decent experience for all of us. Last year we took the same trip and I brought a TON of stuff to try to keep the kids entertained. It turned out that I didn’t need most of it. So this year I’m trying to be a little more efficient and innovative in what I bring. I’m sharing these ideas with you before we travel and will then update you on how it went afterwards.
I discovered these on Amazon by accident. I was intrigued and did a little research. What is a Good Bag? It’s a collection of snacks created by a pediatrician to help you keep your little ones healthy while traveling. I thought this sounded like a great idea so I bought one for each child. It included snacks, a pamphlet on nutrition, and a “toy.”
It looks promising. I like the idea of having a variety of snacks and not having to buy separate boxes of each. Let’s hope the kids like it! If you have questions about the ingredients, leave a comment below. I took photos of all the labels so I could share them with anyone who had questions.
2. Travel Trays
I bought a two-pack of these! I attached one to a highchair to see what it looked like. I wonder how it will fit around our car seats.
3. Travel Presents
I know this may seem like bribery, but I really try to use it as redirection more than bribing. I purchased some inexpensive items and wrapped them up to hand out during the course of our journey. It gave me a chance to use up some wrapping paper I didn’t really like. I plan to give them half on the way down and save the rest for the ride home. I’ve done this once before and it is a great way to stop a tantrum or whining from boredom. Included are Easter cards that were on clearance for $0.24, a DVD from the $5 bin, a snack (Cheez-its), sunglasses, socks and a pad of sticky notes. I was surprised how much fun we had putting sticky notes up all over the car windows last year. Just be sure to remove them before rolling your window down!
4. Library Resources
Until moving to my new home I had never really thought about the library as a place to get anything more than books. I took the Bear one day to check out some books and was surprised to find the variety of media available to check out for FREE, of course. Audio books replaced the radio as the companion to my daily commute. I wondered if the Bear (3, almost 4) would be able to follow along. I checked out The Wizard of Oz and was surprised to find that he really enjoyed it. I did often stop and explain to him what was going on and I’m not really sure he was processing it, but it was fun for discussion on the commute. He’s asked to listen to all 4 discs again so I’m bringing it along!
I also discovered something at my library called a Playaway View. It’s a pre-loaded video player. Our library has several different ones you can choose from. I choose The Wizard of Oz, of course. It has one video pre-loaded so you basically can turn it on and hand it off. I’ll let you know how it goes.
5. Mommy Moment
This is something I often forget to do, but I thought I would make a conscious effort to do something for myself for this long car ride. Daddysaurus is the full-time driver. It’s our agreement- he’d rather drive and I’d rather handle the kids. But if I happened to get lucky enough to catch a few zzzz’s I wanted to enjoy them. To assist in this I ordered a neck pillow and and eye pack I can keep in the cooler.
The interesting part of this is where I bought these items. To make a long story short, I elected too much money for my flexible spending account this year. I discovered an online store that I can purchase items such as these (and sunscreen!) with my FSA card. Pretty cool!
Stay tuned to see how these great ideas worked on the trip! If you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments please feel free to post them below.