I thought I'd present a list full of items to bring on a roadtrip to keep the boys entertained and smiling. Tomorrow (well at the point you're reading this probably TODAY) will be a list of things we DO on Roadtrips as well as Etsy/web finds Friday for fun items to buy in preperation for Roadtrips!
First, when going on roadtrips I've found that preparation and expectations are 2 important factors. Preparation is pretty self explanatory, prepare all the snacks, activities, stops, etc ahead of time.
Expectations for both yourself, your spouse, and your kids. I don't expect them even at 6 and 8 to sit still and quiet for 6 hours. Nor do I expect them to appropriately pack a roadtrip bag. While their choices are important it might make everyone crazy to hear "Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue!" for 3 straight hours. I DO however go over expectations with them beforehand like how long we will be in the car, remind them about behavior in the car (such as pterodactyl screeches are NOT appropriate), and to try their best to get along and not argue.
My boys love riding in the car and look forward to certain traditions for our trips. Like the trip bag! I will usually try to stock up on quiet items throughout the year, but a trip bag is filled with all kinds of really fun/silly items to play with in the car. Sticker books, notebooks, travel games, little dress up items like fake mustaches or teeth
(these were one of the best trip items so far we make each other laugh as well as others on the road/gas stations), finger puppets, mini candy, maybe a new DS game, trading cards, and any other small/cheap items I think they might like. Then I'll either hide the bag and give them a new item each time I think they need something new, OR they can close their eyes and pick something out once or twice an hour (do if at certain times so they can look forward to it). I've done bigger items and I've done really cheap bags - it goes over great either way.
Here are some items we like to pack for roadtrips:
Dry erase board and markers (kids love writing on these and even working on math problems, words for new writers, tic tac toe etc)
Paper/coloring book/crayons/printable acitivity cards - Wreck this Journal (or even better the box set) is really fun for older ones as is the Doodle books.
Foil, wikki sticks, pipe cleaners for molding/ making things without the mess of other sculpting items
Books (new books are good whether bought or borrowed paper or electronic)
Audio books whether for the family or for each boy with iPod/personal CD player etc
New small Lego sets with some sort of hard storage box to keep them in
When they were younger they LOVED the Color Wonder items which are great for the car
Cookie sheets with magnets/magnetic toys or the little magnetic sets you can buy
I think their favorite by far though is the roadtrip bags (I didn't have time to make these for this roadtrip and they did miss them but did great since it was SUCH an impromptu trip.
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