We have all been on THAT road trip -- 3 kids fighting, crying, screaming, whining, and asking "are we there yet?" on repeat, and I am sure we can all agree we don't EVER want to do it again... right?! WELL... I have put together a list of "Road Trip Survival Activities" to help keep you and your kids sane on long car/airplane rides!
1) THE SNACK BOX. This is key! CRUCIAL. Kids love snacks, snacks make kids happy. Snacks keep kids quiet. SNACKS ARE IMPORTANT!!! Yes you car will be trashed, yes they will likely spill them all over the floor, crunch them in the crevices of their car seats, and ruin their clothes with drool, spit, and melted m&m's. Is it worth it? YES. Definitely worth it. We get a divided jewelry or bead box from Joann or Hobby lobby and then make a trip to Trader Joes to buy all the things! Try and keep it filled with "pantry" items that don't need to be refrigerated and will stay somewhat fresh! We do gummy bears, freeze dried banana, strawberries, mango, blueberries, and raspberries, peanut butter fulled pretzels, honey pretzel sticks, Cheeto puffs, fit newtons, cookies, yogurt dipped pretzels, graham crackers, and gold fish. A few other ideas: fruit snacks, raisins, yogurt dipped raisins, mini cookies, mini peanut butter or cheese cracker sandwiches... etc- anything in the panty isle really! You can thank me later for this one!! We used our vinyl cutter to make the names for lid of the box, but you can always just but letter stickers at any craft store, or don't put a name on them at all, thats just extra!
2) The cutting box! I don't know about you, but my kids LOVE cutting paper. It's truly strange how long this can entertain them for... I got another divided container from Joann, and added a pair of scissors and cut strips of paper and drew cutting patterns on them. Kerr isn't old enough to cut the pattern, but Evie can do it and loves it! for Kerr, I include blank strips for him to freely cut. Yet again, another giant mess, but you are going to have to get a car wash anyways, so you might as well get your moneys worth!! ha! If you don't want to put together a kit like this, you can buy this Melissa and Doug Scissor Skills book that does the trick!
3) Water Wow books. These are amazing- NO mess and they dry up quickly! My kids do these over and over again on our road trips! Rhett, 16 months, can even do this one and he likes them also!
4) Magic Marker Books- I don't like markers. My kids color their arms and legs and faces and its really just a total disaster. These, I don't mind because they only show up on this special paper! My kids love markers and always want to use them, so this is a good way to say yes to markers!
5) Scratch Art Books- These are fun and definitely buy a bit of time!
6) Create a Face Sticker Books- My kids love these and I think they are so funny!!! Evie does the princess ones and Kerr does the pirate ones and I crack up every time they show me their face... the eyes are always up so high and it seriously just makes me LOL and I LOVE IT!!! Definitely snag a few of these, you won't regret it!!
7) Manga Doodles - self explanatory... but always a win!
8) Dry Erase Tracing Books- Evie is obsessed with writing and tracing and she loves these in the car!!
9) Lacing Pets- This is a cute set that we come back to time and time again! Evie has it down and Kerr is working on it! Good fine motor practice and easy to travel with!
10) Scented Twist Crayons- these a fun, new "twist" on normal old crayons!
11) Lap Desk- I tried buying the ones with the compartments on the sides to hold crayons and stuff but they don't fit over their carseats, so we went with a regular old lap desk! This just provides them a sturdy surface to write, color, and play on!
12) A clipboard with regular paper and an "adult" pen. WHAT A TREAT!? haha but seriously, they love this!! I think they feel like grown ups and they have fun doodling with their adult pens! We also bring lots of stickers! The clipboards linked come in a set of three (knock all the kids out at once!) they would be cute to add their names to with a vinyl sticker or just letter stickers!
13) Scrap paper and a stapler. KERR LOVES STAPLING! Idk if thats safe or what not, but he's never stapled his finger and it keeps him busy until he's out of staples! Brining lots of refills!
14) Paper Punchers- The kids love using these to punch out different shapes. They will make like 100 hearts and I give them a little jar to fill with their shapes. Keeps the busy and happy for quite a while! We do this at home a lot!
15) MOVIES. If you have a DVD player in your car, obviously, movies. Or bring an iPad and let them use that when you really need it! Nothing wrong with that at all!! except if you only have one and.. ya fighting I guess! Mine got stolen, so we don have this problem anymore hah!! If you want an educational movie, my kids like the World World DVDs. Kerr knew all of his letters and sounds at age 2 bc of this video!!
15) Washi Tape- Evie is obsessed with tape. Wrapping her fingers in tape, putting it on paper, sticking it on the windows. You do you girl, just do it quietly.
16) the YWF Bead Box- You will for sure heave beads all over your car, but you, and everyone else in the car, will also probably have a beautiful bracelet on your wrist by the end of the trip!
17) Dollar Store Hourly Gifts- run to the dollar store and pick out a few toys that your kids will like and let them open one every hour! Helps pass the time!! We just put then in little brown sacks that are easy to toss! A few ideas we found from the toy isle were: Cars, Mermaid Dolls, Animal Figures, Princess Crown/Wand, Window Stickers, etc!
OK, that's all I got! May the force be with you...