Thursday, July 10, 2014

Road Trip Game Plan

Today is the day! We've been counting down the days until we leave for our big (17 hour) road trip to Grandma's house!

I grew up going on road trips, and I think they're a lot of fun, a grand adventure. When I suggested it to Eriek, he looked at me like I was certifiably insane. He kept reminding me that we have three children (3, 2, and 5 months). Therefore it must be deemed impossible, or just plain nuts, to attempt such a certain catastrophe.

After analyzing every possible way to get to Grandma's house, the road trip was the most feasible, so we committed to it. Eriek immediately turned white and may still in a mild state of shock and fear. Although it seems to have settled into a comfortable state of denial. He may have to get treated for PTSD after we get home.

However, I am a most positive and determined individual, well, perhaps stubborn is a more accurate description. So I poured every spare minute into hunting down ideas to keep our toddlers entertained without melting their brains to mush via 17 hours of movies (which Eriek may or may not have suggested we do).

Armed with Pinterest, I gathered items and made several fun things to occupy the girls and hopefully make the trip fun and memorable. I'll let you know once we get to Grandma's how it REALLY all plays out, but until then, I'll give you a snippet of some of the things we have come up with.

Countdown Calendar

We mentioned about a month ago to the girls that we were driving to Grandma's house. After that, every time we got in the car, Zoe asked if we were driving to Grandma's house and would get upset when we said "No." So, We decided to make a simple little calendar that the girls could help cross off each day as we got closer. It helped A TON, and it seems to have gotten them even more excited. You'll notice we didn't bother with dates. But the girls can count a bit, so we just put how many days were left. Although we're now leaving a day earlier, but they didn't mind at all.

 How Much Farther?

I LOVE this idea! It's a visual to help the girls understand how much farther we have to go until we reach Grandma's house. It's supposed to help keep the dreaded "Are we there yet?" hounding to a minimum, but even if that doesn't work, it seems to be a fun teaching tool.

I made our minivan complete with family inside ready to travel! I printed up a picture for each segment of the trip, and as we see the pictures or get to that point on the journey, we'll move the minivan past that picture. Everything is hanging by a paperclip so they can be easily moved, however we already discovered that our minivan went crashing into landmarks, so I re-secured everything with clothes pins.

 We're ready! At least our pictures are happy even if our attitudes might not be.
 Each main segment of the trip is represented.
Our target- Grandma & Papa Dave's house!

Trip Map

I found this great free printable of the states over at I Heart Organizing. They can color in the states or just follow along the route I drew in.

I Spy

Of course we had to include I Spy for the girls! It's like a road trip right of passage. I found these great free printables at Prepared Not Scared. And I saw the adorable DIY binoculars at DIY Home Sweet Home. The girls picked out the duct tape and I went to town with a couple of toilet paper rolls.

Dry Erase Markers

It seems so simple, but it's brilliant. I'm not even sure where I read the idea, but thank you to whoever suggested it! I found these little dry erase markers with erasers on the top at the dollar store, and they work great on sheet protectors. So the girls can cross off things they see on their I Spy games or color on the states or just doodle, erase and redo. Love it.

Magnetic Travel Trays

So another simple, yet brilliant idea is the magnetic travel tray. You take a cheap cookie sheet and it you can use magnetic toys on it so they don't fall every two seconds in the car, plus it doubles as a lap tray for coloring, eating, playing, etc and things won't roll off  because of the edges. I found a simple was to make it pretty and fun over at My Kind of Makeover. I found all the toys at the dollar store and slapped magnet strips on the bottom.

Lacing Cards

I think this is a great idea for little ones learning fine motor skills. Activity Village had awesome free printables of all kinds of animals. I let the girls pick which ones they wanted.

Neck Pillows

I have no idea if these will work well in the car, but they were adorable. My girls love elephants, so at the very least, they will play with them. And I had to get Zadok a matching pair of straps.

Glow Things

While He was Napping had some great ideas. Unfortunately I ran out of time to make the play dough balloons and pom pom stuffers, but I scooped up some glow bracelets and necklaces from the dollar store for driving at night. They love flashlights and all things glow, so this is sure to be a hit! I just hope it doesn't backfire and keep them up longer.

So there you have it, the highlights of our game plan. The Little Man has some knew toys I'll break out on the trip, too. And yes, we did some fun new movies for the girls: Mary Poppins, Horton Hears a Who, and Ice Age Melt Down. Plus their favorites just in case.

Don't worry, I will definitely post about the trip if we survive to Iowa. If you'd like to follow along with our real-time shenanigans, though, follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

And all prayers are greatly appreciated... especially for Eriek! Ha!

1 comment:

  1. It is a nice way of learning and i like your idea to teach the kids with the best things they like the most so it will be great for the kids to think about it by enjoying the excitement. I really love to have these ideas for the learning, educational ideas and to enjoy the time. Your educational games for learning idea is great and i love to apply for the kids i am training.