Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Surviving a Roadtrip with a Toddler

Hey there friends!

You all know that we went on a family vacation a few weeks ago. With Labor Day coming up (at least here in the states) I wanted to share some tips that got us through the trip with a little one. This is a big travel weekend for a lot of people, and I know I was looking for any tips I could  get!




I didn't want to go too overboard, but I wanted to be prepared. The van we took had a drop down DVD player, which was great, but I didn't want Abbey watching movies the whole ride. Altogether she had her backpack, and a tote bag full of snacks, gifts and activities.

Here's what we packed:

1. A travel tray:
This was, hands down, the best $20 I spent on the entire trip. The tray I got is from One Step Ahead, and I adore it! It buckles behind your child, and it is soft so if you get into an accident it doesn't become a dangerous projectile. The pockets are wonderful for holding toys and snacks, and those edges kept me from having to pick things up every 5 minutes. I LOVE this thing.

2. A small cookie sheet
I got mine at the dollar store, and it ended up being the perfect size for the tray! Woot! This thing, combined with the tray were a power team! It made the perfect drawing surface/play table/storage device.
I made Abbey a couple of magnetic games, which kept her super busy.
I made her this ice cream game from Mr Printables (she's playing with it in the picture), and this magnetic paper doll from Make It & Love It. Not only were they great for the road trip, but because of the magnetic sheet on the back, they will last so much longer than regular paper games. Hooray!

3. Novelty gifts
I forgot to get a picture of all of these, sorry! Basically I bought some small gifts that I could give to Abbey every few hours. Something small, but novel to break up the monotony.
Here's what I ended up with:

  • A mini coloring book
  • A small box of glitter crayons (check the back to school section!)
  • An "invisible ink" activity book (my most expensive gift, at $5)
  • A dry-erase activity book (Target Dollar Spot)
  • A 4 pack of mini play doughs (Target Dollar Spot)

The play dough was by far the biggest hit.

4. A juice box holder
This was a $4 purchase that probably saved us tons of mess to clean up. Abbey is pretty good with juice boxes, but inevitably something will get squeezed when things are being passed around the car. This also let her keep her juice box in one of the pockets of her tray without worrying about getting juice everywhere. Win!

5. An activity bag
We loaded up Abbey's backpack with a bunch of her favorite things. We packed coloring books, story books, crayons, construction paper, a few Toddler Boxes, and her LeapsterGS.

All things considered, we had a great trip! I think Abbey watched one movie on the way out, and 2 or 3 on the way back (we split that trip into 2 days, and were pretty well exhausted!). I felt prepared, and Abbey stayed occupied.

I hope these help!

Be blessed!

Heather


6 comments:

  1. Loved the game ideas and your creative cookie sheet over the tray idea. Clever thinking! Checked out the game links and really am a huge fan. Will be bookmarking both for future use. You can bet on that!

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  2. a travel tray?? GENIUS! we are SO getting 2 of these for our next road trip {although still recovering from our 3000 mile journey last August}. we love those little play-dohs too! :)

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  3. Super Cute Blog. New Follower over Monkeys and Tutus. (one closer to 200- high five)
    Hugs, Jen @ frazzled5

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  4. These are such great ideas, especially for those who travel with children a lot. I love the juice box holder—I'm going to have to get one of those. I cannot even imagine how much less messes I'll have to clean up. Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. I love the magnetic game idea, we'll have to give it a try next time we go travelling.

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  6. I love the travel tray idea.

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