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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WFMW - Traveling with Young Kids (Backwards Edition)

So today is Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family. I LOVE WFMW! Especially today - it's backwards edition and I've been hoping for one of those. So here's my request. We are taking a LONG trip this summer to Southern California (from the Midwest) so my girls will be in their seats for a LONG time (caps are fully intended). I want to keep them entertained, using the DVD player only minimally.

Here's my plan. We are getting a triptik from AAA. On each page of the TripTik, I want to have an activity written on it for the girls. Examples are Sing Silly Songs, Watch a video - K's choice, ABC game, color a picture, open a present (toys/activities they can play in the van).

So what I need from you are your inexpensive to free ideas for activities both my girls, ages 6 y/o and 2 y/o, can do in the van as we drive. I'm figuring I will have 100 pages to write on and some can be duplicates but I want a lot of variety. Although my 2 y/o is brilliant, she can't write and it's difficult for her to see much outside of the van. The 6 y/o is reading but isn't ready for the state license plate game (although DH and I play it most long trips).

So let's see what you come up with....


justusseven said...

Hi! Hope you will join us for FAMILY FUN FRIDAY:

Larissa Smith said...

1. Travel Aquadoodle - coloring with water, great!
2. "Guess what's in the bag" - paper bag and have various textured items (tennis ball, fork, toothbrush, etc.) for them to guess just by feel.
3. Plastic bag painting - put a bit of paint into some quart or gallon Ziploc bags, then super glue them shut (for your peace of mind on the road). Let them smoosh and smear and twist it and hold it up to the window - color fun with no mess. (May need a flat surface...)
4. Pillow fight - with throw pillows. Why not?
5. Family reading - have your older read to the younger, or if there's a non-driving adult, have them read a slightly longer story.
6. Flannel play - give each girl a piece of flannel glued to cardboard and various smaller, colored pieces to form silly faces or odd shapes or just colorful designs. No velcro required.
7. Masks - cut eye and mouth holes out of paper plates and let them color them, then put on their masks and just be silly. A cut rubber band stapled on the sides should hold fine.

That's all I've got. Good luck!

JMS said...

I have used a small pot of playdough that has a little "cutter" attached to the container. It is only a small amount of playdough and therefore the chanceof squishing is small.


mub said...

An I Spy bag or bottle might be fun to take along.

La said...

How come nobody suggested a nap? That's what I would want to do. ;)

Seriously though, books on tape/cd, magnetic sets, paper dolls, and ditto what everyone else said!

MDiskin said...

We took a trip from Atlanta through the south, and made sure we could stop every 2-3 hours to let our daughter run around. They really need to get their energy out. Distractions and fun games are good, but remember when we were kids we just rolled around the car and didn't need to sit in carseats. I do try to bring brand new toys and books so that it amps up the distraction time with novelty.

In the south nearly every town has a courthouse square, so we'd head for that and let our toddler run around on the green grass outside the courthouse. There is usually a place to eat where all the lawyers/judges go to eat nearby, too! I'm not sure if there is a midwestern equivalent. One thing we did figure out in a strange town was to eat where there were a ton of cars parked out front. :-)

Also -- my daughter gets really carsick and the DVD player just made it worse.

Good luck finding some solutions for your trip!
-Melissa at

Katrine said...

I am the expert on traveling in the car with kids. We took a 26 hour car trip twice a year. You have a lot of great ideas! But don't give yourself a guilt trip if you use the DVD player more than you would like. We would not dream traveling without the DVD player anymore!

Shanners said...

Our best travel w/ kids secret is to drive at night - so they'll sleep!