Thursday, April 9, 2015

Road Trip Favorites for Kids

We recently went on a road trip down to Nashville and Gatlinburg. We decided to split up our travels into 3-4 hour increments, and it worked out perfectly! We don't have a huge car - a Forester - so we had to use space wisely and not bring anything that wasn't totally necessary. I thought I would share some of our road trip favorites that kept the kids happy and quiet :)

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Planning a Road Trip with Kids - Favorites for a long car ride with little ones - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com




And here they are in action:

Planning a Road Trip with Kids - Favorites for a long car ride with little ones - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

For Babies: if Tim wasn't napping, he was busy playing with his toys or chewing on his Who Loves Baby book. We use a lot of those toy links to keep everything tied to his seat so nothing gets lost. 

For Toddlers: we love Lace and Trace toys, Magnetic Dress-Up Dolls, and Mini Magna Doodles. I found some lace up animals in the Target dollar spot the week before we left...it took Abby some time to get the hang of them, but that kept her busy :) She loves drawing on the Magna Doodle and could use her magnets from the dress up dolls on there too. I brought a few books for her and just kept rotating the toys at each pit stop.

Planning a Road Trip with Kids - Favorites for a long car ride with little ones - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

DIY Ideas: Some ideas for older kids that I'm definitely going to use in the future - I Spy bottle, Free Road Trip Printables, and a Cookie Sheet Magnet Board.

My family always played a "Find It" game when we traveled to Cincinnati every summer...it was a fun game for all ages (we were ranging from Pre-K to high school). Some of the items we had to find were: McDonald's with a Play Place, exactly 5 people in a car, a purple car, helicopter, birds on a wire, the entire alphabet, someone on a bike, a swimming pool... we had 40 items on the list, and bonus items in case of a tie. :)  We once had a bonus of getting someone to wave to you, but I think my parents got annoyed with all six of us kids trying to get every semi to honk at us. ;)


Snacks: I love the Munchkin Snack Catchers! I use those for both kids, and attach them to everything (strollers, seats, etc) with the toy links. As for the snacks themselves, we love Goldfish, Annie's bunnies, Gerber puffs, and yogurt melts. I really try to limit snacks in the car, but sometimes you just need them! :)


Other Random Must Haves: wet wipes, portable trash can, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, and Tylenol (just in case ;)  We don't have any iPads or DVD players, so we just listen to kid-friendly music. Our family loves Need to Breathe, Switchfoot, Taylor Swift, Gavin DeGraw, One Republic, and the Sound of Music soundtrack (my daughter could listen to that on repeat forever).  Well, that is until she...

 Planning a Road Trip with Kids - Favorites for a long car ride with little ones - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

...finally drifts off!  Hopefully, the kids will be doing a lot of this during the car ride too!


I'm not one for long road trips, but this one went so well, we might just take another one. ;) Any tips or tricks for surviving your travels with kids?  What are some of your road trip favorites for little ones?

Planning a Road Trip with Kids - Favorites for a long car ride with little ones - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
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34 comments:

  1. We're in Gatlinburg right now (leaving tomorrow). It's about a 5 hour (6 with a toddler and baby bouncing on my bladder). We do a lot of singing and like you, various toys and books.

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  2. My Pal Violet has been one of the biggest road trip saviors. I've done two 2-day road trips with Cora at 18 months and 2.5 by MYSELF, and she was still RF both times. A mirror for the back of the seat was a must, and I had extra toys on the passenger's seat so I could just hand stuff back as she dropped things. Luckily, she's a great traveler and slept a lot. We also don't use electronics (I don't even own a tablet), and we listened to all kinds of music, much of which I got from the library.

    I also love the snack catchers (although not before a year old because she made a mess with them then), and we stop every 3 hours because that's my limit on bathroom frequency for myself anyway. We just took long stops to run around and whatever. Hopefully the next baby will be as good of a car traveler as the first! I'm sure we'll have many more road trips to see my family in GA.

    Magnetic dress-up dolls sound awesome for whenever our next trip is!

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  3. Cat @ MaryMarthaMama.comApril 10, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    We love the snack catchers too! And we also do the toy rotation thing. For my 4 year old I actually pack up a couple of little kids' backpacks (usually 3) and I put books and toys in each one then rotate to keep things fresh. We drive to Virginia a couple times a year so it's about an 8 hour trip for us so about every 2-3 hours I rotate the bags. I love your find it game. I might need to write that one down.

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  4. Great Ideas! I love the I-spy bottle. We take My Pal Violet with us too. Please come link up with me http://creativehouseblog.com/friday-favorites-netflix-tv-shows/

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  5. Definitely the Magna Doodle. We spend hours in the car in the summer/fall. I do let her watch some downloaded shows on my phone if it is dark out/about bedtime. But that is saved for special times like that.

    (visiting from the Friday Favorites link-up)

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  6. I've been wanting to get a Magna Doodle for Olive!! I think she'd love it in the car. We love to bring books, touch and feel flash cards, necklaces/bracelets, books and a small flashlight so she can still play with her toys once it gets dark. Road tripping with kids can be lots of fun if you plan ahead. The trash can is a must and so is fun music :)

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  7. We have Who Loves Baby and that has been a favorite with both girls!


    My girls enjoy listening to Wee-Sing in the car. My 3.5 year old also enjoys looking through my Parenting magazine...she loves the pictures. :)

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  8. I feel like you can never be too prepared for road trip essentials! Even for adults :)

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  9. Awesome suggestions! I love road trips and one of the best parts about it is all the "fun" stuff you pack to do in the car!

    Great suggestions!

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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  10. Great suggestions! I love road trips but my little one is still too little to enjoy them, I guess. But these tips will definitely help :) www.parentaljourney.com

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  11. Looks like we were there at the same time! I actually had this scheduled to post while we were in Gatlinburg :) Hope you had a great time!

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  12. Cat, you are my hero for doing that alone. I don't think I could do that! And yes, I found that 3 hours was by far our maximum time traveling with small bladders ;)

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  13. Love the idea of multiple back packs! I will have to try that when they get older :)

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  14. We have the My Pal Scout and I should have brought him for Tim ...I actually don't mind those songs :) Thanks for sharing your link up!

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  15. I think movies/shows will be a must for our next long road trip ... we all got a little sick of music on the drive home :)

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  16. We got a travel size magna doodle, and Tim loved playing with it more than Abby! I'll have to check out touch and feel flash cards...I'm sure he'd like that :)

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  17. I'll have to bring old magazines next time for my 3 yr old...she liked flipping through all the maps and free brochures we kept picking up :)

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  18. Agree! My husband thought I over packed but at least I didn't forget something ;)

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  19. I think I still need to warm up to road tripping...we got caught in several long traffic jams that were not so fun. But we did have plenty of entertainment :)
    Have a lovely day! :)

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  20. Our 10 month old did pretty good so you never know! Start out small (like 3-4 hours away) and go from there ... not sure when I'll be brave enough to do more than that with little kids ;)

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  21. LOL. I basically grew up doing long road trips from Georgia to FL and also from GA to New York, so I just called my mom to hash out a strategy each time. If you gotta do it, you do it!

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  22. Great tips and ideas! Road trips can be stressful, and I always find we have success when we have a great game plan! :-) Thank you so much for sharing this on Making Memories Mondays, love these ideas! :-)
    Cathy

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  23. Lo {Travel the Unbeaten Path}April 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Hi there, over from the Ladies Collective link up - our little guy hates the car seat right now, so we haven't taken a road trip in a few months. He seems to be getting better, and I'll have to try these suggestions. Chewing toys do seem to help right now!

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  24. snack and magna-doodles! You've hit the big ones for us :) Also, I like to make a playlist of non-children's music that is still aprop for the kids. That way we can all jam out to songs that don't make me cringe ;)

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  25. Road trips can be a lot of fun, but definitely have to plan it out well! Thanks for hosting the link up!

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  26. My daughter hated her car seat for a long time...I feel your pain on that one! Our son seems more content in there, but he can see his sister next to him...chewing toys, and empty plastic bottles he can crinkle tend to help the most :)

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  27. Yes, I love when they fall asleep...especially at the same time :) Thanks for stopping by!!

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  28. After this road trip, my husband and I decided we need to make a more adult playlist...if I hear Do Re Mi one more time...haha My daughter is obsessed with musicals, but after awhile, it can drive you a little bonkers!

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  29. We've done the cookie sheet magnet board with a twist. I used round pizza pans and spray painted them with chalkboard paint. That way the girls could draw little scenes for their magnets. But, I wasn't thinking about chalkdust in the car... The girls didn't mind the mess and the pans were easy to stack and store between the seats. Loved your finds! And, thanks for sharing at Waiting on...Wednesday!

    Holly
    iwillservewhileiwait.blogspot.com

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  30. Oh, my daughter would love that! Thanks for the idea :)

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  31. Great ideas. I make sure to always have snacks, a gew books, and the iPad!

    Thanks for linking up to the Saturday Spotlight! :)

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  32. I live in Lexington, which is a 2 hr trip from where I'm from. We go home pretty frequently. Kane used to nap the whole time, but now he's starting to stay up more, so I'm looking for things to keep him occupied.


    Great ideas!!!!
    Tif
    www.brightonabudget.com

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  33. I wish we had an iPad because movies would have helped a lot too!

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  34. We drove through Lexington...and got stuck on construction for 90 minutes. :/ We really want to go back for the horse park!!

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