A month or so before our trip I began thinking about some small items that would entertain the children in the van and at the hotel.
On www.momsminivan.com I found some neat ideas. One of those ideas was to make tickets for the kids to hand in every 30 minutes or 30 miles (there is a printable copy of those tickets on the web site). I picked up a few items at Wal-Mart. In their $1 items (in our wal-mart they are by the party supplies) I found LOTS of travel themed items. I picked up 4 zipper bags ($.50 each). These bags were the size of a clip board and were perfect to fill with a few goodies. Also in the same bin I found Travel Activity books ($.50 each) that included 4-5 crayons each, a pack of post cards ($.50), and a small magnifying glass for each child ($1).
In the zipper bags I put a few post cards, band-aids (character ones), fruit snack and some tongs for picking up the fruit snacks, a couple of kid themed magazines, enough tickets for the trip to our destination (ex. a four hour trip would mean 8 tickets) and 2 small brown paper bags (one labeled Trash and one labeled Treasures). I also added some yarn and pipe cleaners to their bags (got that idea off www.momsminivan.com).
When we began our trip I gave each child their bag. After we had traveled about 1-2 hours I let them watch a movie that was new for them (I bought it just for the trip). Then I chose a few “surprises” from the Dollar General or Wal-mart for them. I give the kids a prize or do an activity with them every 2 hours or so (or when I can tell they have been really good backseat riders).
Let me add that I don’t spend a lot of money on this. I actually found the movie for $5 and we already had the tongs for the fruit snacks at the house. Just use your imagination and have fun! I look forward to doing this for the kids and watching them light up when they receive their things.
Do you have any ideas for traveling with kids? Please leave a comment and share your ideas!
These are the magnifying glasses I purchased and gave as "surprises" also.