I actually keep this in the Swagger Wagon all the time. It's a Thirty One Bag with our last name stitched on one side...makes it easier to keep track of!
My girls each take ballet lessons once a week, so one sister is inevitably stuck waiting in the minivan with me while the other sister takes over the dance floor in the studio. Between dance lessons, waiting for kindergarten pick-up, and other occasional days we might have some time to kill, this bag gets a good work-out.
-Electronic Learning Games
We stock a stretchy canvas bag with Barbies, books, and a travel case that holds some DVDs. We save our DVD player for any trips that last longer than an hour. That way, the movies are more of a treat; and there's no screaming when we drive 5 miles from our house to Target and they're not finished watching Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale.
While DVDs are great and guarantee you some quiet time, you certainly don't want to end the trip with a pair of glossy-eyed zombies in your backseat. I borrow books on tape from the library, and it "forces" them to sit and use their imaginations for awhile. Even my four year old will sit quietly, listening to the story and laughing at the silly parts. You'd be surprised at what they can comprehend!
Some of our favorites have been Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins, the American Girl Felicity stories, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. The classic books are great for teaching your kids about how people lived in a different time.
In our minivan, each child starts the trip with a snack container filled with goldfish, pretzels, or something along those lines. They have water bottles that we refill when we stop for lunch or gas. I also have a secret emergency cracker stash and a few lollipops for those times when you're stuck in traffic and the kids are screaming and you feel like you might lose it. (What? Is that just me?)
I like to have a few magazines, a book, and my smart phone on hand in the front seat. I like to say that I use the navigation on the iPhone, but really I just like to look at Pinterest and/or listen to my playlist while T drives. I don't pack anything of interest for him, because his main concern is really how many hours it will take to get us there, and will we throw his time off with numerous bathroom stops?
If you're traveling with a dog, I recommend getting a doggie water bottle from a local petshop. I picked up this one from PetsMart years ago, and I love the compact size. I fill it with ice and water before we leave the house, and our Emma doesn't get thirsty at pit stops.
For younger kids, getting a small bucket or plastic bin with small, inexpensive toys and books that they've never seen before is usually enough to occupy them. And don't feel guilty for letting little guys watch some extra movies...sometimes that's the only way to keep them from screaming for hours on end (don't ask me how I know).
So...that's the way this family does road trips. Our 13 hour drive down to Orlando went smoothly with some planning and preparation. I hope yours is just as smooth!
Please stop by and visit me at Serenity Now. I blog about home decor on a dime, crafts, recipes, and home life. I also host a Weekend Bloggy Reading link party that opens each Friday morning. It's a spot for bloggers to share their best post of the week. You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest...I would love to meet you!
Here's to a Happy Summer! Thanks for sharing your blog with me today, Kelli.