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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Keep Them Busy Baskets

Hey guys! I'm Staci from lizard & ladybug. I am loving the Roadtrip Ready series that Kelli is having!! I'm thrilled she's having me today! I don't know about you but having 2 little ones (4 and 6) in the car for more than a Target run can be stressful. In the event we have to take a long trip, I've put together some baskets for each of them full of goodies to keep them quiet busy :)
 I ran to Dollar Tree to pick up a few essentials. Baskets, lined paper, magnetic letters, flash cards and pizza pans. The pizza pans are magnetic and make the perfect 'board' to use the letters.

I also added some crayons and a crayon box.

 I found these cool 'window' markers (anyone try them?) I thought the kids would get a kick out of writing on their windows.
The kids can draw, play with the letters, practice their math (lizard) and letters (ladybug) And if all else fails, I have candy :)
There you have it. My "Keep Them Busy Baskets".
Thanks for letting me visit & I hope you'll stop by my blog and say Hi!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Travel Bingo

Hello, everyone! My name is Amy, and my blogging home is Positively Splendid. It is my goal for my blog to be a haven of DIY and crafting inspiration where creative minds of all skill levels can come and feel right at home. I would love for you to stop in for a visit! I am thrilled to be a part of Kelli's Roadtrip Ready series! With summer upon and and roadtrips right around the corner, I have gotten so many fabulous ideas throughout the last few weeks for making all of those hours in the car a little more bearable. Today I am going to share a game I am planning to play with my kiddos during a roadtrip we have planned in a couple of weeks: Travel Bingo!
This bingo game is played exactly as you would traditional bingo. I recommend printing off a copy of each of the game boards below, and then having them laminated to make them sturdy. 
To play, as you travel to your destination, kids keep an eye out for all of the items on their respective card that they see along the way: trucks, trains, cows, horses and many more. When an item on a card is spotted, have dry erase crayons or makers on hand so they can mark off the spaces as they go. The first one to get a Bingo can be awarded a special treat. Or, to make the game last even longer, play a game of Black-Out where the winner must mark off every square on their board in order to win!
To download the Travel Bingo printables, simply click on the arrow with the line below it at the bottom right-hand side of the boxes below.
Card #1

Card #2

Card #3

Card #4

Thanks so much to Kelli for having me over today! Y'all are welcome at Positively Splendid any time.
Happy travels, everyone!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Altoids Souvenir Tin

Souvenirs are a big part of any trip...but they can get expensive. That is especially true if you are on a roadtrip with stops at a lot of different places. Plus if you anything like me, your vehicle {and/or camper} is probably already packed pretty tight, so there isn't a lot of space for a bunch of big souvenirs. I saw this idea for Mint Tins Collection {the blog post has quite a few ideas for using Altoids tins, but this was by far by favorite} a few months ago, and I decided it would be the perfect way for my boys to take a little bit of each place home with us...without breaking the bank or overloading the car:)
I started with a couple empty Altoids tins, some white cardstock, and a variety of letter stickers.
Simple turn your tin upside down on a piece of cardstock and trace around the lid. Cut it out and hot glue it onto the lid of your tin.
Then use your stickers to decorate the lid. I chose to just use letters and spell out the places we are visiting on our trip, but any fun stickers would work. Maps, brochures, and postcards would also be great to use for covering the lid of your Altoids tin.
When you are on your roadtrip, simple collect small things that fit into your tin and will remind you of your trip. You can also add a piece of paper with the date of you visit along with any other information you may want to remember. Pictures from each of your stops would also be a really fun addition {I'm thinking some great Instagram shots would be perfect in these}! There are a million and one ways that you can personalize these for your vacation, the main idea here is to take a small memento from each place without spend a ton of money or taking up value leg room in the car:)
Does your family collect anything special when you are on a roadtrip?
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Car Activity Bag

Hello, "SUPERMOM" readers! My name is Amanda, and I blog at Serenity Now. Having just finished a long road trip, I feel prepared to show you guys our Car Activity Bag and a couple of other ideas to keep your car stocked with for those long hours of travel.
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.  
What's inside?
-Coloring Books
-Electronic Learning Games
-"Dry Erase" Pads It sits right in between the rear seats, so it's accessible to all the kids:
These are awesome for around-town stops, but for genuine road trips, we add some extras to our car!
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?)
For mom?
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 FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest...I would love to meet you!
Here's to a Happy Summer! Thanks for sharing your blog with me today, Kelli.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Make a Padded Camera Bag

I have wanted {and needed} a nice bag for my DSLR camera since the first day I bought it. I got the plain black camera bag at the store when I first bought my camera...and it worked fine when I only had one lens. But when you start adding lenses and accessories, those standard black bags just won't cut it. I have drooled over some fancy leather camera bags online, but I just can't make myself spend $100 or more on a bag {and yes most of my purses cost less than $30 and are from Target or Kohl's}. So a few weeks ago when I saw this AMAZING tutorial from Make it and Love it I knew that instead of continuing to drool over camera bags, that I would just make my own.

I started out with a bag from Target that cost $15. The thing that I liked about this bag is that it has the longer strap, so you can wear it across you chest...that way you can do a million other things and not worry about dropping your camera bag. And even though I love the leather bags that I've seen online, this fabric one was way cheaper and I can just toss it in the wash if it gets dirty!
I {kinda/sort of/halfway} followed the tutorial from Make it and Love it and created this cute little padded insert that slips right into my bag. All you need it a little bit of foam and some pretty fabric. I'll  let you click over to the tutorial for the details because although my bag is functional for me, I didn't include a lot of the extra things {like Velcro to hold the divider in place} that the original tutorial did.
After I made the padded insert, I just slipped it down into my bag and added in my camera. Now my camera has a pretty and safe place to stay while we are roadtripping across the West this summer:)
How do you keep your camera safe when you are on the road?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Elastic Bookmarks

Hi Friends...I'm (the other) Kelli and I am honored to be over at THE Kelli's spot today.

I blog over at Outside My Kitchen Window where I randomly talk about my life...my walk with Christ, my hubby and two kids, crafting, and my attempt at organizing my life :)

Today I'm sharing something neat that I discovered a few years ago...simple elastic bookmarks.

On road trips I read a lot in the car and so does my oldest child.  Since we have enough stuff to keep track of on a road trip it is nice to have something that we don't have to worry about losing.  These bookmarks stay in place all of the time...so Jamison and I don't have to worry about losing our place in our book if we happen to fall asleep while reading.  This also eliminates having to search the already-crowded car for a bookmark.

Here's what you'll need:
Charms, rings & elastic string.  All of these things you can find in either Michaels or Hobby Lobby in the jewelry making section.  I found all of this at Hobby Lobby (one of my favorite places).
There are usually a wide variety of charms to choose from...I'm using this one for Jamison's teacher.  The one I made for Jamison has a cupcake charm :)
Here's another charm and that thought was really cute.
Once you have all of your materials you will measure your string...you need 15 inches.

Depending on which charm you have will depend on whether or not you will need the ring.  This apple charm already has an extra ring so you can just slide the string directly through the ring of the charm.
This charm has a smaller ring and does not have an extra ring so you will need to take one of your rings and attach it to the charm...like you would attach a key ring.
Now you are able to string your charm.
*Please excuse the blurry picture*  You will make a knot to secure the charm.
Then make a knot at the top.
Finished product!
You will then simply loop the bookmark around the book to hold your spot.  You can leave the bookmark in the book while you're reading too because it doesn't get in the way.  This way you never have to take it out of the book...you just move it to the next place that you stop.
See...doesn't fall out!

So there you have it...a simple bookmark...leaving you with one less thing to worry about and allowing for more joy on the road.

Thanks for having me Kelli :)
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: Make Roadtrip T-shirts

Today's Roadtrip idea is one that is SUPER fun and really easy to personalized for your trip: Roadtrip T-shirts! I've made vacation shirts for my boys before, and we always get so many complements on their shirts. Plus having a cute personalized shirt for the trip makes it that much more fun for the kiddos, and saves you a little money because you won't have to buy those expensive and not very cute touristy t-shirts!
You can really make almost anything into a cute shirt for almost any kind of roadtrip:
Mickey {here's my version} or Minnie {here's Amanda's cute version} for a trip to Disney
a silhouette of the Statue of Liberty for a visit to New York City
a surfboard with waves for a trip to the beach
your kid's favorite animal for a trip to the zoo
I decided to make camper {aka Airstream} shirts for my boys since that is going to be our mode of transportation for this roadtrip, and I think they turned out SUPER cute. I especially love the silhouette of the Airstream on the tie dye shirts...kind of has a hippie feel:) You can also make a girly version of this shirt, but since I don't have any girls to make shirts for you'll have to check out my friend Liz's cute camper shirt.
I didn't do a step by step for this shirt {mostly because I have a million things on my to do list and I didn't have time to stop and take pictures at every step} so you can check out my other crafty T-SHIRT tutorials to get more detail on how to make cute Roadtrip T-shirts for your next trip!
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Roadtrip Ready: 10 Tips to Survive Disney with Small Kids

Hi!  I'm Jill, the Mom from over at the Barnes Yard and I am so excited to be here today at RTSM!

My friend, Kelli, is going to have so much fun road trippin' with her family this summer!  I'm totally in love with her Airstream!

So the Barnes Yard doesn't do road trips.  I know!  We are super wimps!  I've got two kids that get barf-a-rama the minute we leave our town! 

Last month we went to Disneyland via plane.
I do have some great tips for staying (somewhat) sane while doing Disney with small children!

1.  Make lists 
Making lists is actually one of my favorite pastimes...Anyway, each day before we headed to the park, I made a list of things I would like to accomplish, i.e. picture of kids with Mickey ears on, ride on It's a Small World, meet Rapunzel, etc.  That way I could stay focused whilst being pulled in a million directions by over-excited children.
2.  Bring Grandparents
Honestly, there is no way we could have pulled off this trip without the Grandparents in tow.  They were there to push strollers, wait with the "too shorts" while the bigger kids went on rides, and take anyone in the middle of a meltdown back to the hotel for a nap.  We LOVE them! 
3.  $$ saving tip: Buy your Mouse gear before you get to the park.
I knew I wanted to dress my kids Disney every day so I stocked up months before our trip at Target, Old Navy, WalMart, and disneystore.com
 I also swiped Kelli's idea of making our own autograph books!
4.  Wear bright colors
This is what my daughter was wearing the day we lost her.  Yep, we totally lost her for about ten minutes.  Luckily my eagle eyes spotted her bright skirt from a mile away!
5.  Bring your own stroller and rent one
We brought our own strollers for the babies but, let me tell you, it was nice to have something to push around all of our drinks, snacks, cameras, purses, and purchases in, plus have a place for the big kids to sit when they got really whiny.  
6.  Don't eat too many Oreos the first night.
My husband made fun of me for leaving a note, but seriously, I would have felt really bad if the maid had put her hand in that black mess.
7.  If they love Princesses, give them Princesses!
You better believe that I rode on that Ariel ride 50 times too!
8.  Eat at IHOP
Kids eat free with purchase of adult meal.  We had 6 adults and 6 kids so this totally worked in our favor.
9.  Get a special souvenir  
The days were long and super exhausting (we estimated that we walked 10-12 miles each day), but every time I look at this I will remember how magical it was for my kiddos (well, at least the two older ones)!
10.  Act like a kid and HAVE FUN!
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