Last week my husband and I took the kids to the Happiest Place on Earth (and no, this time I do not mean IKEA!)...DISNEYLAND! We decided to make the 11 hour drive that we have already done with them twice before so I felt prepared and was ready for the challenge of keeping them entertained for that long. I no longer feel like a rookie in this department, so today I am sharing with you some helpful tips for traveling with kids.
I made you a movie while traveling so you must ignore the orphans; both myself and my girls! This was filmed about 8 hours into the trip!
My girls are 3 and 5 years old. They love to color, love watching movies, are easily entertained by new things, and love to eat. I had been preparing for this road trip for a few weeks, keeping my eyes open while at the $1 spot at Target and when on my frequent trips to the dollar store. I looked for items that were inexpensive but new to my girls.
Coloring - As I mentioned before, my girls can color for hours! I found some new coloring books at the dollar store that I knew they would love, especially cause we were headed to Disneyland; so I got some Minnie Mouse books and Sophia the first. I also bought them a new set of twistable crayola crayons since ours are all broke! I found some cute bags at Target for $1 that they could each put their crayons in and that way wouldn't be passing the crayons across the car to each other.
Another thing I did for their coloring experience was bought them each a clip board. This made it so much easier for them to color because they had a hard surface to color on and they never dropped their picture because it was clipped to the board.
Stickers - I found lots of fun stickers at the dollar store. My girls love stickers and it keeps them busy for a while.
Movies - We have a pretty good selection of DVD's and we are lucky enough to have a DVD player in our car. Although I don't love them watching movies the whole time in the car, it was nice to have on the trip! Every now and then we would shut off the player and have some quiet time. I ended up going to Walmart the day before we left and picked up 2 new movies from their $5 section. They had a pretty good selection of kid movies and I thought it would be a fun surprise if I pulled a new DVD out when the girls were at their witz ends. It worked!
Books - When it was time to take a break from the movies, I pulled out a few books. Books we already had from home but hadn't read in a while. I tried to specifically pick princess books since we were going to Disneyland. This was a nice break for them and me.
Great books to bring on road trips are look and find books. I love these fun Disney books or these iSpy Books. They will keep kids busy for a long time!
Snacks - One thing I dread on long rides in the car are unhealthy snacks. I mean think about it, a long drive eating lots of crappy food makes us all feel...well, crappy! I picked up a few healthier snacks that the girls don't see very often. A few examples are the applesauce packets, dried fruit, raisins, etc. I buy some of these at home but never buy the cute, kid-friendly packaging so it made it 'different' for the girls in the car and they enjoyed it.
Another helpful tip for traveling with kids is to keep things new. The key to keeping kids entertained is to bring never-before-seen items. I never showed the girls any of the new things I got before the trip and they actually had no idea that I even had packed anything for the car ride. I kept everything hidden in a bag up front with me until I absolutely had to pull something out. First it was the new coloring books, then after a while the stickers. After a few hours I pulled out a new movie, etc. Try not to show them everything at once or even everything on the way to your destination. Remember, you will need some things to pull out for the ride home as well!
My girls did really good in the car ride and I think that preparation was definitely the key! I hope these helpful tips for traveling with kids will be beneficial to you on your next road trip!