This post is all about how to keep your sanity while on a summer road trip with your family. I’ll have of tips, tricks, and DIY projects to make your next road trip so smooth that you’ll hear, “Are we there yet?”, less and, “That was fun!”, more!
For the Kiddos
-BUSY BINDER! – I put a ton of free-printables and a map in a binder from the Dollar Tree. The co-pilot has a matching binder to answer questions without having to turn around or pass something up from the back seat. Each page in the binder is in a sheet protector and I added a dry erase marker that has an eraser on the lid. That means each sheet can be used over and over and over again.
What’s in the Busy Binder?
Are we there yet map – Print out a map of your route and add stickers for towns and landmarks along the way. You can tell the kids to cross out each sticker along the way. Perfect for non-readers! You can say, “Cross of the yellow star!”, and they will know what you mean.
Free printables of hidden pictures from Highlights Magazine. – My daughter (5) loves these. Her brother (2) is a little young to find the pictures, but he has fun trying and he likes to point out the items he spies.
Mazes found here. Perfect for all ages!
Word Find free printables found here. This is a great way to keep the learning going all summer long!
Spot the different hidden printables found here. This another one that my 2 year old is a little young for, but he has fun trying and he like to point out the items he spies. The 5 year old is a whiz at these!
Math Dice Game – I put two dice in a tupperware container so they don’t get lost in the car while she shakes them. I printed out the basic addition template I made and put it in a sheet protector to be used with a dry erase marker. She puts the numbers on the lines and adds them up!
You can “I Spy” anything or use this cute free printable from Prepared Not Scared blog to incorporate the alphabet in the fun!
–“I spy” is so much more fun with DIY binoculars – I used the same tutorial from this post.
-“I Spy” jar – I found some small items around the house and put them all in a jar with rice. I put all the items on our copy machine from our home printer and printed it out to use as a guide. This also went in a sheet protector so it can be played again and again. Contents: a penny, 2 pom poms, 2 gold doubloons, a jewel, a button, a goggly eye, an army guy, a lion for her and a hippo for him, fairy godmother for her, a yellow rubber band, 1st letter of each of their names, a set of bells, a snowflake, a flower, a star, a shiny rock, a safety pin.
Shoe sorter turned seat back organizer! – I bought one big one, cut it in half and added holes to the top. Then strung some ribbon through and attached them to the back of the seats. That means all the kids activities are with in their reach!
What’s in the Seat Back Organizer?
The DIY binoculars, “I Spy” jar, tupperware with dice, magnetized puzzle, magnet sight words, animal magnets for the little man, cars, crayons, and a washcloth plus all of the fun little extras below.
–Make a Cereal Necklace – a snack and a craft! I used the same method as before in this post. This time they are in individual baggies complete with string and there is only cereal.
Old Fashioned Telephone Game for Conversation Games – I used two cans, drilled a hole in the bottom, strung a long piece of twine through and made a knot inside each can to secure. I also sanded the inside a bit to make sure it is soft and won’t hurt delicate ears. This is great for them to play some classic conversation games like the Alphabet Name Game, Name 10, and String a Story.
Balloons filled with play dough to make small sculptures or to squeeze when a little one is worked up. Or for mom to squeeze when a little one is worked up… It’s a soothing, no mess activity!
-I painted some cookie sheets I bought at the Dollar Store with chalkboard paint I had on hand. I also packed a wipe for each kid so they can erase the board when they are done with their picture.
Since the cookie sheets are magnetized, they are great to use with anything magnet related. The possibilities are endless with these cookie sheets! I bought this puzzle from the “dolla dolla bins, yo” at Target and added some self-adhesive magnet pieces to the back. I bought the magnets in a strip at Jo-Ann’s and cut-off the right size per piece. Just make sure your puzzle will fit on the size of cookie sheet you buy.
You can also make a “Road Trip Raceway” on the cookie sheet. My little man loves racing his car round and round!
Travel desks from Micheals and a cookie sheet for his lap.
Books and the kids favorite loves.
I had the super fabulous Melissa Cabral from Good Day Sacramento over today to talk about about this topic.