August 14, 2012

Vacation Organization ~ Part 3 ~ Entertaining the Kids

To keep my kids from driving me crazy I put together activity binders for each kid. I created these last year and just update them each year as they get tired of the activities or they get too easy. We also take these to church and use them at restaurants. I’ve found many resources online for free printables, I’ve created a few of my own, and I also pull pages out of books or magazines. 

In each binder we have bingo games, alphabet games, tic-tac-toe grids, hangman boards, mazes, connect the dots, word searches, and other activities. You can check out my travel pinterest board for links to some. I did purchase a Road Trip Games e-book and will be printing some games to add to the binders. I used google maps to create a travel path that my kids could follow. I marked several main cities with a red circle and plan to give them a treat at each one.
 Travel-Activity-Binders-Map-Cover-A-[1]     Travel-Activity-Binders-A-Sprinkle-o[1]
The treats are inexpensive activities and games. (I’ve been purchasing things as I see them on sale or from garage sales or the dollar store). My daughters are wrapped in pink and my sons in red. My mom found the reusable bags to hold the treats at Target dollar on clearance for $0.30. They were the perfect size. I have enough treats for the drive out and the drive back. We’ve done this with our past two trips and it’s worked great!
This year I also created mini activity binders. This “What to Doodle, Jr” book was my inspiration.
There are other versions available as well. .
My daughter LOVES drawing. I’ve made her some doodle starter pages in the past but she goes through them too fast. Since this was a smaller book I couldn’t just pull out the pages and put them in the activity binders. While I was trying to decide what to do I came across some 6x8 binders I got a long time ago at a garage sale. I think they were from a wedding. Luckily, I was able to find sheet protectors on Amazon that fit perfectly. I took the book to Office Max and had them cut off the spine to save me time. Then I just slipped each page into a sheet protector. Now my daughter can draw, erase, and draw again. So my son doesn’t feel left out I was able to find some travel games that I was able to print smaller so I also created a mini-activity binder for him.
Both binders have two extra empty sheet protectors. One is labeled travel tickets and car bucks (used for good behavior and will be turned in later for an special surprise or to purchase a souvenir). The other is labeled tickets and brochures. I’ll let the kids save pamphlets, postcards, tickets, etc. from our travels.
To keep their “stuff” separate I packed a bag for each of them. Several months ago we went to a story time at Target for Dr. Seuss. Each kid got a reusable bag based on the Lorax movie. I created a tag for each and put them in badge holders. The front has their name and the back is a Dr. Seuss quote.
Dr.-Seuss-Activity-Bag-A-Sprinkle-of Dr.-Seuss-Travel-Activity-Bags-A-Spr[2]
These bags will be used to hold their activity binders and some Highlights magazines. They will be stored in a basket that goes on the floor in front of their seat. My kids are both small so it doesn’t get in the way. These baskets are also used for storing games, a stuffed animal, and their activity binders.  I mentioned these in Part 2.
Toy Baskets for Traveling {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
I have another bag that I’ll place on the seat in between them. It’s a thirty-one tote with tons of pockets. This bag will hold dry erase markers, small travel game boards, snacks, crayons, etc.
Thirty-One Tote for Organizing Activities in the Car {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
I sewed each kid a travel pillow and matching blanket. They’ve used these for several years now. . . . . but I’m thinking about sewing one of these pillows . . . . (click on the picture if you want to see where to purchase one)
Can you think of anything I’m forgetting?

Part 1 - Meal Planning
Part 2 - Packing
Part 4 - Update

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