Yes, we did pack the mini DVD player (and a brand new movie), the tablet (with a couple new free apps) and the Ipods (with updated playlists). We also uploaded an audio book the whole family could listen to (we highly recommend the Heros of Olympus series by Rick Riordan) and that served to keep us entertained for the majority of the time. For variety’s sake – and to get the kids to look out the window or carry on a conversation with us once in a while – I prepped quite a few activities ahead of time and put them in a couple of binders.
I found quite a few cute printables (like the Slug Bug one) here and you can check my pinterest board for other ideas. Each child got their own folder full of printables and I packed some dry erase markers so they could write directly on the page protectors then wipe them off to use again. I also kept another folder in my bag full of more activities so I could change it up if I needed to when they got bored. This included things like Lego instructions for the little guy (a couple sets in his binder and more ideas in mine) and origami folding instructions for Miss Kate.
Of course I also printed out maps for each day of our route. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was anticipating when we would cross a state line and we would start counting down the miles 5-10 miles out from each one. Kaitlyn even marked her map with the times we crossed each one so we could really see our progress.
Trip Journal Page found here.
Origami instructions found here.
Printable State Activity Pages found here. I thought these were absolutely fantastic. I kept them in my folder as well and handed them back to the kids as we entered each new state.
Of course, best laid plans and all – they did a few of them but often the kids were busy with other things and most of the state pages went into their folders unused. No worries – we will be making the trip again in a couple of months (EEEK! The move is coming so quickly!) so I kept it all together in their folders and my activity prep will already be done.
I also printed off some very detailed abstract coloring pages and packed a set of colored pencils for us to use (crayons and hot cars sounded like a bad idea) and found that even I liked to pull them out and color a bit while listening to the audio book. (now that is something we should all blog tips about – forget about entertaining the kids, how do we adults pass the long hours in the car?!)
*Reposted. Originally posted on my old blog Aug 2014