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Old 03-28-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
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Let's talk road trip entertainment/sanity savers

We're leaving on Mother's Day at 7am and driving straight through (from NC) until we hit the Contemporary! My kiddos are 5 and 6, and are not big nappers.

So, I want to have a plan of attack for entertainment, and activities to occupy the time, so mommy doesn't feel

I am planning on 2 dvd players with headphones and their favorite tv shows/movies. I have also stocked up on coloring books and crayons from the dollar store. They have games to play on our Iphones.

But what else? How do you handle the road trip with little ones (the most my kids have done in a car is 4 hours)? Any and all tips are welcomed and encouraged!
Me - Bogey Granny - Bogey Sr.
DS - Gehrig DD - Mattie

80's & 90's - Poly and Grand Floridian
October 2002 - Bay Hill
May 2013 - The Contemporary
January 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Key West
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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Playing Eye spy
Practicing spelling words
getting new books
playing the licence plate game
Playing the ABC game Finding 1 letter in alphabetical order per sign
Toys r us or 5 below have miniature games like guess who and 4 in a row
Have them make up stories

I like to make a little "treasure box" per kid so they don't have to share their things. Don't forget to bring the chargers, I forgot our car charges on one of our trips...NEVER again!
Going for a girls weekend to Magic Kingdom May 2013 and then the whole family for a week in November 2014

Me DH Neko(12) Blake(8) T-Rex(6) Rosa(2)
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
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We are in NC too and really it's not that bad of a trip. We do 8 hours to family pretty regularly so DS, now 6 is used to it. We gave up junk stuff a long time ago. All the surprises/junk stuff just does not work for us. He does like the color wonder stuff but coloring is no treat when they do some of that in kindergarten. Remember the $ tree crayons are really bad. Invest in some crayola twistables and have much happier kids. The BEST thing for us is electronics. New (often free) games downloaded on our iphones, a new game for his DS or just my pad. We limit at home so trip with extra time is very cool. He's not a big fan of movies on trips but some people swear by them. We read a LOT. We will go to the library and get like 20 or 30 paperback books. Much lighter than hardback and if we loose one now and then, not too terrible to replace. We also take the cards out of a kids triva game and play that, and we always try to find a new joke book or two and we read those out loud as well. We play guess the "whatever", and take plenty of snacks. When he was younger, we would sometimes take advantage of fast food play areas and let him play while we ate and then let him eat in the car. Now we normally make one or two stops for gas, potty and hit a drive through or two. Remember to hold out a few things for the ride home. It is much tougher!
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:47 PM   #4

I speak just to hear my own voice
I about died laughing when i heard that!!!
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Take a ball for rest stops! They can run off some of their energy.

Buy some fun things and put them in paper bags and dole them out every so often. Dollar Store is great for cheap stuff that you don't mind getting tossed. Like Disney chalk boards w/ chalk.

Maybe a game that can be played with cards. I have noticed a lot of these popping up in the games section.

Are you a Disney Rewards member? They have some free activity packets for download. Maybe make a binder for them.

Walmart sells little packets with a coloring book, markers, stickers, etc.

Look up road trip games. Some are still a lot of fun even if they are corny.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:18 PM   #5
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Another fellows NC here. We always drive ususlly at night though, next week we are leaving in the am. We have 2 dvd players, coloring and activity books, UNO, travel trouble game, plus the electronic games. I think we will be fine. Mine will nap fot a few hours do that will help.
Me: DH DD18 DS15 DD5

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:43 AM   #6
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We drive t straight through from WV and it's about a 12 hour trip. We have a 4 year old dd. On our last trip, she was happy to watch movies, color, sing along to her songs, etc. We brought her Leap Pad and also my Kindle Fire and those kept her occupied as well. She isn't a big on napping in the car either, so I know how that goes. We stopped twice on the way down at McDonalds just for the purpose of letting her use the Play Place inside to burn off some energy. The trip went better than expected and I think that she did finally drift off to sleep...we left at 7pm and drove all night.
Me DH DD (5)

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Old 03-29-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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Agreed about rest breaks to run off some energy!

Lots of snacks, also.

Watch out for books if your kids get car sick! Otherwise they are a great activity.

Music they like or songs everyone can sing along to makes it fun!
Lin, mama to Maya (age 2.5)... and a baby BOY on the way in August!
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:18 AM   #8
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I like to stop to eat at Cracker Barrel, as soon as we get into a state that has one.
It gives us time to get out of the car and stretch for awhile, and the kids can pick one small thing out of the shop so they have something "new"
Also with all or the gadgets and gizmos, make sure everyone has headphones!! I go nuts with 3 different devices making background music and assorted game noises!!!
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
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Last November we drove down to Key West, FL. On the way down we broke up the trip by stopping at WDW for a couple of days but on the way back we did it all in one day...14 hours.

We have a DVD system in the car so the kids watched movies, played their Nintendo DS, colored, etc. I also printed some things from this site. It has lots of road trip games and such.

Our favorite was the license plate scavenger hunt.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:06 AM   #10
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We bring the Ipad with a few movies and they have some game on there that they play. We also bring a deck of cards. We try to find all 50 states license plates.
(Jim) (W) (DS14) (DD12)
DD# 714
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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These are all great ideas! Thank you!

For the waiting in line - I think I am going to assemble a key chain as suggested by a previous poster. And I just bought a couple of yo-yos too. I was also thinking about a small thing of bubbles, but that could get messy.

Anyhoo, thanks again!
Me - Bogey Granny - Bogey Sr.
DS - Gehrig DD - Mattie

80's & 90's - Poly and Grand Floridian
October 2002 - Bay Hill
May 2013 - The Contemporary
January 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Key West
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:48 PM   #12
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Wheb my sus and I were young and parents took us on long road trips their strategy was to leave VERY early in the morning. My dad who did the driving would go to bed earlier and mom would (who was a night owl anyway) put us to bed our regular time or was already all packed and dad would get us out of bed around 3 or 4am drag us to the car with blankets and pillows and we continued our sleep for another few hours or the time we woke up we were about half way into the trip making for less time to be occupied....

I find with our son...the tablet is the best. We download new games and videos before we leave so he has something new to play with and we find between the tablet and protable DVD he is well occupied. We also point out various things while driving..and as other said make more pit stops than usual.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:02 PM   #13
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Anyway, you can leave a bit earlier?

We have done 12-14 hour trips in one and have an 8 hour trip every year for thanksgiving.

I'd wake the kids up at 4am with the goal of hitting the road by 5. The kids would be wearing comfy clothes and either sandals or shoes they can easily slip off in the car. Each kid has a pillow and blanket and stuffed animal (if they want it) at their seats.

They also have ipods they can play games on and I usually load up one movie rental for longer trips.

We'd have a quick snack if anyone was hungry, bathroom. We also have some snacks and water bottles in the car.

Leave by 5am (my 3 would fall asleep by 5:30) and plan a stop between 6:30-7:30 for breakfast, bathroom, and leg stretches. Then stops as needed.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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Both of mine have always preferred the swipe and erase Doodle Boards to coloring books. HUGE help in travel.

Changing the topic a little, we also never go anywhere without yack packs. Basically, they consist of:

Gallon ziplock
Plastic grocery bag
Absorbant "potty pad" (for indoor pets)
Plastic gallon ice cream tub with lid

When one feels sick, you cover their lap with the pad and line the tub with the grocery sack. We just bring one tub, but several Pre-made packs.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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Mine are younger (2 years old), but one thing I've made for our trip is I-Spy bags. Might be something your kids would enjoy too.

We're leaving the day before you from Upstate SC.
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