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Old 09-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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16 hour car ride & occupying the kids

Please give me ideas on what you pack to keep the kids occupied for the long 2 day ride to WDW. My kids are 5, 5, almost 4 and 2.5.

I will take any ideas, the weirder the better LOL! I am so dreading the drive.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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I was just planning some things for our drive in November (17 hours). Of course there is the go to items like DVD player/iPad/iPod for movies and games. I also have been collecting inexpensive toys to wrap up and give throughout the trip. Cookie sheets and magnets can entertain little ones, as well as stickers and sticker books, wiki stix, and i spy books/cards.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Car DVD player is a must for our family. There's alot of movies and sleeping that goes on.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
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If you can, drive at night.

Driving at night would take up half of your time.

We are lucky and we always drive at night.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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I got DSalmost3 new films for his ViewMaster. And a new Look and Find book. Sudoku for the older kids?
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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I've gotten several toys to wrap up and give. We will also be doing the cookie sheet and magnets. I saw magnet play sets at United Art and Education store which would be nice for the cookie sheets. My son will be 2.5 when we travel to disney, and it will be a longer trip than any others we have taken. Normally he gets a movie or two on the iPad.

One thing for the older kids that you can do is to make a simplified map of the route you're taking. Have them put a sticker at every stop you take. It might alleviate the "are we there yet's".
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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I make a "Distraction Kit" that I fill with items such as those mentioned above, and I also raid the dollar store, the dollar spot at Target, and the dollar section at Michael's. I usually find fun little odds and ends that will keep her busy. I always pack glow sticks - DD loves to play with these once the sun goes down (and these are separate from the packs we take to the parks at night). Stickers, Color Wonder packs, paper dolls, little cars, and of course snacks. Magnadoodle and/or glowdoodle. Lollipops and ring pops take a while to finish off so they are helpful! Also lots of preparation ahead of time to help them understand that the trip will take a long time but it will be sooo worth it.

If your youngest is potty trained (or in the process) you might want to pack a little potty and wipes.

A tip I learned here on the boards is to pack a frisbee or ball so that when you stop for a break (this works best at rest stops) the kids have an incentive to work off extra energy!

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Old 09-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #8
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Is that 16 hrs over two days or 16 hrs each day? My DS is 10 now and the longest we have gone in one day is about 10 hours.

Traveling at night doesn't work for us because DS doesn't sleep well in the car.

I have done the same things as the PPs with the small surprise gifts and lots of movies.

We have always had to make frequent stops with lots of physical activity. Even now we travel with a basketball and his scooter for breaks. We would usually do a picnic lunch at a rest stop and the a sit down restaurant (preferably with a play area) for a longish dinner break. Then back in the car for another hour or two after dinner. We always try to stop early enough for swimming pool time in the evening.

Often times during the day we will find some small tourist things to stop and visit for a change of pace.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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When my daughter was younger, I did many of the above ideas, but I put them in different folders/envelopes that I gave as we crossed each stateline. Then it was something she looked forward to. As she got older, I would put a copy of the state map on each folder with our route highlighted. Then when she would see a sign for "Memphis 20 miles" or whatever, she knew where we were.

She still talks about it today. We are planning a trip and may be taking my niece and nephew and she wants to help build their folders.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:08 PM   #10
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Crayola Model Magic is a really clean play-dough (doesn't crumb at all). They can form it and reform it- until it dries. One thing that takes a lot of time is giving them two colors to knead together until it becomes one new color.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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We drove from Florida to Alaska with a 2 and 3 year old. Movies, leappads, and a backpack with toys was sufficient for us. We got a handful of new toys and that helped with the boredom factor.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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My DD also loves her Tag Jr and books and will take hours with it.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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All of the above are great ideas. In addition to many of the ideas listed above, we will give each child a spiral notebook with their name on it. This is their journal for the week. We tell them they can draw something they see that they think is cool or pretty or they can write down what they are thinking, feeling, or excited to do in the week ahead. They love the journals.

Don’t dread the drive. It is a great time of having your kids all in one area to spend time together making memories. I know it can get crazy at times, but we have had a lot of fun during those drives. Our drive is 15 is hours and we have five kiddos (9,7,4,2,2).
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