I need car travel ideas for kids AND hotel treasure hunt ideas

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by EmmersIsTheMommy, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008
    We were going to make a small pack of new things for the kids to do in the car. anybody have any suggestions? It'll be two days of driving so anything that might help distract them or keep them busy would be awesome :goodvibes

    Also need ideas for places/rhymes for inside the hotel room. My DD will be celebrating her 2nd birthday on the second day of our trip (the day we will leave Las vegas and arrive in Anaheim). The kids will be surprised on this day with the fact that we'll be going to Disneyland and not staying in Vegas. At the end of the treasure hunt we will put a final clue and a package for everyone in our group somewhere (probably bathtub?) and say that it's not a gift for DD but a gift for everyone. Anyway..if anyone has a short rhyme or idea for about three hiding places for DD2's gifts (that the older two could help her decode) that'd be awesome.
  2. Pesky

    Pesky "Who's the monkey?!"

    Apr 9, 2012
    ::: cracks knuckles :::

    alrighty, let's see what I can do here! Of course I just wrote out clues for my kids' treasure hunt to their DLR trip -- over 1.5 years away. So this might be a bit more practical. It is designed to represent the 5 lands of DLR (okay, I subbed in Pirates for Adventureland though I know technically it's NOS -- work with me, people) and I threw in a DCA which you can use or not.

    Clue #1: Probably best at the bedside table for when they first wake-up. Label with a big #1 so they know it is the first clue. You can do it in a kind of western font.
    "Howdy there, partner, it's time to saddle up
    and hit the trail, y'all, so giddy-up!
    I heard it's a birthday so it's no surprise
    that there's something special before your eyes.
    Thar's a big adventure that awaits you for sure
    I'd look for the next clue nearest a door..."

    Clue #2 hanging from the front door:
    "Ahoy, thar matey, time to set sail
    on your next voyage on this magic trail.
    Signs are about, in every clue,
    who's to decipher it? Well, you!
    Lucky for you that there are no locks
    Just look at the special screen and magic box!"

    clue #3 by the TV, maybe sticking out if it is a flatscreen with some tape. Be careful when they yank it down!
    "Greetings, space ranger. You've had quite a flight
    to reach this point -- and there's more by tonight!
    Now be a good friend and look for your next clue
    which might be near one of your bags or two."

    Clue #4 by the suitcases:
    "Surf's up, dude, time to get movin'
    and hit the road to do some cruisin'.
    Where, you ask? Awww, I can't tell.
    But I'm sure that it's gonna be swell.
    I can tell you though where to go next
    and I'd check by the sink if you know what is best."

    Clue #5 by the sink:
    "A sprinkle of pixie dust for your magical trip
    to have a birthday that you won't want to skip.
    Just think happy thoughts as you go on to
    look around for your final clue.
    Soon you'll be lifted in body and in spirit
    By a note in the tub which you most certainly merit!"

    Clue #6 in the tub with whatever else you want to give them special for this (like the autograph books, disney stickers, glow sticks for the parks from the local dollar store, special coloring books, etc.) and I would try to do this in the Walt font that is free for download (I think):
    "You've visited now quite a few places
    And heard some voices from some new faces.
    Can you guess where they're from? They reflect different lands
    And you might guess it now if you've figured the plans.
    If you have guessed by now, you'll know tomorrow you all will stand
    on the exciting grounds of --"
    and I would do this last part in a clip online in the official font and have it as a special fold-down piece they have to break a cheap sticker to unveil

    Okay, bit much :flower3: but hope that helps. FWIW, for your long drive, consider easy things like stickers and coloring books. Perhaps they can decorate their own autograph books with some disney stickers and that can be part of the treasure hunt above. Otherwise, a portable DVD player. It is a godsend. And there is a carrier that will attach to the back of one of the front seats.
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  4. martinolichfamily

    martinolichfamily DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2009
    We usually drive from TX to WDW and I pack new things in a backpack for kids..color wonder books/markers, sticker books, etc..their handheld video games too. We have DVD player in car and I may get a new movie to watch on road in addition to other movies of course. I also packs snacks/drinks, etc...we also stop and have a picnic to have a break from being in car for hours! ;)
    Target ha some great $1 items that are good..I've started my "stash" for this summers trip to DL...we are flying for the first time! I wasn't sure we could be happy for two days of driving especially with Baby.

    HTH! :goodvibes
  5. LittleBlackRaincloud

    LittleBlackRaincloud <font color=red>It's a disguise, not an attitude<b

    Apr 6, 2003
    Totally awesome Dude! (Said in my best Crush voice)

    I might have to steal this for myself. :)
  6. trainingupmy4princes

    trainingupmy4princes DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2008
    We have driven lots of places as for our size of family airfare is a big expense. Anyways without the kids ages I'm not sure which of these ideas would be of use. My kids liked small puppets the older kids would put on shows for the younger ones and then the younger ones just liked to play with them. Window markers (and for me wet wipes to clean them) were great my kids took turns sitting by the windows and they could take pics of their artwork before cleaning them and rotating. Also my autistic DS (great imagination) made a game on the window for everyone to play they just marked their spaces with diferent colors and the dice was from a travel game which leads to travel games if the 2 older ones are over 5 and sit together. Even my 2 YO (years ago) liked to color but I used color wonder with him to avoid the inevitable mess.:rotfl: Travel bingo the cards are at travel sores we've seen them at Cracker Barrels. I play this one with the kids when DH is driving. Reading (my 1 1/2 YO will look at her picture books for 20 minutes on her own even) is good as a distraction as well as beneficial for their minds. I use reading a lot more now as most of my kids are older except for the baby. Magnets for the older 2 if over a certain age and a small cheap cookie sheet are fun. We had Blue's Clues magnets that the kids made scenes with and created stories from the scenes and letter magnets for spelling games. I know there was tons more I am blanking on. Even something simple like a small whiteboard and marker for tic tac toe, hangman, dot games etc. We used to use paper but the board was more environmentally friendly for my one DS who is very serious about this stuff.:goodvibes
  7. Brady's Mom

    Brady's Mom Get off the roof, get off the roof!

    Jan 13, 2008
    We use portable DVD players, laptop with an aircard (for DS15), portable video game (that we've had for years - I think it's Sonic) and books.

    We also stock up on a few Redbox videos that we might not own (or not want to own) since we can return them at any Redbox. That way we have a variety of videos.

    My kids are bigger now so road trips are much more enjoyable and a LOT less stressful. Hopefully your kids will do well since your trip is broken up. That 4 ish hour drive from Las Vegas to Anaheim seems to fly by.

    Have you checked out the giant thermometer in Baker? or is it Barstow? My kids love to look for it. Plus they love the random exit signs. Like Zzyzzx....no kidding, it really is an exit sign. ::yes::
  8. lostcasket

    lostcasket Earning My Ears

    Nov 5, 2011
    I spy! Name a color based from character RED SHORTS!
  9. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008
    Oh my goodness gracious, Pesky. You may have just saved my life. Thank you times a million!!! That is just..WOW.

    The target dollar spot is an awesome idea too!

    The puppet show is something my olders would LOVE to do for my younger!!!!

    I totally never would've thought of redbox! That is totally amazing.

    This board is just..wow. It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of info I can find here. You guys are so fantastic. Thank you thank you!!
  10. mommamonster

    mommamonster Mouseketeer

    Feb 18, 2012
    We drove from CA to NM a couple of years ago (about 1400 miles broken up over 2 days) with a 4 year old and a baby. I made my 4 y/o son a small map of CA/AZ/NM and punched out stars (basic scrapbook punch) and glued them on every 100 miles along our route. I numbered each star and had a corresponding brown paper lunch bag with a surprise in it that my son got to open at each 100 mile marker. In the bags I had things like bubbles & outdoor toys for rest stop breaks, giant cookie, animal crackers, pipe cleaners (these were the most popular amongst my son, DH, and me - we made all kinds of things with them), glow sticks (for the late evening part of the drive), other cheap $1 toys from Walmart/Target, coloring book with crayons, etc. I timed the snack bags with approximate times between meal stops when I thought he might want to snack. It helped my son learn how to follow a map, he had something new to do every 100 miles to break up the monotony.

    We only have about 500 miles to drive to DL, so I am going to give my boys goody backpacks full of things to do the night before. We're leaving in the early morning hours so I'm hoping the kids will stay asleep the first half of the drive, and when they are awake they will have little packs of disney coloring books, stuffed toys, and other things to occupy them in the car. I saw little lap trays at Michael's Arts & Crafts store today, I think I'm going to buy two of them so the kids can do art or put together a small puzzle in the car. I've also seen car bingo cards - kind of a scavenger hunt for things you see along a drive (barn, cows, big rig, airplane, bus, etc.)

    My husband wants to buy a portable dvd player to hang behind the passenger seat so we can play a disney movie or two along the drive, but I'm trying to save money for DL, not for a one time electronic. I'm not sold on that idea yet :)
  11. misty7260

    misty7260 Earning My Ears

    Jan 18, 2011
    The scavenger hunt sound like fun.

    We went about this time last year, and took 2 days to drive as well. A friend made these great bags for our girls who were 6 & 9 at the time of our trip.

    Each bag had a custom made journal, with things like, today the funniest thing my dad said was ... or My favorite food today was ...., this was great for the hotel rooms too.

    Each bag also had games like bingo, and a chart of all 50 license plates, and we found all 50 on our journey.
    These were made on the computer on cardstock, and laminated, so they could use the included dry erase markers to cross off what they found, and then re-use them. We still have most of it.

    There was also a book of road games. I think a great game for all ages was the cow game. While driving, you count the number of cows you see, only on your side of the vehicle. If you go past or over water, or past a cemetery, all your cows die, and you have to start over. This kept the girls entertained for quite a while, off and on, and really only works outside of cities.

    Another game we made up was the rhyme game. Each person would take a turn and the next sign they saw on the road had to pick one word and use it and a rhyming word in a sentence. We had a lot of laughter with this game.

    Each girl had a custom made bag in their favorite colors, with all of these things inside, it also had a strap on it and coloring books, crayons, their ds's and such. They also had a custom made lap desk, each was a zippered bag, with a pillow in it and a dry erase board velcroed to the outside. If they wanted to use it as a pillow, they just had to take the board off and put it in the other bag. Everything stayed together well, and they had lots of stuff to do.
    I will try and take a picture and post it later, have to run right now.

    Good Luck and Have Fun
  12. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008
    I am soooo glad I asked. I hadn't thought of ANY of this stuff! You guys rock!!

    mommamonster I will totally give a shoutout to your hubby here...our portable dvd player has been worth it..just get a totally cheapo. You'll find other times you can use it!! (Sick kid in bed even :) )

    The cow game totally will entertain my kids LOL.
  13. laura&fam

    laura&fam we must never, never doubt what no one is sure abo

    Aug 20, 2005
    We have used our portable DVD player so much too, not just for road trips but for wierd stuff like the carpet cleaners came and I had to keep my kids in one room out of their way in the middle of winter. I've used it for sick kids and sleepovers.

    I found a bunch of travel games, like bingo and tic tac toe, online, printed them on cardstock, and lamenated them. Then you use a dry erase marker and a tissue or cloth to wipe it off. This worked well because I could make several levels of bingo so even my youngest could play.

    My oldest loved looking at the atlas and we got a short kids book about the states we were traveling through.
  14. Pesky

    Pesky "Who's the monkey?!"

    Apr 9, 2012
    No problem. Just be sure to report back and let us know how your trip went! Have fun!
  15. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008
    I'll do you one better, I'll be videoing their reaction! hehe
  16. WebmasterMaryJo

    WebmasterMaryJo Techarita Administrator

    Dec 15, 1998
  17. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008
    Thank you for linking to that! I totally forgot I was going to look it up after I listened to the podcast. My DS is going to ADORE that!
  18. katiesmom2

    katiesmom2 DIS Veteran

    Jan 2, 2006
    Our kids, 7 and 9, love car bingo. I made up sets with all the restaurant/gas station/etc. logos.

    If you send me your email address, I'll send you the bingo sheets (I have about 6 different ones).
  19. EmmersIsTheMommy

    EmmersIsTheMommy DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2008

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