Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Live in the D: Summer Travel with Kids Tips

 As you may have seen Instagram and/or read on my blog, I recently returned from a beach family vacation, which included my parents.  Because I love to travel therefore creating a need to make sure my kids love to travel, we will be embarking on a road trip to New Jersey to visit family.

I have used or will be using these travel tips in my near future and feel excited to share them with you and talk about them on Live in the D.

Here's the clip from the show.

Ziploc bags for everything

Because we flew to Myrtle Beach, our toiletries obviously needed to be in a quart-sized bag.  However I think the gallon-sized bags are the unsung hero of travel organization.  They prevent random action figures from going MIA in a time of need and help to keep snacks from exploding in the backpack.

Letter Activities on the Plane/Car Ride

I love a break from the school grind that summer offers; however, I do become really nervous that the kids (more specifically, Thomas) will forget how to hold a pencil.

I created a letter book in a spiral notebook that was small enough to fit in my purse.  On one page, I wrote the uppercase and lowercase of each letter and left the other side blank.

When we had time, I would ask him to think of a word that starts with the letter on the page.  I would write it lightly in pencil, and he would trace it in crayon.  I can’t say that he loved it since writing is not his favorite, but I can say it was a short activity that could be done on the fly without a lot of prep.

For Marie, I had her do a letter poem.  She wrote out our location M Y R T L E B E A C H.  She then added a word for each letter.  Writing is Marie’s thing so she enjoyed this activity.

Baby Powder on Beach

Did you know baby powder could remove sand?  Not like sort of remove sand, like when you use the foot shower thing at the beach.  I mean totally takes the sand off of your skin and leaves it silky smooth.  I do not know why this is not printed on the container. I had a friend share this trick with me when Marie was a baby, and it has been a lifesaver ever since.

If you do not like baby powder, I am sure cornstarch would work well, too.

Manners Boot camp

While on vacation, it became obvious that I tolerate really bad table manners at home (some days out of laziness, other days because I am saving my energy for the bed time saga).  This does not translate very well out in the world of restaurant dining or sharing a table with other people, like my parents. 

Because we will be houseguests on our next adventure, I made a laminated chart to keep at the table.  Depending on their choices, they can either get a smiley face sticker in the Excellent, Doing OK, or Needs Work columns.

If they have more smiley faces in the Excellent or Doing OK columns, they can have a little reward (choose what we eat for dinner, a special dessert, etc.)

If this is too complicated, cut out stars (or even scraps of paper will do) and put them in a jar each time they make good choices.  When you feel that they have earned enough, give them a reward.

Road Trip Bingo

I do not know what it is about road trip bingo, but I’m intrigued.  Maybe it’s because it would force the kids to look out the window and away from any and all screens.  I found this on the Reading with Kids website.

We are going to use bingo daubers, and the winner chooses what playlist or CD they want to listen to.

Laminating an Atlas

This idea was inspired by a blog post by It’s Always Autumn.  She suggested laminating a map, but instead, I bought an atlas and had the pages carefully removed. I put them in a small presentation binder with laminated page protectors and BOOM we have our own personal atlas with a highlighted route to our end destination.

This may also serve as my hardcopy of directions the in the event that Map Quest stops working.

Vacation Photo Art

How many times do you take photos and they just sit there in your phone or camera?

I took photos (and started to let the kids take some before an unfortunate sand incident).

I then edited my photos on my phone (Snapseed is my favorite)!  I ordered my prints from Prinstagram (a Social Print Studio app -  I cannot express how much I love this company)!  I used the 4x4 squares for the project, but love the Mini Squares, too.

I went to Michael’s Craft Store and bought a 2 pack of 9x12 canvas and some Modge Podge.  (I have been looking for a project to use this ever since Angela from Jumping with My Fingers Crossed handed these magnets at one of her gatherings).

Marie chose the photos she wanted to use, glued the photos on to the canvas with Modge Podge and then brushed it over the photos to seal them to the canvas.

Voila! Perfect real life art pretty much created by online apps.

Have you hit the road yet this summer?  What are your favorite travel tips with kids? 


New York Mama said...

LOVE ALL YOUR IDEAS! Excited to do the modge podge pic project. Ziploc bags & baby powder are life savers. I use a ziplock bag for my makeup case in my purse, the best.
We would sing fun songs or Disney tunes along with CD. Always played "Going On A Trip" game. Alphabet memory game where you would say what you were taking on a trip beginning with the letter A, next person repeats what you are taking and brings something beginning with the letter B,etc.
I Spy, & License Plate games are great fun. One trip we even saw Alaska & Hawaii plates

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Thanks! I love singing in the car, too!