21 October 2015

31 Days: Road Trip (Playing Edition)

Hi friends!
So tonight I wanted to share how we do toys while we're road tripping long distances! Below is our small haul that we did for our last Disney trip. It's 12 hours, one way, and our wee one was 2.5 yrs old at the time of the trip. I had no idea how she would fare, as our longest time in the car was the year prior when we PCSed (Army move), but we kept driving days to 6 hrs or so. Anyhoo, I wanted to make sure she had MORE than ample things to entertain her!

First up, we have our book baskets (aka. magazine files)! One was for the trip down to Disney and one for the trip back home. They each had numbers taped to them so I knew which ones to give her at which point in the trip. I wrapped them up like a gift- it was like Christmas in September for her!

For the toys, I put them each in a baggie and again attached numbered tags to them, so that I knew which ones to distribute at which point in the trip. I tried to choose toys that could be somewhat easily contained (or at least with pieces large enough that they wouldn't get lost in the car seats!)
Some of the toys that we brought were old favorites, toys that I knew the wee one would enjoy. I snuck these away so that she hadn't played with them in about 2 weeks or so- that way they had a "new" factor to them again! The others were new toys- some store-bought or handmade

The toys I bring generally fall into three categories- 
(1) disposable 
Toys that will be tossed in the garbage during or after the trip, think coloring books that get used up, stickers, glow sticks, etc.
(2) educational
Toys that teach letters, numbers, shapes, colors- these will be used again during/after the trip for homeschool purposes! Also items that work on motor skills.
(3) fun
Toys that are just fun! Some are things she's wanted for a while, some again are old favorites, and some are just, well, toys! Disney princess people, mini horses, fun stuff!

Here's how I organized everything- piled in a huge Ikea bag! You'll see the two magazine files with the wrapped books towards the top of the picture. In the bottom of the picture are two smaller bags with the toys in them. One bag is for the trip down to Disney, and one for the trip home. The toy bag & book file for the trip home stayed in the trunk, while the rest lived on the floor below our daughter's car seat for the trip there! I also brought a 9x13 small baking dish (the metal pan on the top of the one bag)- it fit perfectly in her lap in the car seat to help contain the toys with multiple pieces and give a sturdy surface to color on!

Below you'll see my uber-planner side coming out again... Yes, I actually planned out which toys and books to distribute each hour of our trip! Crazy, right?! Well, it made me feel more organized about the trip, and thus less stressed. So it worked for me :) 

See where it says "Rest." over one column? That stands for "restaurant." I noted those so that I could grab them out of the car and bring them with us to the parks to entertain the little one during meals at the sit-down restaurants. Most restaurants give out crayons and paper, but I wanted to be prepared just in case! I also noted here what toys to grab to bring into the hotel for the night.

Want to know some of my favorite car trip toys? The ones that worked best? Here ya go...
(affiliate links)

felt quiet book
stickers and coloring pages
sticky notes
glow sticks (for evening hours)
stuffed animals

If you want some quiet book ideas, or Travel ideas check out my Pinterest boards!

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