Friday, July 20, 2012

Travel Ready

When I was little, we would travel across the country to visit with family every other summer.  We had a big full-size van and a lot of kids.  This was before the days of having televisions suspended from the ceiling, or any type of handheld device for entertainment.  Our van had a radio, but you could never get much reception through America's heartland.  Heck, this was even before seat belts.  I remember sleeping on the floor between the seats.  My Dad built this cool platform for the cargo bay of the van.  All the luggage went underneath and it made into a bed on top.  This was important because my parents did not believe in stopping at hotels for the night.  Between my parents and my older brothers, we usually had three or four drivers.  The bed was for the alternate drivers when they needed to rest up.  You could usually fit a smaller napping kid on that bed too.  Awesome. 

Close quarters.  Lots of bodies.  How do you keep everyone happy and entertained for twenty-plus hours?  I remember singing songs together.  Does anyone still do that?  We made up our own lyrics.  Good times.  My Mom was and still is a genius!  (Come to think of it, she was probably the one that came up with the platform idea.)  Anyway, she made the coolest denim cover that went over the back of the bench seat in the van.  It was custom fit and had pockets of every size and shape to hold all kinds of treasures from coloring books and crayons to books and games and treats.  It kept everything neat and organized and right within reach.  It was awesome!  It was like Christmas morning for a little kid like me.  I wish I had a picture.  (Mom, do you have a picture?)  If cars still had bench seats, I would totally make one of these.

Mom and Dad made quite the traveling team.  

Well, we are heading across country for a family vacation before summer ends.  We actually travel a lot together as a family,  but this is a much longer trip than we usually take.  We don't have a big full-size van.  We have a mini-van.  We don't have six kids...we have three.  And two of them are teenagers that seem to entertain themselves.  We will be stopping for the night.  We do have computers and iPods and a billion movies at our fingertips.  But.  We also have a kindergartner that tends to get a little bored and wiggly and is prone to sore bum syndrome.  So, I thought that I would put together a little travel kit just for her.  And I'm hoping her siblings will put down their iPods and play with her a little.  We'll see.

Want a peek inside my little kit?

You will recognize this little dice game.  I threw in a few others as well (Yahtzee and Farkle to name a few).

I made a few reusable game boards for some of the classics.   I found some Crayola Dry Erase markers in the back-to-school section at WalMart.  It's about time Crayola jumped on the dry erase band wagon, don't ya think?  And they are washable.  Which is huge!  I can't tell you how many shirts have been ruined over the years from the kids getting black dry erase marks on them at school. 

I also printed off a bunch of travel games from  Prepared NOT Scared.  They are awesome.  If you haven't ever been to her site,  you definitely need to check it out.

And of course, my latest peg doll pals!

I'm also including some string for string games, a deck of small cards, and some new coloring books.

I had originally planned to put it all in a smallish rubbermaid box that I bought a while back.  But now I'm wondering if I should make an over-the-shoulder messenger-type bag to put it all in.  Choices.

 What am I forgetting?  What do your children do on long road trips to keep happy?

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