I am sharing my Summer road trip essentials as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #GoldfishTales
With school letting out for Summer right around the corner, we’re about to hit road trip season and our family has some great trips to look forward to! Besides Disney we have the beach, the mountains, some festivals, and a few other things happening that we are super excited about. Since we will be traveling with kids, we need to do some careful planning to avoid car ride meltdowns and ensure a peaceful trip for everyone. We love heading out on adventures, but sometimes being in the car for long periods of time can be stressful for them. As adults my husband and I have learned how to occupy ourselves, but the kids? Whew, they need some major help in that department. I can’t even tell you how crazy Judah gets after a couple of hours in the car. If I could sum it up in one word it would be frustrating. Like whoa. So, having something that they can discover and play with for at least part of the time is super important to everyone’s sanity. To help solve this problem I’ve come up with an adorable craft that is fun, easy on the wallet and is perfect for being stuck in the car!
I know, you’re probably wondering why we don’t just fly if it’s that big of a deal. Well, for a few reasons. There’s the cost (big factor) but also with road trips, the journey is part of the adventure. I remember taking trips in my parent’s minivan a few times each year when I was growing up – they would take out the middle seat and leave a big space for my sister and I to prop up our feet and relax. We went all kinds of places and stopped anywhere we wanted along the way. We counted license plates from each state, we played I-spy and so much more. (Yes, I was young, it was before cell phones and it was awesome.) I loved our trips, and even though we were in the car we had a great time watching the world along the way. It was one of things in life that I will always look back on and miss now that I’m older – that freedom and excitement of our family trips before I knew anything about the world. Anyway, my point is that you could say I’ve got road trips in my blood. They have a special place in my heart and I think I will always enjoy taking to the open road with the windows down, some great music on and my family by my side.
So now let’s get to this busy box! The great thing about it is that what goes into the box is based on your child’s age, needs, and the length of your car ride. This particular box is good for a short road trip, and I really wanted to make sure each activity brought something educational to the table, so I chose categories like fine motor skills, sensory stimulation, creative play, and I also threw in yummy Goldfish® Puffs to snack on when they get hungry!
The first activity is a “Make your own monster” kit that is great for creative expression. It has four blank monster pictures that I printed on cardstock along with a glue stick, crayons, pipe cleaners, plastic eyes, puff balls, and a few other decorative items. Kids can use their box top as a surface to decorate their own monsters, and cleanup is a breeze with everything fitting neatly in a sealable sandwich bag. My kids LOVE this activity!
We all know kids get hungry after a few hours in the car, so no busy box is complete without a little snack! We love Goldfish crackers around here, so I added a portion of Goldfish Puffs to my busy box. These snacks are BIG on flavor as well as fun! I know, you’re not supposed to play with your food, but road trips are totally an exception.
My kids love playing with Goldfish crackers, and that means less time asking “are we there yet” which is fine with me! Plus they are easy to clean up if they get dropped, so you don’t have to worry about spills.
Our next activity is something that just about every kid loves, and that is building blocks. If you go this route, I would advise that you get the miniature blocks and that they make a specific thing. Whether it be a car, a house, a boat, whatever – having instructions to follow and an end product helps them stay on task and spend more time with the activity than it would with random blocks. This is actually a concept that they use in Judah’s therapy – the set design is called a “closed ended activity” because there is a definite end whereas the other has no defined end which makes it easier to get off task. Makes sense, right?
I also packed a small tub of fun dough with some different tools they can use to play with it. The box comes in handy here as the other activities can be taken out for it to be used as a basin for the fun dough. Cute, right? I think so!
These are just a few activity ideas that are great for road trips, but here are a few more just in case those aren’t for you:
- velcro or magnetic tic tac toe
- scenic bingo
- activity pages
- paper dolls
- counting games
Everything fits inside the box until trip day, and then I have it waiting in the kids seats when the time comes! Speaking of the box – you can use anything you would like to store your activities in, but I would recommend making sure it has a hard surface so they can use it as a “table” of sorts, otherwise you might have a bit of a mess on your hands! Want to snag my cute labels for yourself? Follow the links at the bottom and print them out, just make sure it’s for personal use only.
And now, since we’ve been talking about awesome road trips, why not win a trip to use your busy boxes on? Head over to GoldfishSmiles.com before 7/31/15 and share a story and photo for the chance to win a trip to any U.S. location of your choice! How perfect is that?! Contest is open to all U.S. residents age 18 and older. Limit one entry per day. Now go ahead, hit the road and make your own road trip memories!