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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Road Trippin!!!!!! Toddler Style...

Traveling with a toddler... it's probably every parents nightmare...  I know that the idea caused a little anxiety within the Smothers' household!

We were able to take our very first family vacation this summer, we drove 12+ hours to Estes Park for a wonderful 5 days of fresh mountain air and gorgeous scenery.  - More to come on that later...

Back to the preparation for this "delightful" time together in the car....

We have a 2 year old who is soon to be 3.... and has a very active mind and delights in constant conversation, activity, and questions....  now how to keep her mind stimulated, my patience level acceptable and loving, while also delighting her on her first family vacation....


a.) I would like to start this out by saying "THANK YOU!!!!!" to The Dollar Tree for providing very affordable items for my family.... without that store this trip would NOT have been as successful!

I calculated it would take us approximately 12 hours of driving (one direction).  Therefore I put together one brown paper sack for each hour - so 24 bags of fun total....

within each bag there was:

a.) a felt board activity that one might find in a quiet book
b.) a new little toy  - coloring book, stickers, puzzles etc.
c.) nursery rhyme to read and try to memorize

Here are a few photos from her activities in the bags....
Here she is racing cars on the felt board - 3 cars for 1.00
Magnetized paper dolls - she is playing on a $1.00 cookie sheet
I purchased these dolls from a local consignment shop - "Extras" in Pella.

Cookies anyone?  She can put any color and flavor of frosting on her chocolate cookies, as well as put sprinkles or other frosting decoration on your cookie...  She's a great baker folks!
The other items that were brought with us to help out with these bags and activities were:
a.) a dry erase marker board
b.) a felt board - I covered a canvas with felt
c.) a cookie sheet for items that had magnets - this also worked for a tray
We brought along plenty of snacks - fruit snacks, finger foods and stopped along the way for stretches, a ball for playing soccer in the truck stops, as well as our Kindle that had some fun games downloaded on it.  She surprisingly didn't choose to play on the Kindle as much as we figured she would. 
Here is us ladies at Lake McConoughy in Ogallala, NE - we had a picnic lunch here and played in the water.
Our little miss loved these treat bags, and did really great overall with sitting still for so long.  We had a great family vacation!  I will for sure do this again...  I had maybe $40.00 in this - well worth our sanity!!!!!
I put together a list of items for entertainment - here are a few items on this list:
  • photo album with pictures of your child, family members and friends
  • Quiet book pages - felt pages/activities
  • - free books to download
  • Children's music CD's
  • "What is Missing?" - hide something and have them guess what is missing
  • "I Spy" - Red Stop Sign, Brown Truck etc. 
  • Pandora on phone - Elmo and other Toddler Radio Stations
  • Guess the Animal Noise Game
  • Aluminum Foil - Make and mold items
  • Dry Erase Markers and Board
  • Black Paper and Chalk
  • Color Game - call out a color and then look for it.
  • Cards -  matching games, abc flash cards, etc.
Or if you are just bored and feel like goofing around... make a mustache out of paper and double sided tape... and entertain your car buddies and those on the Interstate...

For other traveling ideas - please feel free to check out my board on Pinterest...

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