In just a few short weeks, we will be embarking on our first family road trip from New Jersey to Florida. To say I am not daunted at the idea of such a long car ride with a 4 year old and a 1 year old would be a lie; I am terrified. Juliet has recently started hating riding in the car and Drake will probably be better than Juliet, but this is still the longest trip he will ever have taken in the car. We are leaving around bedtime on our way down and I plan on driving straight through the night while Mr. Chocolate sleeps and switch off in the morning hours, so I hope we can get a good chunk of the trip covered there. We do plan on stopping one night on the way down and up, so hopefully that will help ease the kids as well. This is my list of supplies I hope will help with keeping the kids happy and entertained!
1) Workbooks- I know this might sound strange, but Drake actually really enjoys doing workbooks and we have several at home he does on a regular basis. Before our trip I plan on buying a new big one for him to tackle on our trip. Since he already likes doing them, I'm sure a new one will keep him interested for at least a little while.
2) Sticker Book- I found this animal sticker book at Michaels one day and bought it for this trip. Drake loves stickers and animals so hopefully this combo will be a good addition.
3) Glitter Bottle- I have seen these called time out bottles and sensory play bottles. I am going to call them road trip ones if they work well. Especially for Juliet who is harder to entertain, I think this might be something she finds interesting and fascinating to watch if she gets the hang of shaking and turning it. We shall see but I have high hopes for these!
4) Coloring Books/Dry Erase Board- My friend recently just gave Drake this dry erase board set for his birthday so I stashed it away for this trip. Along with it I also plan on packing some regular crayons and coloring books to add to the mix.
5) MobiGo- This was a birthday gift from a friend. Drake hasn't opened it yet so I plan on saving it for the trip as it looks like a neat toy that's perfect for long car rides. It got great reviews so I hope it lives up to expectations.
6) DVD- We have a small potable DVD player that I might just take along with some Kai Lan videos in a pinch. I would rather not get either child in the habit of watching shows or movies in the car, but since this is going to be a long trip (and even some nights at the hotels), this might be a necessary evil for now.
7) Mirror- You might have noticed much of this list is devoted to entertaining Drake. I admit I am more stumped on how to entertain Juliet on this trip because of her young age, but I do plan on getting a car mirror for her. Not only does Juliet love mirrors but this allows us to see her as well and maybe talk to her to keep her entertained.
8) MagnaDoodle- Drake loves his MagnaDoodle (he has 3). He sleeps with one called Big Fish and in the morning he plays with it happily on his own until I come get him. I would never dream of leaving without Big Fish and Drake can amuse himself drawing animals and spelling words on it for hours on end.
9) Magnetic Puzzles- I like that the pieces are magnetic so I won't have a million little shape pieces all over my car. These kinds of puzzles can lead to creative thinking and I'm sure before the trip is over Drake will have created some animals out of these shapes.
10) Snacks- I would never travel with young kids without a car full of snacks but Juliet especially is happy when eating, so I might sit next to her for some parts of the trip when she is unhappy and dole some food out so she is distracted.
11) Sassy links- Juliet has these links already so I was thinking of attaching them all over her car seat. She loves chewing on links so maybe with varied ones all over her car seat it will keep her happily chewing as the miles zoom by.
12) Leapfrog Touch Magic- Juliet got this for Christmas this year and does seem to enjoy pushing the buttons and hearing the music play. We have several similar toys like this where she can press and hear the toy talk back to her, so I'll be bringing one or two of them to rotate.
13) Books- Both Drake and Juliet love books. Drake likes new stories and trying to read them himself and Juliet likes to flip pages, so I am hoping some new books might keep them happy and give us reading material for bed time as well while we are away. For Drake I am thinking of some new picture books and tell me a story cards that we might just enjoy looking at the pictures. For Juliet I am thinking soft books, indestructable ones, and sound books.
14) Camera- Drake actually has 2 cameras (different brands) he has gotten from family members. I think it might be fun for him to take photos as we drive of things he sees. I don't know how great the photos will be, but the concept might be neat enough to keep him happy for a bit, and who knows maybe we will get a real gem in there to keep as a memory!
15) Tablet Games- Drake loves playing games on my phone and tablet (which he calls Big Phone)/ Since I will probably need my phone for navigation on our trip, Big Phone will be coming along for entertainment in both the car and hotel.