Sunday, August 17, 2008

call for suggestions

Three weeks from today, Roy, Sophie and I will be on the second leg of our drive from Lexington, KY to Newton, KS for the wedding of my best friend, Carolina Graber. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I lay in bed at night, wide awake, making lists in my head and enjoying the fluttering butterflies of anticipation.

We're renting a small cottage near campus for the week, and my parents will join us half way through. I'm so excited for this time with them. Sophie has grown and changed so much since they last saw her last April. This reunion is overdue.

I spent some time this morning looking for a parenting forum that would help me come up with activities to entertain this nearly 2 year old on this drive, but didn't find anything that grabbed me. So I ask you, my blogging community, for advice.

We're breaking this 12 hour drive in two, 6 hour jaunts, with a stop in St. Louis for the night - both coming and going. We're leaving Lexington at her naptime so hopefully she'll sleep for the first couple of hours. We'll stop often to let her get out and run. I will pack a cooler of food and drinks, bags of crayons, paper, music, and books. Oh, and Roy is downloading movies to his iPhone as a last resort. I bought a little pad Sophie can put on her lap so she can color and play on a solid surface. But I need more suggestions. How do you keep your kids entertained in the car for long trips?


beinmyOWNself said...

handheld stuff thats not so small it will roll under the the ball you put shaped blocks into thingy....or does she have a leapfrog type computerish majobby? mommy or daddy reading out loud? the obligatory alphabet game for road trips (with lots of help from mom n dad of course) if the seat next to her isnt full of luggage n stuff...mebbe an empty basket there that she could toss beanbags into or something? well, there's a brain-drizzle for ya...if i have any brainstorms, i'll let you know! have lots n lots of fun on your adventures!

kclblogs said...

new music, new coloring books, felt board, babybugs, lacing cards, stories on CD (do you have the Pooh stories? or Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter, or ask grandparents to record themselves reading some books you have, and she can look while she listens), and we do movies. i don't remember what of these would be age appropriate for her.

Claire said...

We just got back from Paul's wedding in Goshen and we were so glad that Ben made it there and back with minimal fuss. What I noticed is that he was self-entertaining himself quite a bit with favorite books, his turtle, snacks, trucks/trains/tractors, and listening to a book on cd that also had music. Oh, his view finder was appreciated more this trip than the last one in June. I also played goofy turtle-sniffs-his-toes-and-he-sneezes kind of games, too.

It's totally doable. Good luck and say "hello" to Newton for me!

Anonymous said...

colored masking tape to put wherever she wants.

pipe cleaners-lots.

wipes to play wash all the otehr things you brought along.

ziplock bags for her to fill with whatever she can find.

eliza's favorite thing on our last trip was a bag of beer caps that we collected for andy...they became bugs or tables or fairy frisbees.

but wait, will sophie eat them?

eager for you to come this way.

stacey said...

Ella did well when we went to KC and Lincoln recently. Reading - even the passenger turning around and reading to her worked well. Leaving at Ella's naptime backfired for us. She was way too interested in what was happening around her to take a nap - a few hours into the trips she finally fell asleep. Other than that - add a couple of stops and she should be good I would think.

Jen said...

Can't wait to see you! Pipe cleaners....lots! Kazoos (can she do this?) Library books on tape. Wikki Sticks. Lots of good snacks (which get spread all over the car). Good luck!

Modernicon said...

When I would take the girls to NM i would make Frequent stops. It doesnt do much for your travel time, but it does make the time in the car easier. Roadside attractions, picnics, and especially the ubiquitous rest area. Young mind bore easily in the car. I try to engage them personally, "I spy something blue." "Knock Knock" jokes (or the age appropriate equivalent) Sing-alongs including "Found a Peanut" and "If you are happy and you know it" anything that can be made longer just by the singing. A good rule of thumb, if you are bored they went way beyond bored long before. Lastly, in a pinch, Mcdonald's playlands (in case of emergency break glass)

Rae said...

Box of cheap, colorful bandaids. She can put them on her, you, her dolls, toys. Stickers. I agree with Kristin -- tape and pipe cleaners. Books on tape/CD from the library. Do you have an old portable CD/Tape player, that she could listen to with headphones? My kids liked that.
Dry erase board, or small chalk board and sidewalk chalk.

In the past, I've headed to the Dollar Store and picked up a bunch of cheap items, then wrapped them all up as presents. When she gets bored, give her a present -- she will have the exitement of opening it, then get to play with whatever is inside. Even if its just a new box of crayons, or a new book, it will be more exciting because it is a "present."
Treasure Jar - Find an old clear jar with tight lid, fill it 2/3 full with rice or grains of some sort, and all sorts of little trinkets. She can twist the jar around and try to "find" the trinkets inside. (The lid doesn't come off, this is just a "looking" game.)

Car Bingo - I found it before a trip to CO with my kids, follow the link below. (Some of the ideas on the website are too grown up for Sophie, but some of it could work.) or

And I'm not opposed to movies - hey, sometimes it just works.

My other advice -- get used to your car being trashed. Crumbs, toys, spills, etc. You're spending a lot of time there, so its gonna get dirty with a 2 year old!

Plenty of stops - parks, ice cream, or even give her a dollar to pick out a keychain or drink or snack at a truck stop.

I am SO excited to see you!!