1. Packing Lists
I am a list maker. If it is not on my list, it may very well go undone. I found this packing list which includes space for specifying four children! What a help!
2. Van rules
Here is our version (simple and to the point):
3. Recorded Stories
My aunt gave us a box of old Adventures in Odyssey audio cassette tapes a while back. We have been enjoying them in the car. For a long trip, we also enjoy downloading stories or books onto our mp3 player (which plays through the van sound system thanks to our handy cassette converter plug). Storynory is a unique website with downloadable classics and traditional fairytales as well as contemporary, original stories. (For our upcoming trip, I gathered, among others, a few traditional favorites like Cinderella, Snow White, and Aesop's Fables. Andrew has still not heard or become familiar with some of these stories and, sometimes, doesn't "get" allusions to these narratives. It will be fun to listen to them together!)
4. Snack packs
I pack each child's lunch box full of all different snacks. Some are truly healthy. Some are sweet treats. We have various points during our trip where we invite them to take something out of their snack pack. They can choose whatever they want at each time (and it always kind of amazes me how they don't just eat up all the junk first!)
5. Activity packs
In addition to their lunch boxes, we bring their backpacks with various activities. For this trip, I made up individual notebooks for each child. Each one contains a pencil case (with markers, pencils, an eraser, and a sharpener), math worksheets, a license plate chart, mazes, coloring pages, mosaic sticker sheets, writing paper, and blank paper. We also include books, a few small toys, and some travel games in their activity backpacks.
6. Family games
Some of our favorite road trip games include the following:
I Spy, I'm going on a picnic... (alphabet game), I'm thinking of (Yes/No question/guessing game), Find the ABCs, counting cars (or finding a specific color/style), I'm thinking of a word that rhymes with...(guessing game), and random trivia.
Perhaps these ideas might be helpful to someone else. I'm wondering if you might have some ideas that would also benefit others...What do you do on your family road trips?????