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“Are we there yet?” As a parent, you expect to hear this question a million times when you embark on a family road trip. If you manage to keep it under a million, you pat yourself on the back and mark the trip as a success. This is what I was hoping for last year, during our first road trip as a family of four. I armed myself with a busy box filled with great travel games and toys, I wrote down a detailed travel plan and guess what? It worked. We reached the destination with no meltdown, which is a real achievement, when travelling with a 2-year old and a 3-year old.
If you haven’t any family road trips planned for this summer yet, let me help. Enter below Mondelez Road Trip #GetPackinSweepstakes for a chance to win road trip weekly prizes and a grand prize! (Sweepstakes is from 6/27 to 7/24). I’ll also assist you with tips and tricks for a successful road trip.
Because our first road trip to Chicago was a hit last summer, the kids asked to go back this year and we couldn’t say no. Chicago is one of my family’s favorite cities and a 6-hour drive isn’t that long, when you know how to properly plan ahead.
The busy box I used last time will be the first on my packing list. All the travel games and toys have been waiting quietly in the storage area for a new road trip and I know the boys will get excited to see them again. This time around I’ll also add a new element: a multi-functional DIY busy tray that is inexpensive and really easy to make.
Materials: old cookie sheet, paint, chalk paint
Step 1: If you don’t have any baking sheet that you can use, start with a trip to a thrifty store. Make sure to get a rimmed baking sheet. I found a tray with handles that was just perfect for this project.
Step 2: Paint the front and sides. It will take several coats of color.
Step 3: Use chalk paint for the back.
This may look like a simple tray but it serves so many purposes. You can turn it into a drawing tray. Use fridge door magnets to keep the coloring pages in place. Because the tray comes with a rim the crayons and markers won’t fall on the floor.
Make sure to check out this link for free printable road trip games for kids, like road trip bingo, scavenger hunt and more.
Use it with magnetic games or magnetic letters and numbers.
Use the back of the tray as a chalk board. I know what you’re thinking: chalk is messy and you don’t want this in your car but have you tried liquid chalk markers? (The chalk in the photo below is just regular chalk, while the chalk markers come in dustless rich colors)
Last but not least, this DIY busy tray makes a good snack tray.
Because yummy snacks are on both kids and parents’ road trip lists, here are a few great choices: HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS Graham Snacks, OREO Mini Cookies, BELVITA Chocolate Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits and SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy.
Another trick to our successful first road trip was frequent stops. It took us longer to reach the destination but it made it more bearable for both the boys and us. Every two hours or so we would stop at a playground or mall for about 20-30 minutes so we can stretch and kids play for a bit. This time around we won’t stop as often but for lunch time I’ll still make sure to choose a restaurant that has or is close to a play area.
What else would you take along on a road trip with kids, besides good travel games, toys and yummy snacks? I’d really like to hear what tricks you have up your sleeve.
Before your next road trip go to Walmart to get those delicious snacks I mentioned above as well as many more. Make sure you look for the coupon booklets (They include coupons for RITZ Cracker Sandwiches, BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy 1.9 lb. bags and TRIDENT Unwrapped Gum). You can also shop online for great product variety packs.