Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How to road trip without DVDs - Part 1

Ready to Go!
The boys and I have returned from a 9-day, 2,000 mile road trip.  It was so much fun to explore with them and travel with them that I cannot wait to do it again....it could only have been better if hubby had been there.

Our trip required us to return by a specific day, so we decided to leave a few days early to enjoy a leisurely drive to our destination and take in a few field trips to round out our study of early American history from this past school year.

We are one of those "weird" families without a DVD player in our car -- and to be honest, I'm quite content without one.  It didn't even cross my mind to consider a portable one either.  I mean, I grew up on two-week car trips without a DVD and I turned out OK, right?

Don't answer that.

After a bit of internet searching, I discovered the website Mom's Minivan.com.  She has LOADS of great printables to keep your kids entertained for a portion of your trip.

After printing out classics like tic-tac-toe, squares and dots, the license plate game, and an (ingenious) version of paper and pencil Battleship game, I decided to make booklets our of them with my laminator (don't forget some dry erase markers) and new comb-binder.

First, I found some road trip clip art and added some cool lettering to create covers.  I decided that the books would be identical to one another (to keep arguing to a minimum) and that we'd call them The Yellow Book, The Red Book, and (can you guess it?) the White Book.

Creative, huh?

I laminated the covers with The Dot Gae on the backside.  The boys love this game at restaurants.The boys also love tic-tac-toe, and since this can waste a ton of paper, I decided a laminated copy was in order.

No car trip is complete without the license plate game.  Since Levi isn't reading the names of states (yet) I decided to throw in both a map (he's good with knowing where most of the states are!) and the state names list.  This worked very well.  Uisng the map, Levi loved putting a neat dot on the center of each state while Luke was enjoying the fruits of all his hard work this year and was reading the state names from the list.  The boys aren't competitive about this game, so we end up helping each other out.

After all that laminating, I decided to add in a plastic pocket to each book to hold consumables:  scavenger hunt games, road bingo games, and even a cow game:

And, the fortune teller game:

The boys had a great time making and playing with these.  That simple piece of paper occupied them on-and-off for an afternoon of driving.  Next road trip, I'll give them blanks to make their own fortunes (with Magic 8-Ball type answers).

Although the boys didn't use all the activities that I included in The Books, I'm happy to have invested the time I did into making them.  I know we'll add more to them for our next few trips.  I'll probably make one for me so I can play along, too.  

The Road Trip books were only part of the multi-pronged activities we had planned for our trip.  More of our fun to com!


Mutha K said...

Wow! Great ideas and preparation for your roadtrip. I'm impressed you took this trip on without hubby and then to plan such great games . . . amazing!

Masters Family said...

I LOVE this Alane! Such an awesome idea. Your boys are very blessed to have you for their mom. :) Can't wait to road trip somewhere for the Masters' family reunion. Email me if you want help planning something. We need to make it happen!

Kelsey said...

Amazing. I want to play!