Shannon says everyone’s doing giveaways and maybe she’s right…
Since moving to Seattle we’ve put thousands of miles on Vinny, driving back and forth to visit stubborn family all over the country who refuse to pick up stakes and move in next door.
I was even insane enough to travel alone with 2 kids, 14 hours each way to visit my parents this spring. Very seldom do I come across breakthroughs in travel with offspring. This 4th of July week, I came across two.
1. Wash the Car — Every time we stop for gas, the kids want to get out and run around. This usually involves
yelling at calling loudly with love and logic to them as they dodge semi trucks in the parking lot, wrenching away the candy that they are loudly clutching to their bosoms in the convenience store and helping them collect cigarette butts in the “field” behind the trash bin.
We now play a new game entitled “Wash the Car” in which the children, in fact, cleanse the family vehicle. While Mommy’s pumping gas and daddy’s powdering his nose, the kids each get their own squeegee and are instructed to clean the car as well as they can until the car wash timer clicks. (It sounds a lot like the handle on a gas pump releasing.)
They love it, especially when the washing fluid is pink, and I feel a bit better paying $10/gallon for gas if they throw in a couple of gallons of fun for free.
2. Toobs of Joy — Until this trip, I had yet to find a toy that would keep my toddler busy for more than 30 seconds while he was strapped into our mobile torture chamber.
At the drugstore in our little town, the drugstore where the pharmacists have a baby swing and a pak-n-play behind the counter to keep their kids close at hand, I purchased a toob of joy.
Magoo sat with the Farm Toob on his lap and joyfully emptied out each animal, identified it loudly and then shoved it back in again. He continued like this for at least an hour. As far as I can remember, Magoo has never done anything for an hour since he spent that long keeping himself plugged in my nether-regions during child birth. Apart from one minor incident with a rooster wedged under his butt for a couple of hours, the Farm Toob experience was one of bliss and joy. They’re detailed, well-made and perfectly pudgy-fist-sized.
The Farm Toob is my favorite all time road trip toy and now I want to collect them all.
Even more than that, I want you to have them. So I called the manufacturer Safari LTD and they very kindly sent me two gift packs with three toobs each and some other fun stuff to give away to my readers.
Sadly they included no gift for me, but then I already have the Farm Toob and the memory of an hour of joy on the road.
Leave a comment to be put in a random drawing for the gift packs. I’ll draw 2 winners Friday July 20th at midnight PST.
I’d love to hear your road trip ideas, but you can just say, “Hi,” or, “Give me plastic,” and you’ll still be entered.
If you don’t win, you can buy them here, here, here and here. I’ll be buying them from ye olde tiny drugstore down the street.
***Update – The winners are comment #91 and #99, April C. and Seabird. Congratulations and thanks for all the great tips!***
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Tricia Smith says
Hmm road trip ideas. I like going to the local library to pick new and fresh obnoxious children’s music to listen to on the drive. My kids love it.
While traveling across country with our 18 month old we purchased toys from Salvation Army, bleached and scrubbed them down, they entertained her for the trip and I didn’t feel the least bit bad when she no longer had any interest in them as we paid next to nothing for them.
Kristen Lawrence says
Anything that can entertain a toddler for an hour (that does not involve a furry red monster living on Sesame Street) must be a miracle. My twin toddlers love sticker sheets for road trips. Peeling and sticking is a time consuming hobby!
Oooh, I’d love to have plastic! 😉
Go to the library and pick up books on tape. I was completely thrown off when mu 4 yo actually requested to listen to The Wizard of Oz. I got chapter books at a slightly higner level and was suprised ast how much she understiood. We even use them at home instead of videos. When we moved 12 hours away from our old home (that’s lke 20 hours with kids) I had a friend give me a bag of fun for my oldest. It was a fun bag that had all new stuff in it. It had a special snack, cookies, notebooks, new crayons, beads & string, notecards & envelops, small toys, small books, candy,, etc. Whenever she would get bored my husband would say, well lets look in the bag and see what else is in the bag. He said it was the best thing anyone could have given us. Worked like a charm. And I always keep snacks and water close at hand.
oh, and give me plastic!
I have one little one and she mostly entertains herself or sleeps on trips. As she gets older though, I will be looking for all the tips I can find. Enter us!
Good road trip ideas. We’re about to take two of our own this summer. With four kiddos. I just spent a bunch of money to get things to keep them occupied, and yet I totally missed the toobs of joy. Shoot!
What slawebb said about a bag of fun makes me giggle remembering how me and my sisters used to make our own “bag ‘o fun” for the many, many road trips we made growing up. But then, that was back before seatbelts were really part of the law and they were more of a “suggestion”. So we were able to move around more freely. I totally support the kid safety thing, but I feel bad for the kids now having to be strapped down for hours and hours at a time.
Come on, internets, Momma needs a tube job!
What a great post–& a great find! I’m actually still on the road since our marathon road trip started back on July 5th. Can’t wait to see what all the other Mommies suggest. We’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books on CD. (Our Public Library has them all.) We’re trying to get through all six of the current ones so that when we finally get home @ the end of July, we’ll be all ready for the new seventh book, which should be waiting for us. We’re currently working our way through book four. I’m glad we found something that we can all enjoy together as a family . . . as opposed to something that only the kids like . . . after all, we’re the ones that have to do all that driving!
sheen of Diaper Harlem says
Books and little “guys”, or in other words farm animals or any other little toy characters, have worked the best for us!
Love the ideas and your blog….oh ya, please sign me up for the “Toob” give away. ;0)
Matchbox car sized Construction Equipment have been wonderful for both our boys…the toddler likes them because they have moveable parts (the dump truck back part goes up and down! etc.) The other son likes them because he actually plays with them. And they’re small, great for laps!
I got one of those toobs full of sea creatures and divied them up between goody bags for my son’s pirate b-day party a few weeks ago. But I’d love me some more toobs o’ joy!
DVD player. That’s all I’ve got. That, and a constant barrage of snack foods.
P.S. Give me plastic?
woo hoo! right now i entertain the little one with my boobs of joy, but for when she outgrows them, a toob of joy sounds great!
kelli in the mirror says
Hi, and give me plastic!
Road trip ideas… for Laylee, Disney DVD Bingo. My daughter just got it and loves it. She can play it by herself if I’m busy and it keeps her occupied for quite awhile.
Give me some Toob! Thanks for the car washing tip. That is awesome.
Last year I packed a whole tub of road trip activities for the 20 hr. drive to Florida. After sampling each of my meticulously planned selections in a mere hour and a half, they declared themselves “bored”.
I have, however, recently gotten quite a bit of mileage out of the Colorwonder coloring books. My 3 yr. old, who can’t really draw much yet, loves the ones that already have the outlines of figures, and more things appear as you color the pictures in with the no-mess markers.
Both my 3yr old and 5 yr. old love to listen to books on CD. There favorites, especially for the older one, are the Magic Tree House stories. They will likely begin to drive you and your husband crazy after awhile though.
I love this idea! I have three boys 5 and under and it is so hard to keep them occupied….even with DVDs! If that could keep them quiet long enough for my hubby and I to regain our thoughts it would be a miracle! 🙂 I think the only thing that works for us (so far) is a clipboard with lots of paper and a crayon attached with a string.
GIVE ME PLASTIC!!
The dollar stores usually have little boy or little girl grab bags. Grab a couple or each kid and dole them out over the road trip.
Borrow a dvd player from a freind (or buy one). Those metal tray tables and a bunch of magnets work well.
At Christmas time, we go to the dollar store and buy stuff and then we wrap it. All through the drive, they get to open little “presents”. I suppose, of course, you could just wrap their regular stuff, too.
Bring on the joy!
Oh yeah, and hold off on the DVD player until you ABSOLUTELY NEED IT. Otherwise, it doesn’t work when you do need it.
Do i get entered twice?
TOOB! Love it.
I’m collecting these ideas for our trip later this year.
Well, my nephew would love that, so “give me plastic!”
p.s. I love your site!
Jennifer Poncavage says
Those are really neat. My 1yr old and 3yr old would love them. I recently found a foam tray wtih a rim that attaches to the kids car seats and allows them to snack, color, play, without things rolling to the floor. A great invention for those long car trips. You can check them out at http://www.familytravelgear.com
Please enter me in the toob contest. Thanks!
Oooh. I’d love some TOOB-y goodness!
I’m all for anything that entertains in the car.
Ideas are pretty slim to none for me. The oldest now can read on his on and the middle one entertains himself and his brothers. I think the tube toys will be perfect for my youngest as he’s really into playing with cars and little people.
I am all for a Toobalicious fun, as we have several upcoming roadtrips!
show me the plastic … and the image of Dan powdering his nose while you pump the gas? priceless.
I have pudgy little hands that would love this (and they are not my hands!). I also have family who also has decided to live hours away from me so I definitely need items to keep a little man still for an hour! A miracle product in deed!!
This last trip to CA, I packed a backpack a head of time for each kid. The back pack consisted on their very own gallon sized ziplock bag full of food (so I didn’t have to hand back food- they could snack at will). Then I put in some books and they each got their favorite car (Lightning McQueen & Sally).
They LOVED having their own stuff and they loved being responsible for it. All of that plus the DVD player were how I kept my sanity on the drive to CA.
sarah k. says
We have the dino-toob, the frogs-toob, the jungle-toob, the lizards-toob, and the snake-toob. Endless enjoyment.
Thanks for the road-trip tips. I’m needing them for our drive to Denver this week without the man (who will be defending the dissertation on Friday, so send good vibes).
The toob of fun sounds great! My children either scream at eachother or throw things during our trips. Drives me nuts!!! The one thing that keeps them quiet for a good 30 min. is lollipops. I feel a bad to admit it but candy is what works.
Love road trips with little ones….otherwise known as how to lose your sanity in a few short hours! The best you can hope for is for the portable DVD player to keep working and to not completely lose it after hearing Bob the Builder play for the 85th time!
And I’d love free plastic!
Awesome Mom says
Those animal toobs look like fun!! Harry just whines no matter what I do on road trips. Evan is amazingly well behaved and loves to just look at the cars and trucks on the road.
greatest day of my life was when I heard these blessed words on last road trip…”c’mon Maya, lets play the QUIET GAME”
thank you Lord
We hit iTunes before every trip – books and music are downloaded, burned to discs and thrown in the car. I also have a book called “Fun on the Run!” It has game ideas for the car, doctor’s offices, resturants… all kinds of places where you are sitting doing nothing…
Oh, and do they come in recycled plastic toobs? Cause that would just make it the ultimate prize … or so the experts say…
I love your car wash idea, though I suspect my four might find a way to make a miserable, sopping wet fight out of it, causing me to call loudly and end the fun. Good for you for calling loudly with love and logic, as opposed to without!
I just recently found your blog. You’re too funny!
I drove up to a friends house yesterday (an hour away). When I stopped for gas at a full service place on the way the guy pumping was DRUNK! He wandered off before he was done filling my tank. When the “car wash timer” clicked I got out and grabbed my receipt/credit card, closed up the tank and was on my way.
Dimetapp… “Did I hear you cough, sweetie??” It is not beneath my parental prowess to give my kids some sleepy-sauce, especially since my PEDIATRICIAN RECOMMENDED IT for long trips ~ I was half expecting her to give me a brochure for a drug-rehab facility for when they are teenagers, too.
Gimme some Toobs… I have always secretly wanted THREE toobs, even though I’ve never had triplets.
~Heather the weirdo
Lisa (qtpies7) says
Years ago we lived in Virginia and our family all lived in Minnesota. IF we drove straight through, it was 24 hours of actually driving to the CLOSEST relative. Now with 5 kids you can imagine the torture of going to visit because no one will come visit US. (thankfully we live in MN again and this is a trip of the past!)
We made an investment 10 years ago, that we still have! And it was the best traveling investment we’ve ever made. We’ve had to upgrade with attachments through the years, but its been well worth it.
We bought a tv with a vcr in it that had a plug adapter for vehicles. And yes, we watched videos constantly, and I was thankful for every single minute of them, and I am not ashamed! As the kids got older we bought an adapter so we could plug in video games and the tv, so they alternated between being complete slugs and active slugs. Just to shake it up a bit, you know.
The tv probably made its last trip last summer to Florida and back, but it has earned every penny we paid for it and then some! It no longer has a power button, channel changing button, and only has one volume button, which thankfully is lower, lol.
We will certainly buy another one if we travel again.
We rarely bring it for our 3 hour trips that we make now, so these tubes of joy would be great for our 3yo and her little brother who will soon need occupying in the car.
Lisa (qtpies7) says
Oh, and like Heather, Dimetap is my friend! Especially for plane rides!
I like to say that my kids travel well (and they do thanks to Mr. DVD), but these ideas are fabulous!
I want to win, now!
Warning: Some kids get WIRED on Dimetapp –the opposite effect that is expected.
Mary O says
laughing mommy says
My two daughters would love them. Please enter us into the contest.
Give me plastic!!
The Wiz says
Road trip in our future. Gimme.
Oooo…do you ship to Canada? =P
Best thing for our roadtripping life, excepting the portable DVD player, is pillowcases. We shut them into the windows so they drape down, and it makes a nice dark environment for the kids to nap.
I try to have car only toys for the kids to play with whenever we go somewhere. On longer trips I let them bring their leap pads.
Wish I had more tips for you. Toob toys sound fun. I hope I win!
youare a genius
What fabulous ideas! Thank you especially for the farm toob idea. We are flying from Maryland to California next week and this is just the thing to keep two toddlers under age 2 1/2 busy. YEAH! I’m off to Michaels to scour the store for fun in a toob.
We are leaving on a 3-day drive (because we aren’t doing the 21-hour straight-through drive with kiddies) to Montana at the end of the month with a 2yo and 2mo. He did the trip last year and did great just watching out the window, but being tall enough to see out was a novelty for him then. Not sure that will be enough to entertain him now. And she occasionally screams when in her car seat for no discernible reason. Whee.
So, please, tube me, give me the plastic, whatever makes the cosmos help you randomly choose me.
And my tip is a borrowed one from Antique Mommy: a pinwheel. I’m hoping it works as well for our little guy as it did for hers.
I’m going to have to get a library card and hit iTunes for the books on tape idea. It would have to have a lot of rhymes to grab his attention though.
Amanda Regan says
Here’s my tip for a fun road trip for your toddler / pre schooler.
I printed some pictures of my toddlers favourite tv characters onto magnetic paper then cut them out.
I painted an oven tray so it had scenery on it.
Then when in the car he can stick his characters onto the tray & make up stories for us all to listen to, it works for hours & was really cheap & quick to make.
An Ordinary Mom says
I am hoping you can send me some plastic, but if not I might have to get purchase my own. We just completed a 36 hour road trip and this would have been nice to have. My two year old son has a hard time sitting in the car, even when I keep handing him munchies and new little toys to play with. Thank goodness for DVD players, that is my tip for you! And borrow some new flicks from the library. New shows will keep their attention longer.
An Ordinary Mom says
One more tip – the kids love to play with glow sticks in the car!
Is it horrible to say that my most favorite car tip is to purchase a portable dvd player. They will veg out like they have never vegged before, even playing the same old dvd’s you’ve had around the house for the last 10 years…they will veg. But the bad thing is those dumb things are forever getting their heads out of alignment, my engineer hubby explained why this is, but why bore you?
So now that my kiddos are a little older we do books on tape, almost as much vegging, but that’s OK, I was getting tired of cleaning up the drool. Also I get to pretend that their imaginations are being engaged better than a tv screen as they have to envision the action themselves. Even better than that? The library has tons of childrens titles to choose from…all free…just don’t lose them on your trip.
So fun! We are attempting a 10 1/2 hour road trip in a few weeks and I need all the help I can get!
I would love a toob!
Huckaby Fam says
Okay, if this toob will keep my wee car seat screamer occupied for even 10 minutes, it will be worth its weight in gold!!! Count me in!
For any road trip we always have the stack of movies (they can watch 2 a day) but now we are buying the cheap $0.88 toys at Wal-Mart. The kids can open one new toy every hour. My friend also does a paper chain where the kids can pull off a chain link each hour. Now Toob me!
Our holidays are coming up too
Count me in
Ooh! An hour of peace and joy on the road?! Sign me up for that drawing!
Do the pharmacists really bring their kids to work?
Andrea Braun says
Go to the dollar store and get a metal baking pan (the kind with a lip on it.) Laminate (or use a page protector) a sheet of paper with fun things to do. For my older kids, this has been a map of the USA that they can mark off each state we pass through. For the younger ones, a tic tac toe board or hangman, etc. They can use magnets because of the metal, or dry erase markers because of the lamination. We travel a lot and these trays always give the kids something to do. They are also great lap trays for eating snacks or playing with toys with little pieces.
My husband is a big fan of earplugs for himself during roadtrips…
here! here! throw it here!
We picked up a magnetic book that had Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head(one on each side). It came with lots of different things with which you could dress them up with.Our five year old grandson played with it for hours, until his great grandmother infromed him that Mr. Potato Head shouldn’t be wearing Mrs. Potato Head’s stuff. The main rule with vehicle playthings is”there are no rules”(as long as there is nothing flying or otherwise obstructing the driver).Let the kids imaginations run wild. Enter me in the toob drawing please. I can play with them while the wife drives.
Farm Wife says
Give me plastic! No, wait, I can do better than that.
I love the car wash Idea…and with 4 kids, we could probably make a few bucks to pay for the gas if I farm them out to wash other cars filling up. I’m all about child labor!
My mom picks up little sticker books for the kids when we take long car trips. http://www.doverpublications.com Dover sticker books ususally have a theme and they can decorate a rain forest or dress a ballerina or design a robot & the best part…the stickers are reusable so they won’t adhere permanently to your van’s interior. I love them!
Rocks In My Dryer says
Thanks for the shout-out! I have no brilliant tricks to offer; mine aren’t the sort that get you nominated for Mother of the Year. (i.e., Dramamine and drop-down DVD players.)
Toob me, please!
Books on tape, DVD’s, snacks in premeasured amounts in zip lock baggies (so no one say he has more Cheetos then me). When I only had two little kids I must have had more time and energy and I used to wrap up various dollars store toys and treats and they got to open one every 100 miles or so. That hasn’t happened for about 4 years but it worked well!
Worksheets in heavy-duty page protectors are a fun travel activity. They can be used over and over with dry-erase markers. For us though, this is only offered when I can sit in the back with Chico. One green-colored dry erase marker stain in my car is more than enough for me.
OK, I must admit I skipped the 73 comments to get down here so I can be entered. When my oldest was 2, I bought a Magna Doodle specifically for a road trip. He’d never seen one before. We couldn’t rip it out of his hands when we got to our destination. My youngest could not care less about them. So, it might work for some and not for others.
My SIL loves the markers that only write on the special paper-you-buy-at-exorbinant-amounts-but-save-from-replacing-your-carseats-and-clothes for road trips.
Roadtrip idea: notebook full of blank paper and colored pencils (never ever crayons- ever! Think hot car, sun beating down on it.)
OH, and bubbles and balls to play at rest stops.
Now- please may I have some plastic?
My 3-year-old daughter just started enjoying listening to books on CD in the car. Her favorites are Curious George (any title) and Corduroy. We used to let her watch DVDs when she got really antsy, but I’m hoping the books on CD will hold her attention just as much as the videos. Wishful thinking, maybe, but a girl can hope!
Painted Maypole says
Road trip ideas: dress-up magnet dolls (barbies, princesses, etc) kept in old cookie tins. That and lots and lots of singing. Oh, the singing.
Those look really neat! We like suckers for road trips…sure they’re a little messy and sugary, but they do keep the kids happy for a little while. We also do books on CD. For long trips we get some cheap new toys to bust out along the way.
ME! ME! I have a 9 hour trip to Buffalo, NY at the end of the month with a 3 year old. 🙂
We recently got an inexpensive laminator at W-Mart (less than $25) and it is great for laminating things like dots games, tic tac toe, bingo cards, or you can laminate stickers of their favorite characters. You can also laminate a picture of each person in your family’s head, and then laminate different outfits and accessories (tops and pants seperately) and Laylee can mix and match the outfits and heads however she wants. Same with the stickers. You can use a wooden clipboard and paint it with magnetic paint and then use it as a backdrop. Small cloth bags with the stickers or accessories can be clipped at the top of the clipboard. If you want to use laminated stuff with dry erase you can get wipe off crayons, they won’t color on your car interior the way a pen will and they won’t dry off, but you can still wipe them off pretty easily. Then you can laminate coloring pages and they can use them over and over. You can also make a laminated book pretty easily and punch holes in it and connect it with a key ring, then the book is spill proof and grime proof because you can just wipe it off.
I have also seen small sets made to fit in a cup holder that open up to have different games or roads for matchbox cars. I think they are called Car-Go sets. They have uno as well as some different kids toy sets.
give me plastic please.
I’ve taken foil and pipe cleaners, and had the kids make creations out of them. We also sing fun songs and read books out loud. Those Toob toys sound really fun. I’ll have to check that out.
Having logged in more traveltime in my life than anyone here… I think I should be the lucky winner….
What?! I have to take turns and play nice!?
Love readin’ your stuff, hun!
Stacey@look, mom, look! says
Each of my kiddos takes a small bag filled with whatever little toys they want. I also take Magnadoodles for each of them, it keeps them busy for a long time. Long enough to make it on a 14 hour trip with relatively few stops and meltdowns.
I’m preparing for a 2 week road trip, but I don’t have preschoolers – would a 6 year old like a tube???
I just bought a book/CD set called car-i-oke that I’m hoping will make the time fly between SLC and Reno.
mother of the wild boys says
First of all, I bet Dan uses the same powder for his nose as my DH does…
Second, I love the car wash idea, although I bet you got some funny looks.
Third, you are hilarious as always, and so thoughtful to call and get us some Toobs…..give me plastic!
Road trip tips: I use the confined time to teach/sing our phone number and address. I sing our phone number/address to a little tune to help the little ones learn the important information. It helped my little one to learn info by the age of 3.
tip: If you can purchase food from a grocery store and skip the fast food. Even if it is a loaf of bread and PB&J it is much better than ff every meal.
My little ones would love some animals in a tube!
Wow! You have more comments than I can take time to read at the moment!
My family reads long books out loud, such as Harry Potter or Little House on the Prairie.
I was wondering how to keep my toddler and pre-schooler occupied for 16 hours in their carseats at a time this summer. Maybe you have just solved my dilemma. Thanks!
Kathryn in NZ says
LOL – 24 hr road trips would get you from one end of this country to other! But we do do 4x60min trips per week with the odd 5 hour trip thrown in (the joys of competitive gymnastics). My DDs are currently 5 & 10 and I have just succumbed to the DVD idea, only I went one whole step further and got a cheap laptop so that I could interchange the DVDs with Reader Rabbit etc – plus the screen is twice the size of portable DVD players.
Prior to the laptop? Books, paper and coloured pencils, games of I Spy and spot the letters on signs, spot the cars (eg there’s one like Granma’s etc), audio books.
Is definitely getting easier now they’re older and can read/write.
Love your blog, btw 🙂
i love road trips (despite the times i’m pretending to be asleep so kids don’t bug me).
*”i’m going on a bear hunt” dragged out and acted well works well when my kids are toddler aged.
*my 2nd grader always like to pick a word and then we go around seeing how many rhymes we can come up with. if you can’t make a rhyme, you’re out.
*kind of nerdy, but my dad would have us name the presidents (of the U.S.) when we were on road trips. i still like to review them and my daughter loves to quiz me (i have a placemat with all of them on it – although my daughter is getting close to the age where she’ll be doing the naming). my dad was smart enough to have all these obscure facts about the presidents memorized and would randomly share them as we went through the list.
*i was hesitant to get one since i have fond memories of the playing games on road trips, but really, they just work so well. thank you portable DVD creator wherever you are!
April C. says
I’ve heard that stringing Fruit Loops onto a string and making an edible necklace is a good idea. Never actually done it myself….but it seems like it might keep them busy for a minute or two. But baby wipes, lots and lots of baby wipes are always good 🙂
Great tips! I just heard a tip from a friend–trade toys with another mom for summer road trips. Then dole them our slowly. Both kids get new and interesting toys to keep them occupied and you don’t have to spend any money!!
My son would love those. I’ll sing his little song for it. Okay here we go ” I want, I want, I want gimme gimme gimme”
Jessica G. says
When I thought I would hurl myself from the moving vehicle, I would bring out my secret weapon: a small, wrapped gift for each child. The gift was a small toy (new board book, small animal, stuffed animal, new crayons, etc) but the fact that it was wrapped made it all the more awe-inspiring for the kids.
And the best advice I ever received for traveling with a child in the final stages of potty training: bring the potty with you! We kept her little training potty in the back of the van, just behind her seat so she could easily get to it. Also had a designated bottle of water for rinsing and a stack of spare napkins. 🙂
I have fond memories of road trips as a kid. Long before the invention of the DVD player and built-in TV screens, my father took a large drill to the top of our 1989 mini-van and installed the means of hooking a 7″ TV to the top of the car (right between the front seats, so all the kids could see). On long car trips, we’d bring the nintendo and the VCR player and play duck hunt or watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks to our heart’s delight.
As for the “Toobs”, I’ve seen a Pirate Toob, too! My local Michael’s store (Orem, UT) sells them.
how about a cookie sheet with magnetic numbers/letters?
you can also use it as a drawing board.
OH MAN, I NEED THESE! WE’RE DRIVING 18HRS TO IDAHO ON THE 28TH EEEEKKKKKKK! I HAVE A 5YR OLD A 3YR OLD AND A 10WEEK OLD =)
Cool idea. Especially since my hubby is a dairy farmer and my 4-yr -old is into anything having to do with farming. We have 5 young kids, so I am trying to think of our “travel tip”…. Magnadoodles are always good, and they make small travel size ones, too. That’s all I can come up with for now.
DVD player – the best cure for road trip blues!
My daughter could spend hours upon hours putting small items into a receptacle and then taking them out. Rinse and repeat. These would put me ahead of Daddy in the race for Favored Parent!!
Oh, my son would love those!!
food. lots of food. and drink boxes are a big novelty.
The photos of the kids ‘washing’ the car cracked me up! That’s such a great idea. I’m going to try that with the husband…ha!
I have major roadtrips coming up! I would love to give my daughter this and have an hour of peace time!
Sad…my odds of winning are decreasing daily. Look at all these comments. But hey, I’ll still enter for my boys…Spaghetti and Meatball would enjoy them I am sure.
For long road trips their GrMa usually packs them a bag with new and old books/toys (some wrapped and some not). We try not to get more out of the bag until he has completely lost interest in what he already has out.
My oldest loves sticker books and puppets. My youngest likes puppets, books and things that make noise. We don’t have a portable DVD player, but it would be nice I’m sure; If you ever give one of those away, let us know.
Julie (a.k.a. calm mama) says
plaaaastic tubes of looooove. sign me up! seriously, this boy is going to need entertaining when he emerges, ummm… five months from now. what great suggestions other people have had. thanks for asking them! i’m gonna get me a laminator!
Sign me up and if I win I’ll give them to a grandchild! We did a lot of listening to Wee Sing recordings and singing games and when they got older, the alphabet game and I Spy and looking for license plates from all the states and when traveling on less busy country roads, guessing how many cars we’d pass going the other way before the next highway crossing. I was just led to a helpful website with kids ideas and home organization tips: w etc. meckmom dot com. She suggested keeping a crystal light tube stuffed with grocery bags under the seat in the car to have handy for trash pickups. Keeps the bags contained in a small space. I thought that was a good idea.
Those would be handy on my 12 hour car trip with 4 children!! Did I say I was going to be the only adult??
Stacy Woods says
Wow….wicked cool tubes. I could bloody well use those on our trip to Lake Tahoe. Happy Harry potter weekend!!!
We just went on a LONG road trip to my brother’s wedding. Two things that made it bearable: the Snack and Play Travel Tray (Shannon blogged about it at Rocks In My Dryer Reviews) and four little Tonka trucks. The boy was in heaven for about 80% of our time in the car, and I tell you, that ain’t half bad. 🙂
In any case, I’d love to win a new travel toy for our next trip, so do enter me in the drawing! Thanks!
Wow… so many comments I probably have no chance of winning those for my little boy. But it’s worth a shot!
I have a 18 mo old and a 2 mo old… busy! I was nodding my head when you said he likes to take them all out and put them all in again, I always have her “car” purse with us filled with lots of fun nick nacks. anyway, I love your blog and it makes me laugh! thanks!
We’re ALWAYS driving somewhere to do something! We try to plan coming or going around nap time so our toddler will sleep at least part of the way. I need more options…Please send some plastic my way!
Pam in Utah says
Hey, I want one too! If I don’t win, maybe I’ll buy the other “toobs” so we can play sometime! I think they’d make good Christmas presents, eh? Enter me, please. And we had a great thing in the church nursery at one time that entertained the kids for long stretches. It was the old film tubes with lids, and there were little tiny things in them and we’d distract the crying ones with having them guess which item was in the tube we were holding and opening. 🙂
but Momma says
The traveling DVD player is the greatest invention ever, but when they invent limo glass for SUV’s I want credit.
Last year I went and got different colored sticky notes, the small ones. First, I drew a picture on a sticky note for every hour we were going to be in the car and stuck them to the headliner (really should have put them on the windows) and the kids got to take turns peeling one off every hour. Really helped with the “ARE WE THERE YET?”‘s then they drew their own pictures and stuck them all over the place.
Clean up was fun. Give me some plastic sister!
Well, I’m terrified of long car trips with my kids. So the furthest place we’ve gone with them is 2 1/2 hours away. Lots of kids’ music helps, as well as 2 big handfuls of toys they haven’t seen in a while because they’ve been living at the bottom of the toy box. It seems to help our daughter (who’s 3) by talking about where we’re going and who we’re going to see. It makes her more excited and less grouchy which makes me more excited and less grouchy.
You know, I think some toobs of joy would also make us more excited and less grouchy.
At least one pair of noise-canceling headphones for the adults in the vehicle. Nothing says my children are content like not being able to hear them.
(I don’t want the toob, if one more toy makes its way into our house my husband will hit the roof.)
Our favorite road trip ideas are these: squirt gun water fights at rest stops and glow sticks for late night trips. Oh, and a DVD player, of course!
I would love to have another hands-on activity for my active son–
we live 9+ hours from any family, so long trips are inevitable.
Glad it’s worked so well for you!
Oh wise Daring one. Please enter me into your drawing.
What a fantastic tidbit of info! We will be attempting the 10 hour drive to my in-laws in November with my 22 month old twin daughters. I’m desperately searching for any and every tip there is on how to make the trip managable. 🙂