Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

Vacation Hiatus

So, I know that it has been more than a week since my last post and I just wanted to explain my absence.  Last week we made our two day car trip from Colorado to West Virginia for a three week visit with my family.  The trip went wonderfully considering it was about 27 hours total in the car over two days with an 18 month old and a 3 year old.  But, now that we are out here, our days have been jam packed with cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles and I have not managed to find that much time for blogging.  I will try to post here and there, but mostly I will be enjoying my niece and nephews and spending as much time as I can with my family.  I will be back  on a regular schedule once we get back home in June.  Hope you all are enjoying a wonderful start to your summers as well.

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Magnet Play in the Car

While looking for ideas for our upcoming trip, I found several regarding magnet activities and sort of became obsessed with them.  I think that there are some ideas out there that are even better than mine, but I am happy with what I put together and both kids seem to enjoy what we came up with.

What you need:

  • Cookie Sheet (can find these at the dollar store for pretty cheap)
  • Stickers (larger in size)
  • Card stock
  • Self laminating sheets
  • Magnet roll with adhesive on one side
  • Mini craft sticks
  • Paint and paintbrushes

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Tips For Travelling With Kids

I am by no means an expert on travel, but I have done my fair share of it as a child, as an adult, and as an adult with children.  What follows are some of the tips I have picked up during my many road trips and I hope that you find them useful.

Be Flexible

You know those sayings “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?  Never have they been more appropriate than when travelling with children.  Now, obviously there is quite a bit of planning and preparation that goes into getting ready to take the kids on a long distance trip, but when it comes down to the actual drive,  I have found it is best to be as flexible as possible and just see where the day takes you.  You are going to have to stop more often for restrooms and stretching and you may even have to make an extra overnight stop.  Don’t let it bother you too much.  Consider it part of the journey.  I think that as your kids gets older, you can be slightly more rigid in your plans, but if you are travelling with an infant or a toddler, well lets just say that life is easier if you go with the flow. Read the rest of this entry »

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Backseat Craft Time

We have all heard of backseat drivers, but how about backseat crafters?  I wanted to find something fun and creative for the kids to do on the drive, but it also needed to be something that didn’t make a mess and that they could do with only minimal parental assistance.

Burlap Sewing

What you need:

  • Plastic embroidery hoop
  • Burlap in various colors
  • Dull plastic needles
  • Crochet Thread
This was super easy to put together and on the trial run, I could tell that The Boy Child was really enjoying it.  He wanted more thread when he ran out.
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Road Trip Progress Activites

Luckily, my children are still young enough that the inevitable “Are we there yet?” has not shown itself too many times so far.  I do however, remember using it myself many a time and as a parent myself now, I would just like to take a moment to apologize to my own parents.  Anyways, as I started looking for ideas for our road trip, one thing I wanted to address was a way show our progress and give the kids a way to know how far we have come and how much further we still have to go.  Here is what we have come up with.  Only the progress line is visual, but the others provide markers and give them something to look forward to along the way.

Trip Progress Line

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Traveling with Kids…Where Do I Start?

Welcome to Travel Week here at mommyland.  Our vacation is fast approaching and in between frantic preparation and panic, I decided I wanted to share some travel tips and activities here on the blog.  Honestly, I am looking forward to spending a couple hours of the day writing on here…it will give me a little break from panic mode.

When thinking about how to organize my posts for the upcoming week, I was torn between a lot of smaller posts or a few larger ones and I think that I have decided it will be a mix of the two.  At the end of the week, I will have a wrap up post with a list of all the tips and activities from this week and links to each article.  Hope you find something useful for your next trip and please feel free to share any tips, tricks or activities you may have in the comments.

It Starts With Containment

As I was looking for activities to keep the kids busy on a roadtrip, I realized that what I really needed was a place to keep all of these activities I was planning on having for the kids.  I have found that organization is really key on these long trips (more organizing tips to come in a future post).  When looking around, I saw various ideas on how to keep things contained that ranged from plastic crates to backpacks.  All of these ideas were good and I considered each of them before I randomly came across the answer I needed.  I was at the dollar store looking for some other things, when I saw reusable bags with Disney Cars and Fairies on them.  These were some heavy duty bags (better than I would have expected to find at the dollar store), they came with a large size and a smaller bag as well, and the price was right.

As we are going to be a bit tight on space, everything (games, toys, activities, etc…) has to fit into the big bag.  If it doesn’t fit…it doesn’t go (at least not up front anyways).  The small bags are for snacks.  This way the kids have there own bags and when they want a snack, they have their own bag to choose from and can’t argue over who is getting more of a certain thing.  Granted my one year old can only say about 5 words so her arguing skills are limited, but they certainly know how to get on each others nerves and I figured it was good to start early.

So, the moral of this story, whatever method you choose ( I don’t think there is a right or a wrong.  Just a whatever works for you, your kids, and your trip), containment is key and I think the best place to start.  This way, you and your kids know right from the start how much space there is for their stuff in the car

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Hectic Vacation Preparation

This past week has been quite hectic, hence the lack of posts on my part.  Towards the beginning of the week, it finally dawned on me that we are only two weeks away from our vacation and I hadn’t done one thing to prepare.  You may be saying, “two weeks, that’s plenty of time to get things ready” and you would be wrong.  When there are two small children, a two day drive to your destination, and a three week stay involved, there isn’t enough time in the world.

In two weeks time, we will be making our annual pilgrimage from Colorado to West Virginia to spend some much needed quality time with my family.  This year is even more special, because my little brother is graduating from high school and I am so happy that we are getting out there to celebrate such a big moment with him.

As excited as I am, there is also a great deal of worrying that goes along with the planning (I am a worrier…my mother yells at me about it all the time).  This year we are driving instead of flying and while financially this is the best option for us, it can be a rough trip mentally, emotionally, and even physically.  If we were to drive straight through, it would take 23 hours.  We choose to make the trip in two days stopping about halfway to relax and get some sleep before finishing the trip.  No matter how you shake it though, this is a long trip especially for a three year old and a one year old.  So, among all the other planning — scheduling an oil change, making packing lists, cleaning the house, taking care of bills — I have been scouring the internet trying to find some fun road trip activities to help make the trek a little more bearable.  I have come up with some really great ideas (or what I hope will turn out to be great ideas once tested by the kids) and plan on sharing them next week.  So make sure to check back starting Sunday for some tips and activities for road trip fun with little ones.

Happy Travels!

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