Wednesday, June 1, 2011
We recently traveled to Jackson, Tennessee to watch my little sister graduate from college (so proud of you seestor!) The trip is a little over 10 hours from Nebraska. Since we have two little ones (one of which is still breastfeeding like a champ) we decided to break the drive up into two days.
I wasn't really worried about how Lu would do on the trip. She's such an easy baby and pretty much just needs a smile and some "mommy milk" to keep her happy. Z, however, would be a challenge. We had a few people offer to loan us a car DVD player. Both Papa and I were really against the idea of letting her watch T.V. in the car, especially because it's so stimulating for her. Can you imagine spending 10+ hours in a car with an energized and agitated 3 year old?! We certainly didn't want to. So we had to come up with something different.
That's when I discovered activity bags. Hallelujah!
The concept for activity bags is pretty simple...one self-contained activity per bag. But the possibilities are endless. This post was VERY inspiring. I ended up using a lot of the links found there. I decided to make 20 activity bags for the car. I wanted to have one bag for every hour we would be on the road. I knew that some of the activities wouldn't fill an entire hour, but I thought 20 was a good goal.
I decided to tell my daughter about the bags, but not share what they contained. This made the bags a little more special and helped her become excited about them. The minute we were in the car she wanted her first bag. She played with it for a while, then asked for another, then another, then another. I got nervous, seeing her go through so many bags in such a short amount of time. I started to panic a little, thinking, "I should've made 50! What was I thinking?! 20 isn't enough!" And then, she slowed down. She asked for specific bags and played with some activities more than once, sometimes three or four times. I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled, knowing that the bags were a hit. My husband surprisingly remarked, "She hasn't said she's bored ONCE on this trip". I was so pleased.
I'll do a couple of posts in the coming days detailing what went into each bag and where I purchased/found materials for the activities! I'll also share what worked, what didn't and what I'll be adding for our next road trip.