Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Fun Trunk Keepers

Since I have added all the fun places to visit, and to do this summer last week, I would like to share some thoughts and more research I have been doing ( yes, I READ alot!) on Summer FUN!!!!!!!! Being prepared can really bless your family, and take some stress off the mamas and daddy's, with just a little bit of planning..  I put together some unique things that really stood out to me from great resources, and have also shared some things that have worked for our family.

Along with the stuff we already know to  keep in the car for summer time;  like beach towels, lawn chairs, ice box, bottles of water, extra changes of clothes per kid, diapers, sun lotion, cash, ( for those spur of the moment ice cream stand stops of course) picnic blanket, ball, frisbee, GPS (great for Geocaching!) etc..... what other things can we bring along?

What else can you bring on these FUN outings????

Trunk Keepers
  • Here is a great idea called Resturant Kits, AND it can be a craft you and the kinders do and put together! double bonus! Just keep in the car, for any situation where boredom can arise!
  • (Extra) Snacks bags! I purchased some adorable fabric snack bags from Etsy several months ago, and we love them! Make your own here or check out these adorable ones!  Great to keep in the car too, in case you need to stop at teh grocery store and divide up snacks on the road!
  • First Aid Kit! I have like 2 in my car now. =) I love the Ouch Pouch idea .  And the words are so much cuter than First aid! =)
  •  And I can't wait to put a few together for my bags ( swim bag, shopping bag, day trip bag..yes, that way i won't have to remember to pull it out each time I change activity bags).

  • Extra basket or bucket for Nature collecting. My children pick up something almost everyday! if I find one more pine cone, rock, or squished dandelion shoved into the cup holders...I will probably cry! so now I am prepared for their lovely findings.

  • Nature Journal and colored pencils encourage them to draw things the find or see on your trip

  • Children's Camera- my kids are always wanting to take pictures, it helps to always keep it in the car, once it's in teh house... we never see it again.

  • Magnifying glass: bring this to musuem visits, encourage the children to get up close and personal! plus they love carrying these around, and it keeps them involved during the not so entertaining parts.
  • Field Guides: Find some for your planned trips, or nature that's right outside your front door!  Playful Learning has a great article on these!  here are a few Golden guides, Audubon pocket guides  and a list of field guides  at amazon
  • Entertainment

  1. Audio Books! We LOVE our stories on the Ipod~ have you visited these amazing places?

                                             Kiddie Records,  Kiddie Records Weekly began in 2005 as a one year project devoted to the golden age of children's records. This period spanned from the mid forties through the early fifties and produced a wealth of all-time classics. Many of these recordings were extravagant Hollywood productions on major record labels and featured big time celebrities and composers.
Books should be free,
this site has an incredible selection of childrens books. Such titles as , Anne of green gables, Heidi, story of the middle ages, the prince and the pauper, grimms fairy tales....etc... check it out!
Some of our Favorite Audio books recently are many of the kiddie Records ( above)  short stories, Henry Higgins, and the Frances audio collection,

Entertainment 2 "Take Along" Fun:

  • Bordom Buster Boxes from Givers Log these are great!! and for the younger ones.....
  • Preschool Activities in a Bag, and Make and Take projects .
    Tiffany over at Rockin C ( I love her!) has been making these great Tot to Go Totes. I can't wait to try to put together some of our own. The possiblities are endless on these....
  • The Surprise! Envelopes idea from Survival Mom (great idea!), I have done something simular to this, by wrapping little gifts for my toddlers and taking them out every few hours on the airplane, or long car rides... it was great excitment.. and kept them going a little longer.
  • BUBBLES! These are great for waiting in lines at teh amusement park. easy to pull out, and  the kids love them while standing around.. it blesses teh other children in line too! My husband does this when we go to Disney. (Great daddy!)
  • BALLOONS! keep a few in your mommy bag.. you never know when a balloon will kill some good time - a great bordom buster.
  • Lollipops: I dont' know why but these have instantly saved us during melt down times ...stash em away in your bag!
  • I Spy: We love I Spy books, and these are great for car rides and Plane rides. For all ages too! check out their collection at Amazon, and also see these super cool I spy games for travel! and the super cute   I SPY BAG  . we always keep this in our car.
  • I spy Cards themed to your next trip, museum, zoo, etc.... I made these for my children from homeschool share, and laminated them for our trip to teh Butterfly habitat. Each time they found  a match on their card, they put a sticker on . When they found all the matches, they won a prize. This was alot of fun, and it helped them learn all the names of the butterflies. Several months later, my 3..wait now 4 year old still sees a "painted lady" butterfly and gets excited! It looked official, which thrilled my son.. and it also kept them interested at times, when they would have wondered off..
  • Book Basket: We keep a book basket in our car between the children. We change it out once a week,  They love this! I let them choose the books most of the time. but sometimes I do throw in books pertaining to our trip we are on... makes a great resource too when questions arise.
I also make and take our lunches whenever possible. I like to decorate their lunch bags, of the theme of the place we are going, and stick a small goodie in there, like stickers, or a little toy. They love this! And always look forward to it.  Speaking of food ,Here is a great article I read at Survival Mom "Eating on the Road, a family Road trip survival plan"

  • $$$$
    Another thing we do is give the children each $1.00 -$3.00 to spend in the gift shop (depending on the type of store it is) . They LOVE gift shops, and these days it seems every musuem or adventure park has one... I stick it in their lunch bag.  This works out great, for not asking for everything in the store for us...
A wonderful friend of mine, had a great idea... her children got to choose ONE thing to collect from all their trips.. Her son chose baseball caps, her daughter chose dolls. This way, they didn't have alot of knick-knacks around the house, and they knew what to look for when they took a trip.  And each child has a wonderful display in their room.
  • $$$$
I try to buy little souviners whenever possible at yard sales, and keep them for future outings. I do this alot with Disney stuff before our yearly trips to Disney. At this age they have no idea if we bought it or not at their stores. This has saved us a TON of money of the last few years, and we are still able to bless them with lots of surprises along the trip.   Other examples : little plastic animals for zoo trips, books about ocean life for sea life center trips, rocks of differant kinds ( these actaully get pricey if you have more than one kid at a rock gift shop, so picking them up for nothing at yard sale is worth it!) etc... I am a giver. It comes naturally to me, and I Always want to Give Give Give to those around me. And it blesses me to see faces light up over little gifts. So to be able to do this frugally, is even better! KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN for great deals!

  • Movies?   And finaly, our family is blessed with a portable dvd player, and we use it!!! =)   here are a few shows the kinders are loving this month! Keep im mind they are 4 and 6 years...  and we are also very careful about what they watch.  We use this verse to help us choose our shows wisely......."Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23.  think about such things. Philipians 4:8. P.s. If you are ever looking for a great resource of Christian Reviews of movies.. we love this site. They have great reviews, and on all current movies too. This is a wonderful site for ALL ages.
And  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--

Also, not for traveling, but another great idea for Summer time FUN at home are  ADVENTURE BOXES . from blog she wrote:
What are adventure boxes? It's an idea where you and your child pick a theme and then the child is provided with materials to explore the adventure for the summer. This is a great way to encourage reading and other activities once school is finished for the year and it's a bunch of fun!
Check out these great Adventure theme boxes from Heather @ Blog she wrote ( one of my favorite five in a row mommy bloggers) here is another more detailed post she wrote over at Heart of the Matter

Adventure Theme Boxes from Homeschool Classroom and these Adventure Theme boxes from Enriched Living.

Some of the Adventures my kinders want to go on this summer are Dinosaurs, Ocean life ,Birds and Egypt.
I will post pics next week of our Adventure Boxes....

What travel tips do you have for children? I would LOVE to hear them!

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