Traveling with kids!

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Traveling with kids - Challenge of a Lifetime!

Silly, I know, but if you've traveled with kids, you know that's not exactly an exaggeration. Whether, its an hour drive or a couple days, its a challenge. Living so far from town, family and the closest Sam's Club, we get in a lot of hours in the pickup! That's not counting the time they spend in farming equipment either!

If you are like me, you try to avoid technology if possible, but use it when necessary.

So, what do you do to keep them entertained?

Well, here are some awesome suggestions! Wish I could take all the credit, but these ideas are a compilation of things I've found online and ideas other moms have given me!

1. Books - That's a "no-brainer", but did you know that there are even books that come in non-traditional forms such as books with an audio CD and as apps on an I-Pad? We have a variety of Sandra Boynton, Dr. Seuss and "No more monkeys jumping on the bed" type books uploaded on our I-Pad! They even come with the feature of "Auto Play" so no pages need to be turned and it will just automatically read through the book for them! Simply search for books in your app store. Another great place I've found books and non-traditional forms of books is through Usborne books and www.childrenlove2read.com

2. Miniatures! - When we took our 36 hour train ride out to visit my folks, I thought miniatures would be a great way to bring along some toys. So I thought of Polly Pockets. Guess how expensive those were???? Way too expensive to have to worry about losing them on the train. That's for sure!! A momma friend recommended "My Busy Books"! They are a book, with a play mat and 12 miniatures. The girls love them and they are super cute! They come in any theme you can think of, but especially Disney characters. So of course we chose Doc McStuffins! They are recommended for children ages 3 years and up, but even Sister Roo age 22 months loved them. They spent hours playing with them! We highly recommend them! These run about $9!

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A non-traditional "miniature" option is the "My PlayHome" app! It is an app that features a family, a playhouse with various rooms, lights to turn on and off, faucets to turn on and off, an outside play structure, and many many more actions to do with the family and the home. This is a favorite with Big Sister (3.5 years), who is really beginning to engage in more in-depth pretend play.

3. Re-useable Stickers! - Melissa and Doug has some great options for re-usable stickers. They all seem to come with a "mat" to stick them on, but windows are way more fun! I searched Amazon and found tons of options. During haying season this year, the girls spent quite a bit of time with me in the swather! Boy did those big windows come in handy! They worked perfectly for the stickers!

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4. Water Wow - This was a lifesaver and a hotly fought over item! My favorite part of it is that it is reusable!! The water dries, the colors on the pages disappear, and they get to color it all over again! This is a Melissa and Doug item as well! The price? $4.99!!

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5. Color Blast! - Ok, I promise this is not a promotion for Melissa and Doug, but their Color Blast was also a huge hit. I love that the pen cannot color anything else. Big Sister loved coloring and finding the hidden objects and Sister Roo, just thought it was cool to scribble over the top of it all! The cost for this item was $4.99! So reasonable.

6. Other suggestions I've heard and seen are magnets and a cookie sheet, playing "I spy". music CDs, a flat sheet to put over their heads to have private sibling time, and having scavenger hunts during rest breaks or at gas stations!

7. When all else fails...Break out the DVD player or the downloaded movies on the I Pad!! Then sit back and relax!! A movie or two wont affect development, especially when it means saving momma's sanity! :o)

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I wish you and your family happy travels and a safe productive harvest! If you have other ideas for activities for traveling with kids, please feel free to mention them in the comments!!