Monday, May 19, 2008

Theme of the Week Challenge

Okay, here's a confession: Deneal and I love this blog. We are so invested in it. We love the idea of learning things from other mothers that will help make our parenting more exciting and meaningful. We greatly appreciate the comments and posts other people have shared. However, we have noticed that response in general is lukewarm, even paltry (here's the definition of paltry from dictionary.com. You may get a good laugh.). We hope you're enjoying learning from us, even if you aren't commenting. But hey, I want to learn from YOU too! So, let's see if this helps at all...

GIVEAWAY!!!

This week we will be giving away a $10.00 giftcard to either Target or Wal-Mart (your choice). So here are the rules: post a comment with an idea or two (or ten) about this week's theme, and at the end of the week I'll randomly choose someone (AKA putting your name in a hat and my 5 year old will pick one). If you are an author on this blog (or would like to become one), and post something with pictures, you will get two of your name in the hat. Yay! The contest expires at midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, May 25. The winner will be announced on Monday the 26.

So, here is this week's theme: traveling with children. In less than two weeks my family will be driving 16 hours each way to go house shopping, with two small children, in a compact Honda Civic. I am in desperate need of ideas to keep them entertained and happy for 32+ hours. These are the ideas I have: DVDs, books, coloring, the ABC game (watch for billboards and license plates outside, finding all the letters of the alphabet), singing, telling stories, treats and snacks, playing with toys, and praying that they sleep for at least a little while. So I am looking for fun ideas that are new and different and exciting. Any thoughts? I would also love helpful tidbits like rolling up the window with a pillowcase or blanket just poking out of the top to keep the sun out, or other sanity saving ideas. So here is your chance folks: help a mom out, and you just might get a little something out of it!

19 comments:

One Little, Two Little said...

Here are some thoughts and ideas just to name a few.

1. I Spy, Letter or number hunt, geography games...
2. Travel size games like tic-tac-toe, Connect Four, Checkers...
3. Water color painting, nature journaling, drawing, taking pictures...
4. Lots of snacks!

Have a good trip.

Desta said...

Sorry you guys. I love this blog too and check it regularly. I even keep the theme of the week in mind throughout my comings and goings but the things I come up with are so simple I don't think I'd be teaching anyone anything. But I will try so hard for this one. I totally feel for you when it comes to car travel. The Z-girl only sleeps for 1-2 hours in the car (no matter how long the trip) so I am encountering this same problem.

So I promise I'll post something this week! You know I'd do ANYTHING for $10!!!

Heather said...

I always bring along a "new toy" (garage sale usually, but new to them).

Those sewing cards are usually time consuming, or the Magnadoodles.

Sometimes we make cheerio/fruit loop necklaces before and they get them at some point in the trip to make last as long as they can.

Books on cd, making up stories. Good luck. Sounds like a long trip.

Adrienne said...

on our last trip I burned my son his own cd of favorite songs. Then I gave him my old personal cd player. That way I didn't have to listen to kid music the whole time and he thought he so was cool. You could also make your own "eye spy" collage. You can buy some fun dollar or cheap toys and wrap them. Every so often you can let them unwrap a new toy. I always like these disney books "the essential guide" to 'monsters inc' or 'cars' etc. They have a lot of fun information about the movies. My kids love those movies and look at these books for hours. We also love the color wonder books and markers. Good Luck! Sounds like an exhausting journey

Kent and Leisy said...

Try playing CAR BINGO. Under the letters B-I-N-G-O- have things like "police car", "motorcycle", "train", "barn", "tractor", etc! Put all of the options in a bag- and the letters in another- and then you be the caller.

also- have them keep a trip diary (with words or pictures). They can write/color about every stop- each new state you cross through, etc.

good luck!! I told Kent that I don't EVER want to make our 24 hour drive again.

Kent and Leisy said...

with the bingo- you can also play that they cross them off as they see them- no caller needed.

LizzyP said...

I love the idea of this blog, too--that's why I know that you understand why I'm so inconsistent in checking it and commenting when I do. I can barely provide my 4YO snacks at the appropriate times, let alone entertain him with creative activities. But I'll be better. I really will be a groupie . . someday.

Masking tape is such a fun thing for my four-year old. I give him a roll and let him go crazy--it is a great art medium. (I wouldn't be surprised if he became the first artist to use it for an installation!) He sticks it to anything and everything, making different shapes and small sculptures. It's great because it peels right off of whatever he sticks it, too. He loves the colored varieties (blue and green), but he'll use the buff colored stuff if that's all I have. It's also a great thing because he wears it like a bracelet or armband. Good luck on your trip!

Suzie said...

Have little bloody mary before you go and have your husband drive. It make the ride a lot easier

Margie said...

I don't think I have any new ideas to add but I love your blog. I usually get a new color wonder coloring book for my toddlers and just splurged on a leapster handheld game for my 3 year old because we have an upcoming trip and she's been getting into games more. You already mentioned DVD's and that's our lifesaver on trips as well. I know, great creative ideas huh? Good luck!

Britt said...

If you can find some magnetic pattern blocks, my little 3 year old girl loves them. Also, books and stories on CD are great. Give them an old digital camera that they could play with and take pictures of cars and things that they see along the road. Bring flashcards for them. Bring photo albums/scrapbooks for them to look at (I think my daughter could look at them all day) or even better put a new one together for them to look at on the trip.

millerjk said...

When we traveled from Utah to DC with our 18 month old we hit DI and purchased new toys to her and pulled them out as needed. As far as new items we purchased Crayola color wonder markers and water colors, which entertained her for quite a while. We also had the old standbye DVD player, movies are always good. We made sure we never ate on the go, always stopping and letting her get out for a bit. We left from Cache Valley, so we picked up flavored boxed milk (gosners) before we left, so she had milk anytime she wanted it (it does not need to be refridgerated until opened, but we bought juice box size).

This time around I am FLYING in 4 weeks with a 19 month old and 4 year old from Japan to Alaska. Wish me luck. I am still not sure what is going to entertain my 19 month old, but the 4 year old is very into books on CD, so through the year (from scholastic book orders) I have ordered book and CD sets. My DH has put the CDs as mp3on our player and our 4 year old will have mp3 player and new books which hopefully will entertain her until sleep time.

Adrienne said...

OK...another idea. I had a new frame sitting out and it was in bubble wrap. My 3 yr old sat there for 10 minutes straight popping the bubble wrap. Then he carried it with him around all day popping away. So bubble wrap...it's worth a thought...

Steve, ToVah, Avery, and Z said...

When we take long trips, I always try to find a couple of sticker books for my 3yr old. She loves them, and loves finding where each sticker goes. It usually occupies her the whole time, if we fly. Another idea is to head to the library before you go. Let the kids check out a couple of books that interest them. The best thing I have found is to find a playground every few hours and let the kids get out and play. They get excited to see what the next playground is going to look like.

Heather said...

GLOW BRACELETS! This will entertain them the entire time it is dark outside and most dollar store sell them.

I enjoy your blog!

Tracey said...

We travel by car 26 hours from Iowa to California 2 times a year for the past 5 years and here are a couple of things that are a huge help: First metal baking dishes with a lip around the edge. The kids can use these as food trays while eating in the car, if you have magnetic toys ie letters, magnet puzzle pieces, etc. they will stick to them and they can create "words" and scenes, as an art tray, washable markers, washable crayons won't roll away as easily and it gives a hard surface to write on. Space is a premium on long trips and this one is a great help for that. Make sure they are the same size so they nest together and they can slide under a seat when not in use. The 2nd item is one I made for the kids. One of my biggest complaints was not being able to find things that the kids needed or wanted because they would just get dropped and "lost" on the floor of the car. So I made them car bags to put all their books, writing utensils, action figures, polly pockets, etc. I also had extra fabric and made shoe bags too. These are super handy for potty stops after dark! ;) Here's the link to my blog where I posted some pics for a friend who wanted to make them for a road trip. I didn't have a pattern, so I just made something up because I couldn't find what I had in mind at a store! http://traceyterr.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/kids-car-bags/
The last thing that all the kids love is Harry Potter and we borrow the CD's from the library and listen in the car. We've tried other books on tape, but this was a favorite for them and we enjoyed listing too:) Get the kids their own sunglasses too for when you can't control where the sun is coming from. I could go on... Good luck:)

Rhonda said...

All the above ideas are great... we have traveled the world over, for over 20 years with five kids in tow.

I LOVE traveling with them. We have done the airlines, bus, trains, cars, and of course hit all the subways in between.

This much I know... if it is forbidden at home, it will be the very treat that keeps the kids happy. Gum, messy chocolate, soda, you name it. Well... to be honest, I give my kids Sudafed and that knocks 'em out. Sorry, I know... lame, but hey... it works.

I told you we travel a lot. Family all over the world makes for a lot of mileage on our American Airlines and Delta accounts.

Happy traveling!

Justin and Jessi said...

We traveled A LOT when I was younger and I remember playing "zip". You look for the little green mile marker signs and be the first to yell "ZIP!" The first one to reach like 20 (or whatever number you choose) wins! ha ha.. it's more fun than it sounds. Also, 20 questions is always fun (especially when the younger ones pick something, then change their mind in the middle of the questions). Umm, traveling from Cedar to Provo every other week with 2 little ones for a while caused us to be quite creative also. But we used all the same ideas you already have. Make sure you bring a cooler with cold snacks and milk. Good luck!

Tyra said...

We travel ALOT, and my kids really are good little travelers. They are used to it I guess :) Some of our favorite trip things are capri suns, muddy buddies, color wonder markers and books, singing songs anf letting them make up funny versions, I spy, and our FAVORITE: picking out shapes in the clouds!!!!! They each pack their own little backpack with 2 things of choice and then the others that I supply, so far they stay happy. Have fun!

Megan & Jon said...

Hey did you see my posts about the abc website.. Print those babies and do them in the car.. YES!!!!!!!!!! Does this mean i'm eligible for the prize.