Keeping it Simple: Road Trip Tips for Young Kids: Individual Road Trip Binders {Free Printable}

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Road Trip Tips for Young Kids: Individual Road Trip Binders {Free Printable}


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It's summer time and for us that means lots and lots of vacations and road trips!  This summer we have two really big road trips planned, one to California for a family reunion (12 hours of driving one way) and one to Wyoming to visit grandparents (15 hours of driving one way).  I love going on vacations and getting to see family but I'm not going to lie, traveling with 5 young kids in NOT easy!  I have to mentally prepare myself for the long trips weeks in advance.  Not only do we need to prepare ourselves for a long road trip, it's important to prepare our cars too.  It's important that they are running properly and that they have a current oil change.

I don't get oil changes anywhere else than Walmart Automotive Care Center (honestly!).  It's just so convenient.  Especially since I now have 5 kids at home with me, the thought of waiting at a car place for an hour or so sounds miserable.  So I go to Walmart, leave my car there and then do my grocery shopping.  I got the Pennzoil® oil because their oil is made to clean out the dirty sludge and is designed for complete engine protection and allows you to drive 550 more miles a year (vs. having a dirty engine).
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With Walmart you know that you are getting a low price.  From June 10 through September 9th, their Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle oil change is on Rollback from $39.88 to only $35.88 (the standard price in the industry is $46).  The Pennzoil® Platinum Full Synthetic oil change is always on Rollback from $49.88 to only $45.88 (industry price is $66).
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Now that my car is prepared with it's oil change, I now can start working on preparing my family for the trips.  This year I made each of my kids a road trip binder with a lot of fun activities for them to do.  I have found with my kids that they aren't good at sharing. When I give them things in the car and I don't give them something to put them into, it's a complete mess.  So in each binder, each kid gets their own notebooks, writing utensils and things like that.  
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This is how I made them:
I bought regular three ring binders and then I cut out some fun shapes out of dry erase vinyl (yes that does exist and it's awesome!).  
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I put the vinyl onto the front of the binders so they can draw and erase as much as they want.
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I wanted to buy some pencil holder pouches but since it's not school season they are hard to find (or they cost $3-$5), so I made some pencils holders with a storage bag and duct tape.
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I folded the bag just a little bit (so it would fit better into the binder) and then I put duct tape onto the bag.
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I measure the  duct tape against the three rings in the binder and marked where the holes needed to be.  Then using a hole punch, I punched holes into the duct tape.
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Each kid get their own colored pencils, crayons, dry erase markers, pens and hole punch.  I put all of that into the storage bag.
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Then I added a notebook and some loose paper for them to draw or write onto.
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I then added a few page protectors into the binder so they could put things in there, like this Bingo game and punch card I made for them.  The Bingo game is perfect for them to actually look around and see where we are going and what's outside the car.  For every bingo you could give them a treat or for the first bingo.  To get the free printable, go here.  I also made ones with farm pictures and vehicles.
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The punch card is to help them count down the hours in the car.  For every hour we drive they get to punch the card.  I wrote down the numbers onto the card to show them how much longer we have.  I'm hoping that these cards will help with the constant asking "How many more minutes until we get there?".  To get the free printable for the punch card, go here.
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And that's it for the binders.  I left several of the page protectors open so we can add to the binder as we are traveling.
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Here's a quick view of the binders :).

Another thing that I am going to do with my kids is that I'm going to have some stuff in the front seat with me and every few hours I am going to give them a new book, activity or toy.  Like these coloring books.
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When you give them everything at once, they get bored of it really quickly, so when you space it out, they get excited about something new.
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I also thought that it would be fun to do a little craft with them, so I filled up little containers with beads and then I'll give them some elastic to make jewelry or whatever they want.
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As for snacks, the best way that I have found is getting a bunch of sandwich bags and giving them each their own bag.  It's a lot cheaper than buying individual packaged ones and it's a lot cleaner than giving them the whole box "to share".  I'm also going to do some kind of treat bags that they get every few hours.

What kind of things do you do on your road trips to make them more bearable and fun?  I would love to hear it, leave me a comment! 

1 comments:

David Dial said...

Great tips! I wish I had one of these binders when I was a kid. Those roadtrips to Grandma's house seemed to take forever! Thanks for sharing! #client