10 Parenting Tips from 10 Years of Super Healthy Kids: FACEBOOK LIVE + HUGE GIVEAWAY
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Keep working as long as you want if you love your job. 2 million pounds of maple syrup was harvested by FPAQ members and dispensed into 308,000 barrels. Tips and tricks for traveling with kids! I love road trips, it’s true.
I was in Oregon all last week and made the trip BY MYSELF. It was tough because I was flying SOLO with my 26 month old and 8 month old. However, with lots of practice, trial, and error, I think I finally have this whole road trip thing down! Note: For road trip round 2 with tons MORE ideas, click HERE. I only decided 2 days before that I was going to go on the trip, so I started planning and packing right away.
Trust me, it’s never as easy as you think it is. Yes, I paid to have it cleaned. Use a daily deal site to get a good deal on car cleaning. My car was gross, and I couldn’t stand the thought of driving 12 hours in a nasty car! Loose items in the car can be a distraction and make it hard to find what you need, when you need it. I used a large flexible beverage bucket from Target to hold my food, snacks, and a few things that I wanted close at-hand.
I kept my son’s milk, string cheese, and other perishable snacks in a small insulated tote with bags of ice. I did bags of ice rather than freezer packs because I could refill the bags of ice at gas stations for free, but you can’t exactly switch out freezer packs 6 hours into the trip. I made sure to have some sippy cups already filled and in the insulated tote so I didn’t have to worry about pouring while driving. I wanted things to be accessible for my kids too, so I wouldn’t be too distracted trying to reach things for them while driving. I could simply hand him and let him choose what he wanted. I got this basket from the dollar store I believe. For my baby I was sure to have pre-measured formula in a container like THIS and have my trusty travel thermos with me.
I also filled a basket with toys a few days prior to the trip and hid it in the garage, so my kids would be excited to see the toys again once it was time for the trip. I kept these at his feet where I could easily reach down and grab them for them. And I also would stack things next to the kids for easier access when we stopped at rest stops. For both my kids I kept things bungeed to them with my favorite toy bungees.
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This especially came in handy with my 8 month old. I can’t reach her very well because she’s directly behind my seat. My real life-saver was my trusty ipad holder for my car. It allowed my son to be able to watch movies without having to hold my ipad. All you have to do is have a lot of determination and a little luck, and you can have one too. If you can’t win one, earn one! Make money on the side and find a way to afford it if you really want one.
That blue canvas bag hanging from the headrest is ALWAYS in my car, all the time. I throw my trash in it and empty it out when I get gas or clean out my car. 2 year old isn’t an angel all the time? Diet Mountain Dew for a caffeinated pick-me-up. I bought them from Walmart before I left so I wouldn’t have to pay top-dollar at gas stations. It’s next to impossible for your family to stay completely energized on a long trip from caffeine alone.
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Too much caffeine feels great for a time, but then your body will crash and you will be more tired than you were in the first place. My car has an awesome wall-type outlet thing right in the car so I can plug in any conventional charger. I kept all my chargers wound up and close at-hand in my center console so I could easily plug them in if my phone or ipad started getting low. On the drive home I wised up and plugged the charger into the car so all I had to do was attach the charger cord to whatever I needed to charge, rather than trying to reach the outlet while driving. The day before my trip I went to the Dollar Store and got a bunch of trinkets. There were great options because it’s Easter time, and Easter basket fillers are EVERYWHERE. This works great with older kids.
If you are good and help your sister for another hour, you get to open a new prize! When we needed to stop I tried to find rest stops with play places or with grassy areas so we could run around and burn off some energy. I found this one random stop that had Llamas. I had my trusty travel neck pillow so my son could sleep easier in the car. Toddler or Elmo radio and plugged it into my cable so it played through the speakers in my car so my kids could listen to fun music on the drive.
To keep myself entertained, I went to the library and got a bunch of books-on-CD. It kept me awake, entertained, and I actually looked forward to the drive so I could listen to my book! Once again, just try to be as organized as possible. Once again, for even more ideas see my most recent road trip HERE with lots more ideas! Those are a few of the things I did that made my solo 12 hour jaunt not so bad.
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What do YOU do on road trips to make them easier? You can become a Fun, Cheap or Free Queen, too! Subscribe via email and read new posts at your own convenience – you’ll never miss a post again. It’s as if you read my mind and knew that I needed this post today. We just got word that my husband will be doing some retraining for the military for four months, and I may be making a twenty hour trek across the country.
This will come in super handy with my three and four year old. Hopefully I’m still sane when we get there. I THINK I can entertain the 3 yr. 11 month old is a whole different ballgame- not interested in movies. How did your daughter do on the trip?
Did you just keep handing her toys and snacks? I appreciate you taking the time to share them! These will come in handy for our 6 hour ride this weekend! We have a long car trip coming up and I will definitely be using some of these ideas! I’m going to add this because it’s important: please double-check your carseats’ manuals and make sure you are using them correctly. I was coming to say the same. So much attention to detail but not where it’s most important.
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I am planning a summer road trip and am always looking for ways to make it easier. Another tip is to have a “rest stop” box easily accessable for each stop. Bubbles and pinwheels are great to encourage running and getting wiggles out. A kid’s camera is fun too so kids can take pictures of all the different things. Also hand sanitizer for the bathrooms with no soap. I always use totes and baskets to keep things corralled in the car too!
We are doing 14 hrs from Baltimore to West Tennessee and back with our 23 month old and 8 week old and a friend of mine sent me your post. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Toy Bin, Trash Bag, and toy bungies were all purchased from Amazon moments ago for our trip next week. I also love the list site. I LOVE your blog and am excited to hunt through it. My thoughts exactly, I was a little concerned about the straps and chest slip as well!
A lot of these tips will help me too, I have an 8 hour trip coming up with a 1 year old and a 3 year old but both of my kids are still rear facing so I have a little bit of a challenge to figure out entertainment and handing things to them! I make activity books for them. They have coloring pages, mazes, tic tac toe ext. A few times I made a Bingo front page.
I liked this, but it was definitely not free, cheap, or frugal! Basically, you just told us to go and buy a bunch of stuff! Especially because I don’t have an ipad, or a smart phone to do pandora on. It may work for people who have a flexible budget, but not me!
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We have a cross country trip coming up in a few months and I am pinning this so I can use it for that trip. I appreciate that you offered so many options for keeping small kids entertained. I’m a little jealous too, that thing looks awesome. I asked for money for Christmas from everyone last year so I could buy it, but I didn’t earn enough money so I bought a pot and pan set instead. They were too young to read along so I rang a little bell when it was time to turn the page. They would sit back there with their headphones on turning pages like they were reading. I must say, one of the best things I keep in my car is this portable potty!
We have used it tons of times when they just can’t wait, or the bathrooms at the gas station were just too nasty. Mickey” sent the a big box of wrapped gifts the day before we left to open along the drive. 15 total on all of it, and that’s only because there was a new dvd of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse included. My recent post Logan is ONE!
I was thinking the same thing! It is so very important to make sure that our children are buckled in safely. I was visiting in Orem, UT! I drove the whole one in one day, by myself, with my 2 kids, also! But they’re 6 and 8 years old and a little easier to entertain!
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Thank you guys so much for your concern about his straps! The funny thing is that my car is actually still parked outside my house in this pic, we hadn’t left yet. Believe it or not, I did adjust the straps before we left, I just caught it at a bad time. So thanks for reminding me to double and triple check, I appreciate your concern! I don’t know if it is possible for me to be that organized but I could certainly use a few of these ideas.
My recent post A Saturday morning routine. I have a portable dvd not an ipad which is more work but much cheaper. Alot of the other things I think are pretty frugal. Snacks and food you can make muffins mini ones I use for my kiddos and they are easy for them to eat. The totes and canvas bags heck even the toys can come from home or even a thrift store. 3 player which is very cheap you can speak to it I could totally do that. We had a rest stop box.
We had kites and balls in ours too. You seem like super mom to me! I may as well use that time driving! The smaller one sometimes gets backed up from long trips, so the activity right AFTER eating can help her digestion. Also, I’m less likely to have to stop again in 20 minutes when the bigger one decides he needs to poop.
When the kids get to spend nearly every minute of the stop playing and being active, I feel much less guilty strapping them back in and plugging them into electronic distraction devices. Great tips Lisa, thanks for sharing! All these tips bring back memories of the trips I made from Texas to So. I had a 68 VW and this was in the early 70″s before car seats. I would lay down the back seat, throw pillowsand blankets, toys, and the girls back there and go. I remember my oldest was coloring on the back of the driver’s seat so I pulled over and threw all the colors in the ditch!
My daughter told me that Grandma would buy her more! 3 of you can fit into? I have another huge road trip coming up, I’ll definitely be using all your tips second time around! I really wasn’t out much, because I would probably have spent more than that on activites. I think I’ll use a modified version with my 4.