Travel Survival Kit, Part 2

Well, sheesh! It's amazing how much STUFF you can hide in a house this size. We had at least ten people helping us today (not to mention a whole passel of kids running around and keeping life interesting) and now our living room is stacked high with boxes--and we didn't even finish all the packing and cleaning! I had completely forgotten how long it takes (and how exhausting it is) to pack a kitchen!

Anyway, I better post about Part 2 (since I know you were all waiting with bated breath) before we pack my computer tomorrow. (Part 1 here.)

When we purchased our new van, I was adamant that I did not want to get a DVD player in it. I figured my kids watch enough boob tube as it is, and I didn't want them asking to watch a movie every time we went to the grocery store. And for most trips, even the 6-8 hour ones, my kids are fine in a van. We have to stop for meals, so that breaks it up nicely, and they can usually keep themselves occupied for the remaining length of time.

Twelve hours? Five days? That's a whole different story.

So, I broke down. I bought a portable DVD player for the van. We have already had "the talk" with Jude about it only being for long trips, not every day. "It's only for when we're moving?" He asked. "We'll go with that," I replied.

So, here's the list of items in my Survival Kit:

1. DVD Player
2. DVD's--some new ones, quite a few old ones. I preferred musicals when choosing the selection, since at least then I can sing along to the songs while they watch the movie.
3. New Magna Doodle.
4. Read-along stories on tape and DVD. I bought a 3-pack of Go, Diego, Go! stories, and I have the twelve-pack cassette tapes on values from Standin' Tall from when I was a kid. I still like them--and my kids do, too! They get to learn about things parents love like Obedience and Dependability, only they don't know they are learning about it. They think they are just listening to a story. It's great.
5. New markers and crayons.
6. Several different colouring books.
7. Mini-bubble bottles.
8. A Raffi CD. (C'mon, it's classic. I couldn't pass it up!)
9. Glo-sticks.
10. Books - a few new, some old.
11. Books that have a little side-panel of accompanying sounds--one each. I got Baby Einsteins, Little Einsteins, and Transformers. (You are supposed to read the story and the kid gets to push the button every time the corresponding picture is in the sentence, but my kids just like sitting and pushing the buttons to hear the sound clip over and over. Drives me crazy actually, but it keeps them entertained for goodly lengths of time, so it works.)
12. Little cars and trucks.
13. Math workbook.
14. Blank paper and drawing supplies.
15. Dora The Explorer Color Wonder Kit. For hours of "no-mess" coloring time with a huge dose of "cool factor" to make it fun for the kids.
16. New activity books--the same one for each, to help avoid fighting.
17. Sonic the Hedgehog comics--some old, two new.
18. Banana-chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies and trail mix.
19. Bandaids and essential oils. 'Cause you just never know.

Okay, so it might be a bit of overkill. But at this point, I'd rather bo overprepared than underprepared, y' know?

A key part of this strategy is to not let them know about everything all at once. One must time it--just when they are starting to hit that whiny and bored stage again, pull out something else that's new that they weren't expecting. Just like any entertainer--it's all about timing.

Speaking of timing, it's time for me to get to bed. As much as I wish we could take a break tomorrow, one meander through my kitchen (or simply turning my head and looking around my office) reminds me that we can't. Sigh. Well, there will be lots of sitting on our tushes coming in only a few days.

Happy weekend, friends!