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Wish List- Road Trip Edition (2016)

This blog article was originally posted on my first blog In Our Pond.  I started out trying to put all my travel content on my homeschooling blog, but it grew to be too big.  So, I'm moving all the road trip stuff over here!  It'll probably take me a while to move all the posts, but I'll also be posting new content on here as well.  In Our Pond will now be exclusively for homeschooling and parenting content, while this blog (Party Through the USA) is for all the family travel posts.  Check them both out!

It's March 1, and I'm looking way past this yucky, sleety day to summer.  Once again, we're planning a big road trip this summer.  We'll be driving for three long days each way, so I need to plan lots of things for my kids (and the parents) to do in the car.  Like most people, I do a lot of shopping on Amazon.  Here are 10 things that I want to buy for our trip:

Chalkboard Vinyl

I'm going to give the kids cookie sheets to put on top of their pillows for activities.  I thought it would be neat if the backside of the cookie sheets had a chalkboard surface.  I know that I could paint the chalkboard on, but I thought I'd try this vinyl instead.  I plan on duct taping the edges to discourage the kids from picking on the edge.  And, the duct tape can be in their own patterns/colors so they don't get confused as to whose cookie sheet belongs to whom.

My First Hidden Pictures Book

Do you remember the old Highlight's magazines that you used to read as a kid? (actually, you can print the hidden pictures on their website)  This coloring book is like the Highlight's magazine, except more simplistic.  Each half page has only five or six items to find.  The book is cheap enough that I won't feel bad if coloring and picture-finding turns into paper ripping.  I plan on handing out just a few pages at a time and anticipate having some leftover at the end of the trip.  They'll also be good to hand out to the kids' cousins during some restaurant time or other quiet moments.

4 Port USB Car Changer

This one is probably more for the parents than the kids.  It seems like on car trips, a family can never have too many places to plug in electronics.  This charger looks like a good solution (but I'll have to come up with some cord corrals).

Aquadoodle Water Pen

My children are still young and are very prone to making messes.  Instead of packing a lot of markers and crayons (which just sounds like trouble), I'm going to make water writers and chalk.  I still come to regret it, but at least we shouldn't have as much permanent damage.  These Aquadoodles are markers that you fill with water, and then draw or paint with.  I think they'll work great with our "Buddha Boards" that I plan on making for the trip.  If I feel brave, I might even include some water painting sheets, but those might be saved for times when I can directly supervise.

Rand McNally Map

Even in this age of GPS and Google Maps, we still like to have an old fashioned atlas around.  This one is spiral bound and has a hard cover to help it stay a bit more "whole" through the trip.

Long Arm Grabber

Nine passenger Suburban.  One mom.  Thus, the grabber.  I'm hoping it will help me pass things to the kids and eliminate the amount of stuff getting thrown through the car.

Color Sorting Magnetic Busy Board

Dragonfly's birthday is days before our road trip, and I think she'll need to get this activity for the car.  The magnetic wand is used to move little balls and sort them into colored paint cans.  The whole activity is contained within one board.  I love activities like that!  I think the sorting board will be popular with my kids, since they love our latch busy board that Tadpole got for Christmas.

Update (3/3/16) The magnetic boards by Lakeside Learning have been recalled- way back in 2010.  Lakeside Learning doesn't sell these boards on their site, which confirms the recall to me.  I'm pretty bummed, because I thought the toy idea was a good one.

Jumbo Sand Rollers

Part of our vacation is going to be spent in a sandy area.  I thought these pattern rollers would be fun for the kids to try.  I could even see the older cousins and grown-ups using the rollers to add texture to their sand creations.

Kid-Sized Headphones

Last year, I bought a pirate-themed CD player, but I didn't feel like the kids were quite ready to use it.  This year, I think Dragonfly is ready for her own audiobooks or music.  Perhaps it will help her cope better with chaos of the car.  These hot pink headphones are her color, are preschool-sized, and have a volume control.

Safari Ltd Pirate Toob 

My kids love Safari Toobs, so they'll be excited to get a some new figurines for their trip.  I'm planning to divide the toob between the kids, and making some pirate maps for small world play.  When we get to our destination, the kids will be able to play with the figurines in the water and sand.  If there are any left after the trip, I can add the pirates to our homeschool materials.

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