Monday, August 26, 2013

Are We There Yet? Ideas

Finally, I am just beginning to post about our summer trip. I thought this day would never come! So, our trip entailed me driving with 3 kids under 6 for 16 hours for the first visit. Then 8 hours for the next visit. During the first visit we ended up driving 8 additional hours and during the second visit we ended up driving another additional 8 hours. Needless to say, this was a trip of many many many hours in a vehicle. I knew before we left that I needed to do something to help keep my sanity as well as keeping the kids behaving well.

I started with non other than Pinterest. I found many posts such as this, this, and an idea that doesn't take you to the actual link which are things called snack boxes.

I liked the idea of each hour giving the kids a new something, but hauling around bags of goodies for each hour of our trip times 3 for 3 kids, seemed like a bit much. Instead of opted for trip clips and snack boxes.

Here is how mine turned out:

Blue for my boy, purple for one of the girl's favorite color, and pink for the other's favorite color.

These are my snack boxes. I made them labels to match the color of their clips.

I used colored permanent markers, glue, clothespins, and scrapbook materials for the decor. I colored the clips in the color of the decor and glued them on. Very simple.

I also had $1 store bins that I filled with their choice of 2 toys, crayons, stickers, a few $1 store toys, and an empty lined notebook. The bins had the same label that their snack boxes had. These boxes sat next to them during the trip. Each visit, I would clean them out so they were always ready for the next car trip.

Okay, so how did I use the clips and snack boxes? I had the clips which didn't fit on the visor clipped to a drop down compartment in the front of the car that is used to hold a garage door opener but is always empty. Whenever the kids were mean to each other or were non compliant to what I asked the lost their clips. Sometimes I would say things like, "Uh Oh, we don't want to loose any clips." Other times I would reach up and take a clip down without saying a word. This seemed to work the best because even though they would cry a bit, we would talk about how they could get the clip back up. For them to earn it back they had to use nice and kind words and/or help each other. I would make a huge deal about earning it back. Each hour whoever had a clip up would get to pick a snack from their snack box. 

The snack boxes were just an ingenious idea. Not only did it help with behavior issues, but each gas station stop was not filled with can we get this? What about this? Pleeeeeese? The trip also lacked these: "Mommy, I'm hungry!" "I'm starving!" "Can we stop and get a snack?" Which saved me a ton of money.

Every long trip we take will include these three elements for sure!

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