I wish we were flying somewhere far, foreign, and exotic, but we are driving our mini van to Washington, DC and then visiting our families in Pennsylvania. The kids have recently taken an interest in our nation's capital and government, so we decided to research the area and visit.
We will be driving 8 hours to DC, then and additional 4 1/2 hours four days later. We are seasoned travelers in the mini van. We take about three or four long distance trips per year. Both gals love to travel and travel well, so it is not too difficult to keep them entertained.
Here's the top picks for our 2012 traveling season:
We carry most of our items in this nifty travel case. We started using it a few years ago, it is great for coloring and writing. I should also mention that we keep these cases and their enclosed items packed away until we are on the road. That way, they do not lose their luster before we leave. These are strictly "travel toys" and are only played with then.
Inside we have some items that will hopefully keep them busy for hours!
-Magnetic toys. Remember Colorforms? These are very similar. They have a great selection at Dancing Bear Toys. I thought the gals would be soon outgrowing them, but they still love to play with them when we travel.
Old school activity books: Yes & Know, Mad Libs, and Sticker puzzle books.
I found these books at local craft stores such as AC Moore and Michael's, near the checkout area.
My friend Abbie made the gals these cool pencil/crayon rolls. They are great for travel, restaurants, doctor's office, or anywhere you need to keep you kid occupied. She used to sell them on Etsy, but has not in a while. Here is a quick tutorial I found on Pinterest.
We also like I Spy books. Our favorites are the I Spy brand and we also like a few from Usborne Books.
One other big hit with us are these Melissa and Doug travel games. We like them because there are no little pieces to lose. Everything is secured by an elastic band.
We have hopes of learning a lot in Washington DC and writing one more place on our travel list. We are excited to spend time with family in PA and relax. Hopefully our traveling toys will make the journey fun and enriching. Of course, if there is a traffic jam on I-81 or the beltway, we always have our portable DVD player and Annie or MegaMinds on tap ;)