Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the road again...

The Greenhabilitator is packing her bags...

The family Greenhab will be on the road later this week, heading to New Orleans. I'm already feeling guilty about the fact that we're driving (yeah, I thought 24 hours each way in the car with kids sounded like an awesome way to spend a vacation) but hopefully the purpose of the trip will make up for it. We were invited by friends who are taking a youth group to do some relief work in the area. I'm looking forward to the Habitat for Humanity build since I've always wanted to do one. We'll also have the opportunity to do some work with the homeless and see the effects of the oil leak first hand. Not to mention the fact that I've never been to New Orleans, so I'm just plain excited to see the city.

My soul has been buying theoretical carbon credits in the form of handmade entertainment to make up for the long drive. I seriously considered hitting the dollar store, thinking I'd buy a bunch of little gifts and games to pull out for the kids along the way. When it came down to it though, I just couldn't do it.

Instead, I've been busy making sing along mix tapes (okay, CDs), renting books on CD, and creating games for the kids to play. I made a laminated ABC card the kids can use to play a variety of games. They look for the letters on signs, or take turns naming words that start with each letter.

You can find an easy tutorial for it on my blog. I'm also in the process of making a travel bingo game that will look something like this...

Can I confess that I'm kind of excited to play?

And one of my favorites is the clipboard car caddy. I made one for Fletcher awhile back, but still need to whip one up for Macy. I posted the tutorial on Make it From Scratch a few months ago. They're great to carry in the car so paper and crayons don't end up all over the place and the kids have a surface to press down on.

So tell me Boothers, what are your tricks and tips for long car trips? I can use all the help I can get!


Simply Authentic said...

I remember long road trips as a kid, moving cross country a couple different times---singing along to CDs, seeing snow for the first time on passes, playing the Alphabet game. I hope it's enjoyable and memorable for them! Even though I'm sure there will be some whines. ;)

Always a good idea to pack a cooler and a grocery totes with snacks, sandwich fixings, drinks etc. You can usually find great rest areas to get out and play at, eat, etc. You could even bring some lawn games to play if the kids needed a longer break.

I hope it's a great experience--what a great reason to travel. And driving is a better carbon option than flying at least!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

I am normally the type of parent that severely limits the amount of TV my kids get to watch, but when we go on road trips, all bets are off. I am so, so, so glad we bought a portable DVD player a couple years ago. I actually enjoy road trips now. The kids are quiet and peaceful in the back, and my husband and I actually get to have conversations! And listen to music we like! I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy one, but if you have a friend that has one and is willing to let you borrow it, go for it.

Daisy said...

We have a little extra challenge: my son is blind, so a lot of scenery-related games are out of his realm. He's 18 now, and loves road trips, so something must be going right! for sighted kids, bring a map or atlas. For my blind kiddo, we Braille the directions so he knows where we are in the scheme of things. We bring music (CDs), but also bring headphones. Daughter sometimes prefers her iPod, and son enjoys the variety of local radio stations, complete with regional accents.
Enjoy the trip!

Dea-chan said...

I remember being bored and unhappy a lot on car trips, so I suppose I can't really suggest much.

One thing to remember, as Simply Authentic pointed out, bring food and drinks. Especially drinks. It's really easy to get dehydrated while on long car rides in the summer.

I remember this one McD's in FL where my mother wouldn't let us go in until we drank a cup of warm Gatorade. The LAST thing I wanted to drink, but it did the trick much better than soda!

Anonymous said...

When we travel, we are on the road by 2 a.m. This way the kids are asleep for most of the trip. :)


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