Sticky Note Time Tabs
Here is another one of the 3 tips for organized travel in this series, and it focuses on organized travel with kids.
A little bit of planning and preparation goes a long way in making a road trip with children easier, enjoyable and more fun! This is what we used on our recent travels from western NY to northern Maine.
Sticky Note Time Tabs
Here is how it works:
1. Choose an interval of travel time that suits the age and developmental stage of your child(ren). Mine are 8 and 6, so one-hour increments were just right for them.
2. Use sticky notes to record the increments and stick them to the center console below the clock.
3. Tell the children that when the clock-time matches the sticky note-time, there will be a small surprise.
4. When the interval is reached, remove the sticky note and hand out the prize/monotony-breaker.
5. Add more intervals as needed. (I could only fit four at a time.)
The prizes I packed included:
*Activity books (paper dolls, sticker storybooks)
*Little trinket toy set
*Little coloring kit
*Candy (Gasp! Yes, a few small treats are just fine to enjoy.)
*Book on CD
*iPod with music
*iPod Touch for electronic game time
Bingo also found its way into the prize bag. I can call out the objects from my seat.
Removable sticky page tabs make great travel bingo markers. They stay put & are reusable, too!
Tootsie Pop Contest: See how long each person can go without biting off the candy.
This took about 20+ minutes; it was fun and also kept things quiet for a bit- bonus!
Packed prize bag was stored near me for easy access.
Note: Prizes came from many sources. We bought a few at Dollar General, got some from Grandma specifically for the trip and some were from a stash I had put away a few months ago. (They seemed like new when brought out for the trip!)
Also, each child was required to pack her own car bag as well. I am not the only source of entertainment for trips. At these ages, my children are primarily responsible for making their own fun, and they really enjoy preparing and packing their own bags, too.
Inspiration for this idea came from a July 2012 article in Family Fun Magazine. The author used clothespins attached to the visor instead of the sticky notes. The sticky notes worked better for us, and I liked having the exact time increment written on each. It prevented the constant barrage of “is-it-time-for-our-next-surprise?” questions. Plus, the sticky notes were easy to store, use and remove.
We had a great travel experience on our recent trip, and I credit this tip with helping us to that end. How do you survive and thrive on extended family road trips? What organized-travel-with-kids tips help you?
*NOTE: Be sure to consider the age and development of your child(ren) when gathering items for your “surprises bag.” Be aware of any choking hazards for very young children – toys, candy, crafts etc. Keep your traveling SAFE above all else! You are the best judge of that for your child(ren).