Thursday, November 8, 2012

Last Minute Road Trip Activity Plan

We are a notorious 'Last Minute' Family. We do the groceries till the last announcements to vacate are being made. We bought a child seat for our baby on the last day of my hospital stay. We caught our honeymoon flight half a minute before boarding closed! People tell us the time, an hour earlier than other guests for a dinner. Nearly all our trips are last minute plans! This last holiday was no different. We started thinking over it the night before..deciding a destination, checking the weather..changing minds..and leaving the final decision for the next morning. We placed a booking at 2 in the afternoon the next day and left the house at 4.
 I used the word 'We' because I don't want to hurt my better half's feelings :p
I knew it would be a long drive to wherever we go, so with the little time on hand I gathered some things to keep my toddler entertained during the road trip. Its been long since we last did a long route plan with him so I was short on ideas. However here's what I came up with.

IGNORE the burnt roasting pan. I had an oven disaster.
I decided to keep it for him in the car to serve as a seat 'tray' the ones you have on the airplane! Just a little less fancier :p
  • It had raised keep things from falling off.
  • Its hold the alphabet magnets.
  • It served as a snack tray...wiped clean with a wet wipe after use.
  • It made a very nice car track. My son got super excited when the cars would slide from one end to the other on their own at road bends.
  • Perfect drawing board, with edges to hold colors.
  • To read a book.
  • To bang the sippy cup on when nothing else entertained.
 I had these foam stickers which I gave him on the way back. Oh the magic of cars and trucks. He loves them!

I must tell you that this toddler's attention span is as much as a gold fish's. He snaps out of one activity in sometimes even less than 5 minutes..But I moved 'one step ahead' of him and kept pulling out more ideas out of my hat to engage him.
A car seat organizer is very handy on such trips.
'Vrooomm Vrooom. Peep Peep.'
His favorite thing these days is to ask me to draw buses and cars.
I gave him these activities in day light. When it started getting darker, particularly on our way back I had to hand over the iPad.
Overall it was a less fussy trip. I must admit there were small cranky parts but he's a child isn't he?
He had his naps and rest station breaks in between too.
Its always better to be prepared for such spontan plans. 
To make the trip more enjoyable for ourselves I packed some mince chicken and rice for dinner because I knew that with our son tired and sleepy by the time we reach we would not be able to dine at the restaurant. (only options out there would have been halal CHICKEN is always a bonus on a trip!)
Another Tip: If you happen to have a tod who stays on red bull energy levels, I recommend buying THIS. there's no shame in using it in public. Let them laugh..and tell them that its not called a 'leash'
Depending on the nature of the trip..keep extra pairs of socks in your handbag if you must. My son's newly found love to jump in puddles, thanks to elmo, is getting splishier and splashier! I had to buy him rain boots while we were in the middle of our trip to the lake garda. He never needed them before, but instant plans call for instant shopping!

Despite the chaos and the rush of the moment looking back, the most cherished memories I/ WE have are the ones that were created at the LAST-MINUTE!

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