Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How to keep a 4 year old busy for 5,000 miles...

Well, it's all starting at last! We're already on the first leg of our round-the-country trip to say goodbye to friends and family, and then to head to Hawaii. Crumpet and I will be spending about 5,000 miles in the car together. For 2,000 miles of that, my husband won't be with us, so Crumpet will be alone in the back seat. We'll be visiting Charlotte, NC; Ithaca, NY; Northamptom, MA; Providence, RI; Lebanon, CT; Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Memphis, TN; the Painted Desert, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; and finally, flying to Hawaii. (It's easier to ship the cats from California, and cheaper to ship our second car from there - otherwise, we'd just fly from GA...).
I've spent a lot of time thinking about what to put in Crumpet's backpack to keep him busy in the car, and also in hotels and childless friends' homes. Here's what I came up with:

A small collection of Legos. We could not live without these. Seriously, I should write the company a love letter for saving my life over the last month.

The evil car television... I don't like these, but on my first trip from GA to NY alone with a 2 year old, I caved and bought one. We use it once or twice a year, and if you're driving long distances and can't entertain your child, they are pretty handy!
Old file folder games I found in my cupboards:
Our new, beloved, white board. We spent an hour and a half in church for my godchild's first Holy Communion yesterday, and Crumpet and a friend spent the whole time drawing pictures for each other. We love this thing!
A preschool workbook. We don't use these often, so when we do, Crumpet thinks they are a great game.
A travel Lite Brite:
Travel Bingo. We've used this before, and we all love the game.
An I Spy book.

A shapes coloring book.
A really cool I Spy magnetic game board. There are multiple ways to play this, including games to find objects that start with certain sounds, and games which involve number recognition.
A new card game. And this handy dandy card holder to help Crumpet hold all the cards in his hand at once.
A Treasury of Children's Literature. This is a fantastic collection of fairy tales and other traditional children's stories.
A great travel Playmobil pirate set.
Flashcards. The last time we went on one of these extended trips, Crumpet forgot everything he knew. I'm working harder this time to make learning a part of everything we do, and every once in a while, we'll do a little basic review. If we ever manage to settle down enough, I plan to homeschool year round to avoid this massive backslide...
This is a very heavy backpack! I'm hoping there's enough in there to avoid total meltdown along the way (him or me...).

And here's a goofy picture to leave you with. My child sucking his thumb and his toe. He was very proud.. He's turning into quite a clown these days!
I may occasionally post short notes about where we are and what we've been up to, but there's a good chance I won't be able to blog again until the end of June when our boxes arrive in Hawaii. Stay tuned!


  1. I will be praying for safe travel!

  2. Drive safe! I am also planning on going "year round" with Kaelyn. When you get the chance, where did you find the travel light brite?

  3. Have fun driving! I'll have to add a travel lite brite to our travel toys, that looks like a good idea.
    If you have the money a Tag reader is a good investment.

  4. Wow - what a fantastic experience for Crumpet to learn geography first hand. Seriously, I think you should add a map and a puzzle of USA to your list of supplies somewhere on the road. And thanks for all the ideas - we'll be flying soon and we need to be well prepared for this too. Have a very safe journey!

  5. You're amazing, Kim. I just remember spotting and tallying up license plates every time Westinghouse transferred Dad and we had to pile into the car for yet another boring long-distance move. We did take books with us, but since we all got carsick, they were of little help. The lifesaver for our parents was probably the clothesline rope that divvied up the back seat into thirds... until John came along and they had to invest in a station wagon. Then, of course, we still used the clotheline but fought about who would get to sit in the "far back." Poor Mom & Dad probably wanted to use that clothesline rope to hornswoggle every one of us by the end of those long trips. In any case, you're wonderful to make the trek. I hope Sammy AND you will have lots of fun with your respective cousins, en route. Traveling mercies!

  6. I thought I had commented on this... anyway... I do not envy you this trip! I'm glad you have lots of stops and people to see, that is bound to help a bit. And hopefully Crumpet will be sleepy some of the time in the car! Ack. I think all your ideas are great and I agree about the dvd player - sometimes it is a sanity saver!