Friday, July 23, 2010

Road Trips and Dollar Store Goodies!

Let's face it. The words "road trip" takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. It's no longer a car full of friends with nothing but the open road, some good music and a lot of fun. Kids turn it into a whole lot of "are we there yets" while Dad drives and Mom keeps her eyes peeled for the next McDonald's. The drive isn't always the fun part. BUT! In anticipation of the little 4 hour road trip that my family will soon make I've come up with a couple of things that may make the drive a tiny bit more tolerable.

It started with a visit to the dollar store. . .

The first thing I came upon was a wide selection of flash cards. I have a 4 year old that will be starting Kindergarten this time next year so he could use a little preview of letters and numbers.

There is an office supply store right across the parking lot from the dollar store so I went and grabbed a pack of laminating sheets. I have a toddler who finds it necessary to occasionally eat paper so I thought it may be a good idea to protect the cards. So I laminated the cards, hole punched them and then attached them together with a zip tie.

Now they are toddler proof and there will be no games of "52 card pickup" courtesy of my 4 year old!

Next dollar store find were these dry erase boards. Both of my kids love to draw and so I really wanted these but I had to come up with a way to alleviate the fighting over the markers as well as protect the car, their clothes and their skin from the markers. So some brainstorming brought me this idea:

The dry erase people FINALLY came up with these:

(Walgreens has these on sale this week so if you hurry, you can probably get some!)

I found these plastic, padded envelopes at the office supply store for $1. I covered the sticky strip with some paper so the envelope wouldn't seal.

I added velcro tabs to the envelope

and then used spray adhesive to adhere the envelope to the back of the dry erase board.

Now each child has their own board with an attached pouch that holds their own markers! No fighting! (maybe.)

I then found these DVD/CD holders. Each of my children will have a DVD player to watch so I figured they might as well have their own cases as well.

And since I'm crafty, I personalized their movie holders with some modge podge, scrap book paper and letters!

My dollar store treasures didn't end there. I found some things to entertain the kids in the hotel as well.

The balls are for the pool and my son will LOVE exploring the room with that giant magnifying glass! One dollar for that! Of course I am a little nervous about what he might find. There are just some things you're better off not knowing when staying in a hotel!

And those are board books with photographs. My daughter's favorite! And that thing on the left....that's a little pinball game. Sure to be a hit with both kids.

Wish us luck!!

Happy Trails!


  1. Sounds like you're set to go. I love kids projects!

  2. Hi Melissa, just wanted to draw your attention to your use of my photo:

    I am fine with you using it, but in return you must attribute me (Daniel McCullum) as the photographer, and provide a link to the flickr page as required by the Creative Commons license.

    Thank you for helping support another artist!