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Rugrats on the Road

Long-term fun in a small space

What can you possibly take to entertain and educate a 6 and 3 year old on a very long — indefinitely long — road trip?

Keep in mind the very act of change and travel and new sights and rocks and animals and people and birds and plants is one long stimulating experience.  But for those days when we’re sitting in parking lots running errands, or traveling, or in the same isolated campsite for several days in a row, these are the most packable things we could come up with and they’re working out well:

Colorful play silks for dress-up, for toting stuffed animals, slinging arms, decorating limbs…..

A rope, maybe a jump rope although it will pretty much be used for tying up and fishing and pulling things.

Books, as many as you can sweetly insist your spouse accept as freight.  About the stars, the desert, the ocean, dinosaurs, space, Spanish, anything your child will be experiencing, plus some old favorites as comfort food.  And you can trade for more books second hand along the way as your child is exposed to new things and her interests take off.

Very small dolls, figures, animals, trucks, pirates (aarrg)

Marbles and dice, dominoes, cards, blocks, beads, a sewing kit, beeswax clay

Lots of craft items – scissors, colored pencils, beeswax crayons, many types of paper and sketching pads, journals, glue, string, hot glue gun for nature art, recycling materials, and the perennial shopping list favorite in our family, ‘Cotch Tape

Word games, drama games, yoga games, a few Klutz books

Musical instruments

Audio recordings (stories and music) loaded onto a “TeaPot” or iPod, as the case may be, DVD movies packed up tight in a carrying case, and a portable DVD player with headphones

Aside from that: dirt, water, trees to climb, playgrounds, museums, lizards, scrambling, hikes, biking new trails, it all adds up to fun.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2010 6:48 pm

    Cami. Trent & All,

    Your mom & Dad sent me one of your cards, Maszie Jane & Oregon Coast, fantastic!! I am thrilled with your web


    Your photography is SO-O-O-O POWERFUL! I wish you continuing GREAT SUCCESS AND JOY in your travels.

    As I read through your list (above) I was reminded that Jan & I gave renee, at about the same age as Mazie Jane

    during oursummer camping outings, throw away cameras. She still displays some of those prints in her home. I did

    the same with elementery students during my early art teaching. They are great tools for learning, as I’m sure you

    know. You will love what they see. (Just a suggestion.)

    I’ll be checking in on you guys from time to time and printing out your stories! Love, c.renfrow

  2. December 29, 2011 3:37 pm

    great ideas! my kids could play with blankets, a few chairs and a couch for HOURS.

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