Thanks for all the travel advice! The most common tip was to buy or borrow a DVD player. But…we are traveling through a really beautiful part of the country and I don’t want my kids to miss the scenery. So, I am giving them all sketch books so that they can sketch elements from nature that they see along the way. Of course the older boys can journal along with their drawings. And then those journal entries can turn into educational family conversations.
Are you still reading? Did you believe me? Actually, I am not delusional enough to think that my kids are going to be “sketching” while we drive. They are more likely going to be whining and needing to go to the bathroom. Hopefully we can reach a middle ground between those two extremes.
I am in trip preparation mode and have been having a bit of fun pulling things together. I am also doing unecessary things like sewing a pair of linen travel pants for myself when I really should be scrubbing the kitchen floor grout and the toilets.
We are on a tight budget so I can’t go out and buy a bunch of stuff to entertain the kids (although I will hit the dollar store maybe tomorrow) but I do have a pretty good stock of supplies already. I always stock up on crayons and other art supplies when they are cheap just before school starts.
So far I have packed a pack of crayons for each kid (reinforced the box bottoms with packing tape), markers, colored pencils, stickers, notecards, and playing cards. I am planning to get some new picture books from the library tomorrow and I had a really good time making a bunch of small coloring books for the kids. They should keep Larkspur, especially, busy.
The coloring books have images on copy paper inside and a sheet of cheap cardstock on the outside. I sewed the pages together to create the books.
I hadn’t done this before, so wasn’t sure how it would work out. It actually worked perfectly! I prefolded the inside pages (all together in one fold-not individually) and also the cardstock. Jonny traced down the center line with a pencil on the inside page of each book to help me to sew a straight line (not my strong area). I sewed down that line, backstitching on each end.
My kids, especially Larkspur, just don’t get sick of coloring THESE dolls. I use white out and a marker to make variations on the original. I copied them at 60% so that I could fit two to a page for the coloring books. I played around with the printer so that I had one on the front right side of the page, and then if you turn the page over, another on the back right side. Does that make sense? Anyway, it worked out so that when I stacked the pages and folded them, there is a picture on every right hand page.
I also wanted to make some even smaller coloring books, because I thought that would appeal to Larkspur. So rather than using the full paged doll, I used the doll ornament file, and some white out to prepare to make some new characters to color. Keats saw what I was doing and asked if he could draw some. He came up with the cat/child hybrid above which I thought was especially creative. I hadn’t intended to draw anything but more boys and girls.
So, inside these little coloring books are:
these two guys…
…and these two; all inspired by Keats’ drawing. I think Larkspur will be really excited when she sees these.
Since Keats enjoyed creating his own characters so much, I made quite a few books with these incomplete dolls, so that the kids can create their own. I am so thankful to Sarah, from The Small Object, for creating and sharing this great little drawing.
My kids can amuse themselves for at least a few minutes with foil stars and blank notecards, so those are in the bag.
I also laminated a bunch of Arthur Rackham art postcards really for no other reason than I just love them and wanted to laminate them anyway. In my dreams my children would look at these while we are driving and make up stories to tell each other aloud to go with each picture. In reality they will probably look at them for about ten minutes.
Since I was laminating already, I let the kids choose their favorites from a set of holy cards and laminate them as well. They are very fascinated by that little machine. Again, they probably won’t look through these while meditating or anything fabulous like that, but they will probably look at them for a few minutes and maybe fight over who picked which one and who should get to keep it.
And for insurance, we will have Jonny’s laptop which can play Baby Einstein DVDs for Beatrix. She’s a bit young for t.v., but hopefully she will like them!