Tag Archives: road trips

Our Disneyland Adventure (with printables)

Our little family recently had the opportunity to take a family trip to Disneyland. It was the first time my daughter had the chance to go, so I wanted to make it memorable! Here are a few of the things that we did to get the most out of our Disney experience.
1. Mickey Clock Sacks: 

To make our car trip more exciting (because we all know how exciting it is to be sitting in the car for 12 hours) I decided to make special clock sacks. Each of the sacks had a different treat, activity, or dollar store toy. We got to open the sacks at the time shown on each of the bags. And I couldn’t just use a round clock face. Of course it had to be Disney-ish! So I came up with this cute little clock face:

This worked well educationally since we are working on telling time with my daughter.  I was able to find cheap disney toys at the Dollar Tree, and I used a bunch of Halloween candy that we still had.

2. Tinkerbell’s Surprise
Tinkerbell left a little gift for my daughter when we got to the hotel. I heard from an unknown source that this fairy found all the little toy surprises from the Dollar Tree and the dollar bin at Michaels. She’s a smart shopper! Having these surprises from Tinkerbell meant less money in the park buying souvenirs.

3. Disneyland Vacation Journal
I wanted my daughter to document everything about our trip… I want her to remember as much as possible! I came up with some pages for a special Disneyland Vacation Journal. This journal has space for a daily run down of events, weather report, ride recommendations, a happy face/frown face evaluation of each ride, and SO MUCH MORE. I printed these pages on card stock because I wanted the pages to be sturdy enough for me to glue ticket stubs, maps, and pictures. 
The finished product is a precious scrapbook of our entire vacation! I thought I would share our printables- just click on the image then save it to your desktop! I didn’t include the cover because there was Mickey Mouse clipart and I didn’t want to break any copyright laws.

This is a great map to use for the license plate game!

4. Homemade Autograph Book
I know Disneyland sells darling autograph books… but I wanted to make a special one just for my little girl! We were able to find a ginormous Mickey Mouse pen for a dollar at Michaels and had the characters use that to sign the book.

5. Mickey Mouse Trip Check lists
Its all about the small details. Instead of using boxes for our check lists, I used blank little mickey mouse ears. And yes I had 5 different lists! We had a Shopping List for supplies prior to our trip, a Road Trip list of things we needed to pack with easy access for our long journey, a Vacation Packing list that included the basic necessities for any California trip, a Disneyland Park Packing list, and a general “To Do” list. One of the smartest things we did was to pack a Disneyland backpack with all the park necessities prior to leaving on our vacation. We didn’t have to worry about getting anything ready for the park while we were at the hotel because it was already done!
If you want a copy, just click and save the following lists to your desktop:

Other great tips:

  • bring a lanyard with a pocket to hold your fast passes
  • don’t bend down and pick up your 5 year old the wrong way and mess up your back so you walk around like an 80 year old for the entire duration of your visit
  • bring lots of snacks! we munched on a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, fruit snacks, granola bars, and beef jerky
  • don’t forget to bring pennies and quarters for the souvenir penny pressing machines
  • plan on purchasing souvenirs the last day of your vacation- it gives your child a longer time to think about what they really want and will save you money
  • buy glow sticks and rain ponchos (a must have for Splash Mountain) from the Dollar Tree- a lot cheaper than purchasing them in the park

Happy Teaching!

Road Trip Survival Ideas

Planning a vacation with small children can be exhausting, and let’s face it, the last thing we want to think about is the travel to and from our destinations. While planning our recent road trip to a few national parks, I came across some great ideas to keep kids entertained in the car (or plane!) I put them all together in a travel bag next to my daughter’s car seat, and she was thoroughly occupied for the 9+ hour car trip (and that was just one way!!)

This was by far my little girl’s favorite activity in the car (for those who don’t have a set of these cubes, check out Education Cube’s website)

I made 4 different dice- one with colors, one with numbers, one with modes of transportation, and one with different objects you would see while traveling. The game play is simple- choose a dice (cube), gently throw it up in the air and catch it (without hitting anyone in the head!), whatever the cube lands on is the object you try and locate. For example, my daughter LOVED the color cube. When she rolled the color blue, we would work together as a family to try and spot blue objects inside and outside the car.

So this activity was more for my husband and myself…. we searched for license plates from different states and whenever we spotted one (I use that term loosely- it was more my hubby than me!) we’d color in that state on our map. By the end of our vacation, we had colored in about 40 states!

I am sure most (if not all) of us have played the “alphabet” game while traveling in the car. You know- the game where you start with the letter “A” and search billboards, license plates, and signs until someone in the car spots an “A” then you move on to “B” and progress through the rest of the alphabet. We decided to change it up a bit by bringing a set of well-shuffled alphabet cards. My daughter would choose the top card from her stack, and then we would search inside and outside the car for that letter. I loved that the letters were in random order- we never knew when one of those hard to find letters would pop up!
Magnetic activities are quickly becoming one of my must-haves during church when it is important for my kiddo to sit still. So of course it made sense to bring them in the car!

I had a set of magnetic pattern blocks, cookie sheets from the dollar store, and pattern block printouts (found at PreKinders for free! Gotta love that!) I found some cute travel bingo cards awhile ago that worked well using the cookie sheet magnet board and circle magnets.
In our travel bag, I packed several portable games that I knew would occupy my daughter’s attention for a little while. We love the Leap Frog Scribble and Write learning toy- as well as our Tag reader and a stack of books.
I thought it a brilliant idea to bring my daughter’s binoculars to get a better view of all our national park stops, but of course I left them in the car most of the time!

And last, but not least- bring (or make) a toy microphone so your kids can sing along to those road trip tunes! It’s adorable and provided me with some entertainment!
This post is dedicated to all those skeptics who think the only way to travel with kids is via technology! 🙂

Happy teaching and travel safely this summer!!!
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