So, I visited Pinterest, a lot. I got lots of good advice, and lots of good ideas. From all that information and inspiration, this is what I put together for MY survival.
First, we ordered two Kindle Fire's, and set up Kindle Free Time on both of them. These are the first electronic devices we've allowed the boys to have, and I wanted them as Back-Up for when everything else got "old". And I will say, on the way down to NOLA, they were on them very little. On the way back home, they were on them more. Mostly because, rather than doing the trip in two days (like we did on the way down), we really pushed them, and did the entire trip in ONE day - 15 HOURS!! They did awesome!
Second, I made a "Busy Box". This box was made to hold all the little goodies I collected for them to keep them entertained - and it sat on the seat between their booster seats.
I made it using an Eggo Waffle box (big one from Sam's Club). I then created a divider for the middle using a piece of cardboard, held in place with duct tape. Then I covered the entire thing with some fabric I had on hand - using spray adhesive. And just to jazz it up a little more, I cut out, using my Cricut, the saying "Are We There Yet?", and glued it to the front.
In addition to the Busy Box, I also made two Lap Desks.
I found two dry-erase boards at Walmart on clearance for $2 each. To create the padded bottom, I used a piece of cardboard, and a piece of scrap fabric. I wrapped the fabric loosely around the cardboard and stuffed it with plastic grocery bags. Once I had it stuffed to my liking, I glued the fabric to the cardboard, then glued the cardboard to the underside of the dry-erase board - all with spray adhesive.
I also made sure they both had neck pillows for when they napped.
Note, these were never used (while napping). They are just too big for the napper to be comfortable when using them while sitting in a full back booster seat.
Now for the "Goodies" in the Busy Box...
I bought two clipboards so they would each have an additional hard surface for writing on.
On these clipboards, I placed a map of the United States, and highlighted the route of our trip.
I also bought two folders, a bunch of pencils, Post-Its, and fun little erasers.
Inside the folder, I placed a bunch of fun Car Games that they could play. To be honest, we really never played any of them - I think because the boys are both still too young. When we make this trip again in a couple of years, these games, I'm sure, will provide hours of entertainment - well maybe not "hours", but more than they did on this trip.
I also had, for each boy, a notebook, pipe-cleaners, new box of crayons, new coloring book, stickers, new sunglasses, and a couple of little toys.
The notebook, along with the next item probably entertained them the most. They really enjoyed drawing and writing and placing stickers in them.
Another thing I made, were these cute Coloring Cases.
Using a couple of old DVD cases, and following the instructions found here, I created these kits so they could have fun with their drawing.
Another great idea (or so I thought) that I found, was using plastic shower containers hung on the windows.
These were to be used so they could put their toys or pencils or crayons or whatever in them, to hopefully help them from dropping things on the floor. And yes, they did work for that. The problem was, when my husband would check for traffic when changing lanes, he would see them in his peripheral and think it was a car. So we ended up taking them down, so he could safely drive.
Now this last thing... was the BEST one I did - a Trip Timeline.
A piece of clothesline, that had 15 equally spaced tic-marks across it's width, was tied across the ceiling in the back seat. Then I had two clothes-pins - one with a car on it and one with a house on it (to mark the destination). The idea being that every hour of the trip, the "Car" got moved one tic-mark. The boys LOVED this!!! And I SWEAR, it did seem to make the trip go by FASTER!!
ALL of my preparation, did make for a Very Smooth trip, and MY survival.
I had two Happy Little Travelers!!
Go here to visit the Pinterest board where I pinned all the inspiration for this post.