Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picnic Table Talk- On the Go

picnic button

I wasn't able to participate in last weeks picnic table talk because I was out of town, but I'm excited for this weeks topic: On the Go. This topic covers activities while traveling with children to things to do while waiting in line or doctor's office to quiet activities for worship services. I'm excited to see what others will post because I need some new ideas for when we take a trip in a couple of weeks on an airplane.

Last summer I traveled alone on an airplane with M&M while I was 4 months pregnant with Bubba. I was really nervous about this, but what I did was get a little Dora backpack and fill it with small, cheap new toys and treats that she had never seen before. I find that when something is brand new it is a novelty and little ones will stick with playing with it for longer. For example I have been gathering items up to $3 that I hope will entertain M&M on our next trip.

Right now I have gathered a little notebook, some mini markers, and mini gel pens, new beads that we've never used before, and small paperback I Spy Book, silly putty (I got this idea from here), a Jacob's ladder, an Early Learning sticker activity ABC book with coloring pages, a foam princess story scenes sticker kit, and a package of Fisher-Price Go Anywhere Girls. I got all of these things from Wal-mart, the dollar sections of Target and Michael's and the Dollar Tree.

A DVD player is a must for us, but I'm hoping to only use it if I really really have to, my husband may say otherwise. I don't know if M&M will want to wear earphones since we will be on a plane.

We don't travel much in the car, but when we do around town we listen to music. I need to get some new ones because we've been listening to the same two for a while now. The other day M&M said, "Mommy, these are boring, can we listen to your music?" That is a big clue that we need to switch things up a bit. A new game that she likes to play now and is old enough to understand is I Spy.

I haven't tried this yet, but I made an I Spy bottle a while ago, and that would be good to play with in the car, AFTER I glue the top on. Since M&M can't read yet I took a picture with all of the little things on it before I put them in the bottle. This way she can just look at the picture and find them.

Another thing I think I will be putting in her Dora bag is the Aquadoodle Travel-n-doodle that we got her for her birthday. She can practice writing letters, etc. with it. She loves anything to do with water so this was a great hit around here.

When we go to church we bring books and coloring books, but in the past we have also brought File Folder games. The ones that I have I copied from a book, colored them, laminated them then cut them out again and put velcro dots on them. To eliminate some of the work I probably would have used the free ones on the File Folder Fun website if I had known about it earlier. I haven't used any from here yet, but they look really cute.

One final thing that M&M has done recently is when we are in the car on the way somewhere she will ask lots of questions like, "where are we going" "who is going to be there" "what are we going to do when we get there." This keeps us talking and it passes the time quickly as I try to answer her questions in ways that she will understand. If we are going somewhere new I explain what will happen and what I expect of her before we even get there so she knows how she needs to act. I find it easier to prevent things from happening than having to calm down an uncontrollable toddler who wants to do something that is not appropriate for the setting we are in.

To find out more great ideas head on over to ABC and 123!


  1. Great ideas! I gave in on the DVD player last year:-). No regrets:-).


  2. Great tips. I really like the I Spy bottle. I'm going to have to make one. My daughter has been loving the I Spy books. She's getting pretty good at them.

  3. Great job on laying out your expectations. I would love to try the I Spy bottle, that looks fun. :-)

  4. Great tips. The I Spy stuff is a favorite around our house, too. I love File Folder Fun, great site. Thanks!

  5. Obviously your plane trips went way better than mine. On the other hand, some of mine were really long - 8 hours on the way back from Germany to New Jersey. I found your idea of special backpack with special toys very intriguing and now age-appropriate for our daughter. I need to talk to my husband about that and start gathering those special items. Suddenly the trip ahead doesn't feel nearly as daunting. And, by the way, I also enjoy just talking to Anna in the car about our destination, what we are going to do, etc.

    PS - for some reason your comment box doesn't allow OpenID, so only Blogger users can comment on your posts. My main site is, but I cannot use that ID to comment here :)

  6. I love your idea of having a "key" for the I Spy jar. Thanks for sharing your ideas.



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