Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Pack a Busy Bag for Children on a Thanksgiving Road Trip

Children can get restless and fidgety on a long drive. Packing a busy bag can make the drive to a distant relative's home on Thanskgiving day easier.

Imagine heading out on a long drive to a relative's house on Thanksgiving Day. You have to drive, oh, let's say, over an hour to get there. Your children are in the back seat. They don't have anything to do other than look out the window, fight with each other, and whine, "Are we there yet?" By the time you reach your holiday destination you are tired, annoyed, and would really rather just go home.

A Way to Make a Thanksgiving Road Trip With Children Easier

Now imagine a second scenario. You are heading out on the same drive, and it is going to take over an hour just to get there. Your children are in the back seat. This time they have their busy bags beside of them and are anxious to see what you packed for entertainment. Is there a chance the children will still fight and whine? Sure there is, sometimes they just do that, but overall, the trip should go more smoothly. In this scenario you reach your destination needing to stretch, but not nearly as tired and annoyed as you would have been otherwise.

Grocery Bag, Tote Bag, or Back Pack?

While any kind of bag will work, if you use a tote bag or back pack to contain the activities there is a good chance the children will think it is special. A bag that seals with either a zipper or hook and loop closure will work best. Open bags can dump and send contents sprawling if they tip over.

Things to Pack in a Thanksgiving Road Trip Busy Bag

Consider you child's age, personality, and interests when packing a busy bag. Also, consider how long each packed activity might take. If you only pack enough to entertain your child for 15 minutes and the trip will take over an hour, the busy bag will not be very much help with easing stress on the trip.
  • Coloring books
  • Puzzle books
  • Composition books
  • Sketch pads
  • Colored pencils and sharpener - Avoid packing basic crayons or markers because they can make a big mess in the car.
  • Picture books, chapter books, or magazines
  • Handheld electronics - A Leapster, Game Boy, DS, or any kind of handheld electronic will work.
  • Travel games - Travel games are miniature, usually magnetic, versions of board games, such as Travel Scrabble, Travel Battleship, and others. Sometimes you can even find a generic version of these tiny travel games when shopping at dollar stores.
  • Snacks - While you probably won't want to pack anything too filling if you are going somewhere for Thanksgiving dinner, having something to munch on can help keep a child calm. If you allow eating in your car, try packing one of your child's favorite snacks, a small pack of crackers, or a few carrot sticks.
While nothing can guarantee your trip will go smoothly, planning ahead and packing a busy bag can help take the stress out of a long road trip. While you are preparing a busy bag, you might also want to make sure your vehicle's emergency kit is well-stocked. You might also find ideas for main dishes and desserts that travel well helpful.

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