Some of you may be wondering how we keep ourselves, and the kids entertained while on the road. Especially on long stretches were where is no reception, internet etc. In all honestly, it is these days we are the most relaxed and least distracted and thus able to enjoy the simpler life, connect with each other and appreciate our surrounds.
Both our kids are very active, physically and mentally and so we have two suitcases filled with items to keep us entertained while on the road. One suitcase is filled with games and mind puzzles. Everyone in the family loves playing games so it was important for us to take our favourites with us. A few favourites on this trip include Catan, Forbidden Island, Pandemic, Trionemoes , Rummy King, Spot It and Pirate Flux. We also got Cleudo over Christmas which is a hit.
As Adults a pack of cards has been our saviour and it has been wonderful to be able to share some card games with other grown ups we have met on the road once our kids have gone to bed.
We also have loads of strategy puzzles. Rush Hour is a favourite with Matthew as well as pyramid puzzles. These solitary challenges have been great for both the kids to be mentally challenged and keep them entertained independently when needed. We love the ‘Smart Games’ brand.
Our other suitcase is filled with books, and more educational focused activities. Maths and English challenges, books on climate and weather, blank notebooks for writing, dot to dots, colour by sums etc etc.
We also have books on birds, reptiles and trees so the kids can look up information as we travel and paper maps as well as a Hema map on a tablet.
We only allow 15 minutes each on an ipad a day and this is only on days of long hours in the car. We have no in car entertainment systems. This was difficult to police initially but after a while the kids got used to it and we are kept busy listening to loads of audio books, ted talks and podcasts. A few of our favourites include The How Train Your Dragon Series, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl and Northern Lights. Some story pod casts we love are 6 Minutes, The unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel and Becoming Mother Nature. Other podcasts that are great are Kids Ted Talks and Short and Curly, which cover ethics for children. Andrew and I love The Outside Magazine podcasts but these can be a bit full on at times for young ears. They have a series on the science of survival which are great but at times do have you feeling a bit squirmy with graphic descriptions on the effects of things such as hypothermia or death cap mushrooms.
I have also packed paints and sketch books so when we have more time at camps we can relax and draw and the kids also love drawing in the car. Sometimes we even paint and draw together or with other children we meet.
The extra time has allowed them to use their own imagination and creativity. They have made their own board games, dot to dots and mazes and sometime even make up crazy rhymes and the like.
Izzy has also mastered the art of knitting and also tried crochet this trip. She has made a dress for a new friend and an amazing dog she gave to Matthew for Christmas and a few other items.
We are also keeping our own diaries on the trip and although we can get behind at times it is the one thing that we all put the effort to catch up on. Not to mention the kids occasionally writing a blog post.
Some days are harder than others but overall we find this system works well for us and if you want to see some the creative feats of our travels check them here.