Road Trip Toy Basket

We’ve taken quite a few road trips since Emily was born, and there’s one thing that I always make sure makes it into the car: the Road Trip Toy Basket (RTTB).  Yes, it’s cool enough to get its own name.

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The RTTB is packed full of easy-to-transport activities to help hold the girls’ attention.  Although we do let the girls watch one movie per leg of a road trip, I’ve never been a fan of letting kids just watch TV nonstop.  My brother and I never did, and we survived – even ended up with some great memories!  I try to stick to non-messy yet creative activities instead of games, since I like to try to steal some “me-time” while Jay drives (or else I’m driving myself and can’t really play).

Here are some of our beauties’ favorites:

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  • Look and Find Books – These are wonderful!  We’ve even got a couple that are designed for younger children (the pictures aren’t so busy).

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  • Magnetic Color Cubes – Even I love these!  The number of designs you can create are endless!  I also love that the top and bottom are both magnetic, so both girls can play at the same time.

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  • Crayola Color Wonder coloring sets – We’ve tried crayons (they melt) and colored pencils (need to be sharpened), and regular markers are definitely out.  So markers in the car without the mess?  Sold!  

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  • Find It – This game is great because it can be played on your own.  It comes with little checklist pages to mark when you find something in the canister, but the checklist is also printed on the top of the canister too, so the pages aren’t even necessary.  Emily likes to tell me to look for something, then when I find it I have her hunt for something.  Julia just likes to yell out things she sees.  They come in different themes – sports, girly stuff, etc.  I actually found mine at a yard sale for a quarter!

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  • Crayola Glow Station – Mine is a bit older and isn’t a day & night version, so it’s not the best daytime activity.  But for those trips that run into the evening a little, it’s AWESOME!  The pen has a light that causes the board to glow when you “draw” on it, but fades after a few minutes so that you can start all over.  So fun!

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  • Sticker Activity Book – Better for kids that are able to peel stickers off themselves, but definitely sparks creativity!

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These are just a few of the things in the RTTB.  The real trick is to keep the basket hidden until the next road trip, even if that means keeping it stowed away for a year.  This way all the toys feel new when you’re ready to hit the road!  Emily usually pulls everything out within the first hour or two of the trip, and then relaxes and stares out the windows, sings, or talks to us.  Julia asked for one thing and played with it for 30 minutes or so before asking for another.  No matter which way they decide to make use of it, the basket ROCKS!


Ready to hit the road with our basket!


6 thoughts on “Road Trip Toy Basket

  1. purpleprincess24 says:

    I love the selection of toys you have put together. The color wonder markers are a great idea for little ones.

  2. Renee Kimball-Mach says:

    LOVED the toy basket story Susi because I have one in MY car, too! I keep mine in there always because I’m always schlepping one (or both) kids either to/from a far away soccer practice or (summer time) camp drop off, or just about town, and they need something to occupy them. Since I have a four-door sedan, watching movies isn’t an option for us, sooooo I love my toy ‘n book basket! A few other ideas for you that I love is: an Etch-a-Sketch, a Wooly Willy (magnetic pen that you decorate a man’s face with little black crumbs to make mustaches and beards), a write on/wipe off board book and now they make the pens with a built-in sponge eraser on the tip so no need for wipes or messy Kleenex, and a magnetic paper doll set (Princess or otherwise), all kept in a hard shell handy case. Great for car! Ashley also enjoys her LeapPad and I like that the games are all educational and fun at the same time. Christopher is at the age where nothing will do except his Nintendo DS and how long it will take him to “master” whatever current game he is working on. (sigh)….. 🙂 Here’s to many more hours on the road!

    • I hear you! We have a smaller basket that we keep in my car for the day-to-day errands. As far as the in-ride movie, we have a small DVD player that we bought years ago so that I could watch movies while scrapbooking in the dining room (this was clearly before we had a laptop). It’s held up pretty well, and has a case that straps to the back of the front seat’s headrest. Sometimes Emily uses Jay’s iPad, but since he needs it for work we can only use that when he’s traveling with us. 🙂 You’ve mentioned a few of the other things we have in the basket too – We have the girl version of Wooly Willie and a magnetic princess set – great minds, huh? We did the dry erase markers for a while with Emily, but Julia’s too young and would definitely want them. Plus my old car had dark blue seats and this one has beige… I’m a little too nervous to go that route I think! Thanks for the many great ideas! 🙂

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