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Need travel ideas! Help me stay sane!

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Okay...so this summer will either be a huge success or I will end it somewhere in a padded room:)


We are headed out next weekend on a very long vacation with our dd4. She is...very, very busy, very opinionated and NEEDS something to keep her mind busy for the sanity of all involved. She literally melts down if we do not do 'school' every.single.day but Saturday as I have insisted that mom needs a break!

Honestly, letting go of the school routine and her books is going to be a challenge. We are hoping to keep her busy, busy, busy...but the last 4 weeks of the vacation will involve a LOT of driving/traveling time. I need ideas!


Here is the vacation outline and a few requirements. I am open to any ideas and suggestions!


The first 18 days I think will be fine as we are headed to Hawaii. She is interested in all things Sea Life and volcanoes, so I have loaded the IPad and her Kindle with books, apps, etc...


After that, not so much...we will be road tripping across the Western US. Twelve states, but we have 5 weeks to do it. Lots of camping, museums, even 2 day camps at science museums are planned.

I need easily-packable, challenging materials that can be done in the car. Heavy emphasis on math and logic. She is (according to SM and the ADAM test) working at about a 4th grade math level, much higher in reading. But with the flighty, distract able mentality of a 4 year old!


We are flying first, so everything has to fit into suitcases or be purchased along the way!

I have put mazes, critical thinking books, soduku, that sort of thing into plastic page protectors to make one 'activity' book. Card games, dice, Tangrams, check. A small dry erase board for the math/spelling she will insist upon. And a composition/drawing journal for her adventures, a well as her cameras.


So! A very tall order. Any great suggestions? Pretty please?!

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Have you ever seen the Usborne puzzle cards?  Those can be fun for trips.  How about 24?  Have you ever played that one?  There's an iPhone version of it that's really cheap.


We like to play board games on the iPad together.  Ticket to Ride is nice on the iPad as either bluetooth or pass and play.  Take It Easy is a fun tabletop iPad puzzle board game.


Really it sounds like you've got the distractions all set.  I'd be more focused on ways to find quiet and calm, you know?  When we took my boys abroad at that age, we bought cheap tiny mp3 players and headphones for them and loaded them with a ton of their favorite music.  It was really good for them to be able to have the control of putting those on and escaping for awhile.  I have a great picture of ds with them on at age 4, looking a bit like a tiny bored teenager, lying on a bench in the Louvre.

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We enjoyed audio books for long car trips. The details are fun when listening and so often we rush through them while reading. Many of the childrens classics were great since there is plenty of time for stories that move slowly. I also played "red light, green light" and 'mama may I' and that sort of thing as well as running around. Some of those games are good on any stretch of sidewalk. Our kids were happy not spending lots of time in restaurants while traveling long distances and we used more time to stretch. Enjoy!

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