Friday, April 15, 2011

Travel Ball

Tomorrow {Friday} I will be heading back to my hometown for the first time in almost two years! My husband asked me if I'm excited and my response was "I'll be excited when I get there." It's not that I'm not excited about going right now, it's just that I have the long trip to worry about first.
We will begin by driving three hours to Denver. Then I have another {almost} 3 hour flight. Luckily it's a direct flight but it only lands me in Portland, which is 4 1/2 hours away from my final destination. I'll be making that drive Saturday morning. So as you can see it's going to be a long journey.
This brings me to the "travel ball."
When I was somewhere in the vicinity of 12 years old I went on a vacation with my best friend and her family (who happened to have a sister Sally's age and Sally came too). It was a 12 hour trip to San Diego and the only thing I remember (except that I never want to sit between a fighting brother and sister ever again!) is that her mom brought this thing she made called a travel ball. It was a genius way to help break up the trip and make things interesting. Now that I have kids of my own I've decided it's time to start making my own travel ball.
Here's what you want to do. Figure out how many hours your trip is going to be and buy the same number of "things" as hours. For example:
I have a travel aqua doodle, a movie, a book, stickers, candy, bubbles, etc. Number each item 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.
Take a ball and wrap it with paper (wrapping paper or even news paper would be fine). Tape or write on the first layer one of the numbers that relates to an item. Wrap another layer and again write or tape a correlating number. Repeat the layers with as many numbers as you have items. Put all of your items in a bag and bring it, along with your travel ball AND a timer, with you on your trip. Set your timer for 1 hour. When the timer goes off have one of your kids unwrap the first layer on the travel ball. Whatever number is there find the item that goes with that number and hand it out. Whether it's a snack, game, movie, etc., your kids will get to enjoy it for the next hour. Each hour when the timer goes off unwrap another layer and get out something new.
I think it's a brilliant idea and I'm so excited to try it with my girls. Hopefully it will make your travels a little easier this summer too.

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