Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Road Trip Tin for the Kids

The Easter long weekend is this weekend and traditionally it’s a weekend for road tripping for families. Whether it’s to see family and friends or to go camping as a tight-knit group, there are thousands of Aussies packing up their cars, stocking up on snacks and getting ready to head to their next destination. Because of this I thought it would be fun to give you just one idea of what you can do with last week’s travel tin: make a road trip tin for the kids! To help keep the “are we there yet?”s to a minimum!

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Road Trip Tin for the Kids on Style for a Happy Home

What you’ll need:

  • A Travel Tin (see how to make your own here) to put the goodies in
  • A Book for them to read (if they don’t get car sick, of course)
  • An ipod (or electronic device) with headphones so they can listen to what they like without everyone else hearing the same song on repeat
  • A Treat because road trips aren’t every day
  • A Camera so they can show how they see the world (this one is shockproof and waterproof)
  • A Sketchbook for drawing and writing stories
  • Coloured Markers to go with the sketchbook because colours are awesome

Once you’ve chosen a tin or made your own, you can start filling it with goodies that you kiddos might like for the road trip. You could either involve them in making up the tin or you could surprise them with it once they’re in the car. Everyone travels differently and likes different things so these are just some suggestions as to what you could put in the tin as a jumping off point.

Packing a book, particularly a new book can be a way to keep your reader entertained for hours. It will give them a chance to just catch up on a story and zone out for a while. An ipod or electronic device with headphones can help keep your car feeling happier, when everyone can listen to their own music or watch their own show without the rest of the car having to hear that same pop tune for the 150th time!

You might like to pack them a treat for the road. I chose mini Easter eggs because of the season, but we always travelled with our own packets of Mentos and fruit tingles when we were kids. It was great because we didn’t have to share and no one ate more than their fair share ;)

If you’ve got a kid friendly digital camera, you might like to pack that for them too. Then they can take photos from the car of what they see. You know your own kiddos, so you’ll know whether this is a good option for them. It can be a fun way for them to document their trip and not just the times where you’re in the car.

A sketchbook and coloured markers are great for kids who like to write and draw wherever they go. It can be good both in the car and on the lunch stops in tiny towns that might not have many kid-friendly things to do. It’s good to switch up from reading to drawing when they get a little bored or tired.

Mini Makeover: Make Your Own Road Trip Tin for the Kids After on Style for a Happy Home

I think this could be a great idea for long road trips with kids, and seems a lot more fun that 5 hours of listening to “she’s looking out my window” and “he’s breathing my air”. Some cars are a lot fancier these days and have DVD players and all sorts in them, but I think a fun tin that’s just for them can also be a sweet idea for keeping them entertained. It could also be fun to make one for a grown up friend or yourself with things like crochet or knitting supplies or something that you don’t always get time for.

Do you make up tins like this for your road trips? What would you add? How do you make them run as smoothly as possible?

If you do try this, I’d love to see a photo or hear about how it went! Tweet me your pics at: @danniellecresp or instagram me at: @dannielle with the hashtag: #styleforahappyhome

P.S. Happy Easter to those who celebrate. I hope you have a happy and safe long weekend and that you come out the other side with some fun memories and feeling just a little more relaxed. x

How to Make Travelling With Young Kids a Happy Adventure

The lovely Amanda Kendle is taking over Style for a Happy Home today to talk about travelling with young kids. Please make her feel welcome! x

When I was pregnant with my son four years ago I was so determined that I would still be able to travel a reasonable amount, and travel happily and not stressfully. I didn’t mention this to many people, because when I did people would immediately start telling me all these tales of woe about how you can’t take young kids on long haul flights or share horror stories of friends who took babies on trips to different time zones and it messed up their sleep patterns for months and all this other negativity. I decided it was better not to listen.

How to Make Travelling With Young Kids a Happy Adventure on Style for a Happy Home

Instead, I booked his first flight months before he was born (I had to ring back later with a name and birthdate!) and got his passport when he was four weeks old. We have been using it ever since, and I have figured out some of the secrets for making travelling with kids a great adventure for everyone involved:

  • Expect them to love travel. Talk to your kids about travel as though it’s a normal part of life and then, just like going to swimming lessons or visiting grandma, they will think travelling now and again is simply expected and nothing to worry about.
  • Help your kids learn to entertain themsleves with whatever is available at that moment – which is not always flashing and beeping toys. I was a bit of a stickler for “no noisy toys” when my son was really young and I think it paid off! On our last trip to Penang (aged three and a half) he put in a request for some colourful paper, scissors and sticky tape, and he turned out hotel room into a race track. (It was tricky tidying it up for housekeeping to clean our room, but worth it for the hours it occupied him!)
  • Keep a balance of kid-focused activities and “normal” travel activities in your day, and find a way to turn them all into stuff your child will enjoy. I wasn’t sure my son would be that enthralled with visiting a bunch of temples in Malaysia but we talked a lot about the colourful buildings and all the different styles and he was always keen to go to more. In Ireland last year, we spent hours walking the countryside looking for new animals to talk to.
  • Let go of the reigns a bit to make travelling fun for everyone. I’m a bit mean about screen time but when we’re travelling, my son is welcome to the iPad; I’m also less fussy about the food he eats and the time he gets to bed, and because we’re all in holiday mode and don’t have to fit to a school or work timetable, it really doesn’t matter, and because we’ve travelled regularly enough he knows that the rules go back to normal as soon as we get home.

Of course, this is just my experience with my son, and it is definitely easier with one than more, but I still think that a lot of parents talk themselves out of travelling with their kids and really miss out on some great adventures, and building some brilliant family memories. Be brave and go adventuring – you can do it!

Amanda Kendle is a travel addict, blogger, social media consultant and parent to one travel-loving four-year-old son. She has blogged about the benefits of travel at NotABallerina.com for almost a decade and has recently taken her interest in reverse culture shock a step further by starting the site FixReverseCultureShock.com to help people fit back into their home countries after spending time abroad.

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Cool Tea Towel Gifts for Adventurers

Hello! Happy Saturday! This week I’m still following the Adventures theme but I’ve been thinking a little differently. These great Pinterest finds are all tea towel gifts you could buy an adventurer friend or treat yourself to, from the places you’ve visited. Tea towels make for great wall hangings as well as their practical application!

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Cool Tea Towel Gifts for Adventurers on Style for a Happy Home

  1. Berlin This is a very cool design! I love that it’s not too touristy but very fun! Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here
  2. New Zealand This is another beautifully designed tea towel and would look great framed too! Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here
  3. Sydney This one is great for picking out all the landmarks and would be fun to have in a kids room on the wall Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here
  4. London This town is known for it’s gifts, and this one doesn’t disappoint! Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here
  5. Paris I love that this one is a bit more subtle, but still really lovely! (and handmade too) Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here
  6. New Mexico This one is a little left of field, but would be great for lovers of New Mexico Get the Tea Towel HerePin It Here

Do you collect tea towels when you travel? I collect postcards, but am thinking of adding something like this!

You can follow my Oh the Places You’ll Go Pinterest Board and my Travel Pinterest Board for more inspiration! And you can also follow me here, if you’d like!