Monday, August 22, 2011

56 IHeart: A Travel Bag Full of Magic

The family decided that one last weekend away before school starts was in order.  Which gave me an idea.  Why not whip up a post on my favorite "traveling with kids" organizing tip? 

Here the kids are now to give you a little hint....



The common factor between the boys {aside from their blue eyes, blonde hair and contagious giggles} are their ultra cool totes.  Yeah, that's right, man bags.  They rock!

So what is so great about these totes that the boys are sporting?

Well, they are a mommy's dream come true.... here is why.

First, each boy has their own bag with their name embroidered right on the front so there are no mix ups {we had been using these but recently upgraded to these ones on clearance}:


Then I loaded up each boy's bag with the exact same car essentials {same so there is no reason to bicker over whose is whose, not that they would...}



Let's take a closer look at the life savers bag contents shall we?


Going from left to right, top to bottom:


A pencil box full of coloring supplies, which pair up with the drawing and writing pads shown in the bottom right corner.

Alphabet flash cards.

Handheld video game device, games and charger.

Camera.

Hand sanitizer {alcohol free}.

Baby wipes for quick clean ups.

Reading material/books.

Oh, and headphones for the car movie player {pictured way above}


That's it.  A bag full of magic.

And when it comes to how we use them?  Well, each boy get's their bag and their bag only, to bring in and out of the vehicle anytime we go anywhere.  The bag is always packed with those specific belongings, always ready to go!  It's great for keeping them occupied in the car and even at most destinations, like the Dr. office or a restaurant.

So that is how I stay sane while traveling with three little men.  Anyone else doing something similar?  How about any other tips or tricks for traveling with kids? 

56 comments:

  1. Love that idea. We just got back from visiting family 3 hours away this past weekend and I thought to myself, "Jen needs to do a special section on traveling with children." You must've read my mind :)

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  2. That is a FANTASTIC idea... and I don't even have kids yet. lol. You're super mom!

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  3. We keep a bag of items for each of the girls in the car (in a seatback organizer) they each have special books, toys and a magna doodle that are just for the car.

    Sadly, my iphone seems to be best to keep them busy at the doctor.

    OH, and I always keep a crayon roll and notepad in my purse.

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  4. We do the same thing with our kids and it works SO well. I will have to remember to add wipes to each bag and made one of those mini first aid kits that you can get for $1. Love the bags AND that you got them on sale!

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  5. This is a great idea, we got some of those drawstring backpacks for free from a ball game over the weekend and I am thinking those would be perfect for just this kind of thing.
    http://www.arcadiaonline.co.uk/promotional-drawstring-bags-rucksacks/eynsford-drawstring-back-sack/-/acm3050018?size=&start=0

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  6. Where did you get those alphabet flash cards? Love them!

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  7. Great tip! I made the same type of thing for our kids & our 4 nieces/nephews last Christmas - they LOVED them. :) Our boys take toys and a mid-size cookie sheet to contain the Lego pieces... but your supplies are great as well. :) Good job!

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  8. The wipes are definitely a must! Great idea.

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  9. This is much better than the hoards of baby dolls that end up cluttering my car. It's getting very Duggar-ish up in there.

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  10. I pack a suitcase full of goodies for my toddler for all airline flights(see pics here - http://aworkingmomstayshome.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html), but I love that idea of a bag for regular car trips too. Project time for me!

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  11. What a great idea! I just have a pencil pouch full of crayons, plus a few small coloring books that I throw in my purse when I think they might be needed. I'm going to have to try this. Thanks! :)

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  12. I don't have this with my 3 boys (4,1, and 5 months), but I have an organized see through box in the car filled with.
    -Emergency diapers and wipes
    -Lysol wipes
    -A stuffed TY animal for all
    -books for the two older boys

    It works for us, but I can see how when they are older they may do better with their own bag.

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  13. Whoops, I also have an emergency umbrella, and an emergency snack (granola bars) in there too.

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  14. Hey Jen! I travel a lot.... can you make me one of these bags? I'll have what the boys are having! bahaha! <3

    Another fab idea for my future kiddos!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  15. We did this same thing (minus the autographed bags) when are kids were younger. By age 10 and 11, they bring along whatever they want to entertain them. I think it helped them realize that mom and dad do not need to entertain them all the time. They can entertain themselves. Love the photos and colors on your post. =) Hope you had a great trip.

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  16. These look FABULOUS !!!! Must do this!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely love it! Your creativity is amazing! I'm so impressed by how beautiful and organized your home is! :)

    Also, love that your boys have individual bags now! Smart!

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  18. I have 2 boys (ages 2 & 5) & we travel ALOT since my family lives in Alberta, Canada & we live in Colorado! I have a plastic tub that holds travel books, crayons, glow sticks, flash lights, Leap Pads, etc. that stays in the closet until a road trip. No need to play with these toys at the house, car only! Thanks for all your tips! I heart you blog.

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  19. Good tips! We have a bag that we use that holds all of our electonics in it--headphones, iPods, DS, chargers, and games. We also have a special charger that plugs directly into our cigarette lighter that is like a surge protector. It charges up to four of our devices using the traditional wall plug plus one port is a USB charger. This means we do NOT have to have car chargers for every device. It's a life saver. We bought it at Radio Shack. :-)

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  20. I have something similar for my kids (5, 3, and baby). I have a small plastic Sterilte tote (about three inches deep, and about 11x14 in size). It stays in the car and holds coloring and activity books, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, and some of those Brain Quiz games. I also have one of those travel size fishing games in there and a deck of cards. It ONLY comes out during waiting times away from home, and only when there is nothing else provided for my kids to do. It is a lifesaver for doctor appointments, waiting for car repairs, restaurants, etc.

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  21. Yet another reason why I love you. We have things hung in a shoe organizer by the back door that we grab and take. I never dreamed of putting them in bags and having it ready to go. I also haven't gotten your organized kitchen out of my head. I am purging!!!

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  22. Hey Jen, just wanted to tell you how very very much I love your blog, - it has really helped me this year as I have been taking baby steps learning to organize my life!! I am sharing your blog as my #1 online inspiration on my blog thepresentmom.blogspot.com and just wanted to personally thankyou for the always wonderful ideas, and beautiful way you implement them!!
    Love your upbeat and 'bubbliness' that always cheers my day!
    Rebecca

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  23. I made a travel trip road tray for my son. It's been a big, big hit!
    http://anichetofind.blogspot.com/2011/08/car-time-road-tray.html

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  24. Each of my 3 kids take a bag, too, on road trips. The older 2 always take them ds along with whatever # of games. They take books, too. My youngest always take a penguin. My 3 just got these cute bags from their favorite restaurant. I love the bags you choose for your kiddos.

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  25. This is a fabulous idea. When my baby gets older, so doing that!! Just one thing, if I may say, please be careful with the colored pencils, i know you probably have rules for when they can use the supplies...and I know it goes without saying but in a car with sudden brakes...too many freak accidents.

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  26. My kiddos are still little enough (2.5 and 9 months)that I carry a diaper bag with the essentials, But when we are going to be somewhere for a while like a Dr's office or restaurant my older son has a little buzz lightyear back pack that I let him pack with his favorite toys of the moment and a snack :) He loves to carry it around and it and it has saved many temper tantrums!

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  27. This is my absolute, hands-down favorite thing for car rides, plane rides, anytime, paired with some washable dry erase markers.

    http://www.myubam.com/ecommerce/details.asp?sid=NEW&gid=124199611&title=100+Things+to+Do+on+a+Trip&sqlwhere=+T%2EID+In+%28Select+ProductID+From+vCategoryGroupsItems+Where+CategoryID+%3D4400%29

    I punched holes in the corner and put them on a keyring (actually, broke them up into 3rds and put them on 3 keyrings and rotate what is on hand).

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  28. Wow! I have an upcoming post on backpacks...well, this post has to be a link on it. My readers will be awestruck. (I WANT ONE OF THESE BAGS WITH MY NAME ON IT!) Stop by our Blog Hop today? You can post this one for my readers there, too.

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  29. I love packing little entertainment bags for the kids when we travel! My son is now old enough to carry his own little backpack, too! We're going for an overnight trip this Friday and will be taking a 1.5hr ferry ride over the water so they will need to have lots of entertainment! LOL! The portable DVD player works wonders, too, in the van. :)

    I am also curious where you got those alphabet cards?

    Thanks for another great post!!

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  30. Hello friends! The flashcards were a gift for Christmas a year or two ago from a friend. I believe they are from Pottery Barn Kids, however, I don't know that for sure.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  31. Promotional bags are the successful item which is most familiar with everyone. All types of promotional bags are used for branding and these bags are not only affordable but also cost effective.

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  32. Awesome post a great source of information regarding luggage bags. i likes it's which is used fabrics for bags. Thanks for this wonderful post.
    Corporate Gifts

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  33. This is great! We do basically the same thing for our daughter, but with a slightly smaller bag. Here's an idea I recently thought of and started using: you know that green, cylindrical, screw-top containers that "Emerald" brand nuts come in? Well, they make great containers to store "Color Wonder" markers and/or colored pencils in the car because...here's the cool part...they fit in the car's or car seat's cup holders! There are no pencil boxes sliding onto the floor if Daddy or Mommy have to brake suddenly! You can even decorate them or have the kids decorate them to their liking.

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  34. @Lori - That sounds like a WONDERFUL idea! I will have to look into that option! :) Thank you for sharing!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  35. I actually made the bags for my girls for traveling. The travel bag is a must have! I usually keep the handi-wipes in my purse though because they tend to end up all over the backseat because "the barbies need baths..." :). Each of my girls also have a DVD player of their own so we don't have fights over what movie to watch. They each got one with their christmas money. They have been a true lifesaver!

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    1. Hahahahahaha. Thanks for the heads up about the barbies and the wet wipes! I'll remember that in the future! (Barbies + wet wipes= no no!)

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  36. By the time I finished reading this, I felt a little queezy. Then I realized why: Guess who's whole family gets car sick! Yup. I suggest that if anyone has the same problem, you add personal buckets/bowls/totes/something to your car for those unfortunate incidents. If you're anything like me, you don't hear "I don't feel so good" only a second before you know how "not so good" they feel. We have cheap big mixing bowls in our car (plastic bags don't always do so well on their own...). I do love this idea though! (But for me it will come with a rule that they have to look out the front window for thirty seconds rather frequently if they want to read or play with visual games.) I especially love the idea of wet wipes for the kids, and I might add tissues too. I also like the idea someone gave above of keeping Lysol wipes in the car. Brilliant!

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  37. I keep a "car box" ready to go for my daughter. It just sits on the back seat next to her car seat. It has an I Spy board book, a magnadoodle board, snacks that don't make crumbs, and a little stuffer animal friend. She loves it. She always takes something out to do whenever we go some place... on the way to school, to Target, etc. She loves it! I did just buy her her own travel bag for our vacation trip next month!

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  38. I think it would be great if you did a blog post on what your children bring in there backpacks to school everyday!

    Thank you for taking your time to read and answer ALL of everyones questions!

    Thanks Jen!

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  39. Any ideas for little kiddos. My youngest is 20 months and we're about to endeavor on a 5 hour car ride . . . not sure what will hold her attention more than a couple of minutes. I'll be bringing an Elmo movie for sure and hope that she takes a nap somewhere in there . . .

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    1. Hmmm... my little ones never did too well in the car since they didn't have a lot of attention span. Maybe pop a goodie caddy next to the car seat filled with items she is interested in {magnadoodle, books, color wonder, travel pillow}. Good luck! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  40. This will be a great transition for me in the next year....since I have 3 and almost 2 yr old, I'm still using my snazzy blue and brown backpack....I keep it packed with these same items and on the pantry floor...When it's time to go in the mornings, I throw in the juice/sippy cups and dash out...so we just use one....
    When they get a little bigger we'll DEFINITELY do this! (they fight over things already).....

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  41. I read this post last year and just got around to implementing this idea today. I bought some totes from Michael's and filled with a crayon roll, a coloring book, notepad, Tag Books and Pen and a Kid Tough Camera for each of my 3 girls. Hoping it works to keep the kiddos and me sane on our outings. Where do you store the bags while waiting for the next trip? I was thinking I'd keep them in the garage, but just wondering where yours are.

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    1. Hi Shannon!

      I hope they work well for you! :) We store ours on hooks in each of their bedrooms.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  42. I'm prepping my family of 4 for our annual Road Trip. This year it's from our home on the East Coast to Yellowstone Park. Yup. Yellowstone. A 4-day drive. We've done a mega-haul road trip for the past few summers - and it's always gone super well because I do the same thing for my children (now 10 & 11): an activity bin for each. I use plastic bins that store right under their seat. It holds a couple of chapter books; drawing supplies; magnetic board games (you can find mini-versions for car rides, like monopoly & scrabble); iPods w/earbuds; DVD's; card games (CVS & Rite-Aid type stores have great car games); a pack of trivia cards to read aloud for fun. oh, and a joke book. Sounds like a lot, but it's divided between the two. They're on auto-pilot for the whole ride. Nice. :)

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  43. i do the same thing for my daughter but i find it works best if the bag lives in the van ......... if it goes in the house she tends to get into it and play with things at home ......... and the toys and such within the bag do not keep her attention as well........... i also added change to hers so she can get something from the vending machine if there is one ........ i first made this bag up when i was pregnant for my second child ... in case my daughter was stuck at the hospital with us

    i added small containers with activities to hers as well .... beads for necklaces ..... chenels she can twist together to make stuff hers also has a few barbies ....... i keep wipes and first aid and such in my own kit that stays in the car ..... i also have extra cloths for everyone (me too ) towels and bathing suits .. i have a large tote i have things in ..... never know when you mightr need something

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  44. We have a bag for church for our 2 year old. I put quiet activities like beads and string in it that he can work on quietly. Our church does not have a nursery, so we have had to be creative.

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  45. Awesome post. Great tips for traveling families. Thanks for including a few of our children's books in your packing list! My Fun With Words is our best selling series. Over 2M families have those on their shelves. We'll pass along your ideas; they're definitely worth sharing. Thanks again!

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  46. I love this. I only have one son, but still want to try this out. Also, I love your blog and your logo is super cute. :)

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  47. How do you get them to put the things back in the bags and where do you store them? My boys have bags but they never put the things back in them and then the mess stacks up. They also tend to put them on the edge of their car seats and they fall over and dump out.

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    1. They typically put them on the floor under their feet or right next to them. Yes, they would pull most things out, but they would also just toss everything back in. We hung them in their closet in their bedroom between uses.

      xo!
      Jen

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  48. My 3 older boys (my baby boy is still in diapers and not walking) get a small ziplock bag with restroom "essentials". Travel roll of toilet paper, toilet seat covers, some change (in case you have to pay), and a small bottle of liquid hand soap. This plastic bag goes into a small pouch that has chapstick, hand sanitizer, a pack of tissues and a small pack of wipes. This way they don't have to dig through the bigger bag to find stuff!

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