Keeping the Kids Occupied on Holiday Road Trips with Big Lots

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Make a gift package to keep kids entertained in the car during holiday travels

We’ve done a lot of long road trips with kids at all different ages, so I’ve got a good bit of experience trying to keep long car rides bearable for children and the adults who have to listen to them complain. We’ve done audiobooks, podcasts, license plate games, videos, coloring pages, and lots and lots of snacks. But I decided to try something different this year, for our first long drive towing the trailer (we’ll be going to Savannah over the holidays! I’m excited). I put together this basket of wrapped gifts, with the idea that the kids will open one every hour or so during the drive for a regular influx of fun and excitement until we get to the campground.

I went to Big Lots and was able to put together a great variety of road trip friendly gifts for all four of the kids without spending a lot of money:


They had tons of different sticker collections in the stationery section, along with colored pencils, and a nice sketching set for Ari (who might think he’s too old for stickers. But, really, are you ever too old for stickers?) And then I picked up the Shaun the Sheep Christmas DVD (I didn’t even realize there was such a thing. I would like to watch it, too). I have no doubt that the Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids will be a hit:


But I think my favorite find is this Trivial Pursuit Hints electronic game from the toy section:


The kids love playing Trivial Pursuit on the X-box, but our X-box just stopped working a couple of weeks ago, and they’ve been bugging me for a new Trivial Pursuit game ever since. I may go back and get the Taboo one for Christmas. Abe may be a little young for Trivial Pursuit, but the rest of us are going to have lots of fun with it on the trip.

I was also excited to find that Big Lots sells a great variety of dogs and cats wearing festive holiday clothing wrapping paper….and it just so happens that that’s my FAVORITE kind of wrapping paper:


So once I had my collection of gifts assembled, I needed somewhere to put them all until they get unwrapped. So I bought….a trash can:


Okay, so we needed a trash can anyway for the camper. I’m all about multi-tasking gift containers. Anyway, then I put a bow on it, so it could be a super festive trash can.

I wrapped up all the gifts and put notes on some of them indicating when they should be opened. I thought about putting actual times to open them, but I thought that strategy expressed a little too much confidence in our ability to actually leave at the time we plan to leave. The kids might wind up unwrapping all the presents before we even leave the driveway. So, for example, the movie is labeled for “when Abe’s asleep.” Partially because Abe has no attention span for movies, and partially because we can only fit three people in the back seat to see the movie all at once. And the candy is for after lunch. I’m a great parent that way:


Ha! Dog in a Santa hat! That’s HILARIOUS!

Where was I?

Right. So then everything went in the lovely gift basket trash can, and now it’s all ready to keep the kids happy and entertained and silent all the way to Savannah:

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Have you started on holiday shopping yet? Visit Big Lots first for your holiday shopping this year! Check out their great selection on their website, and follow them on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.




Keeping the Kids Occupied on Holiday Road Trips with Big Lots — 9 Comments

  1. That’s so fun! When I was little my mom would make cookies in the shape of all the states we would travel through. When we reached the state, we would get our cookie and answer state trivia questions. It remains one of my fondest memories of my mom, even though the last time I mentioned it to her she acted like she had no idea what I was talking about. Moms.

    • oh, so fun! I’m very impressed that she managed to find time to make state shape cookies AND pack for a trip! Maybe she’s blocked out the memory because it was so hectic it was painful? 😉

  2. Dogs and cats in festive outfits wrapping paper! I must find a Big Lots at once! (There isn’t one anywhere near me, although there used to be one about five miles away.)
    My very favorite aunt did that me for one summer when I was eight, and we were on the way home from two weeks at my grandmother’s. (Which meant I had read ALL my books.) They had directions for when to open them by travel, like “When you see the first “Welcome to Montgomery” sign, or “at the Tennessee line” or “the first time you stop for gas north of Birmingham.”

  3. The wrapping paper is hilarious.

    On our last road trip, my MIL got paper lunch bags and put little trinkets in them individually. For every stop, Henry got one. And it pretty much lasted him through the next stop. IT was genius.

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