When my daughter was six years old, my husband and I decided we would take a family vacation in Maine for a week. Living in Florida at the time, we flew to Portland and rented a car. We had planned to see as much of Maine as possible, driving up the coast to the Canadian border and back, while going inland here and there. Although we had lots of family activities planned, there would be a lot of driving and plenty of time for a six year old to get bored with scenery.
My daughter had packed a backpack with some of her favorite toys and games. I bought her a new child’s tape player and several cassette tapes with children’s music to start off with. I did make sure to include head phones!
I just knew she would quickly tire of the “old stuff” and the new music. What to do? I managed to hide a few surprises in our suitcase. After she went to sleep each night, I tucked little something under her pillow. Every morning she checked to see what the “vacation present fairy” had left for her during the night. (Did I mention she was a very gullible 6 year old??)
It was amazing how excited she was with a notebook & colored pencils, a tiny stuffed animal, a new coloring book & crayons, a new book – nothing very expensive. The best was a folding glossy picture board of a room with a selection of vinyl cutouts of people, furniture and pets to place in the room that could be used over and over.
And it worked! She was entertained with a little something new every day, and best of all we never heard “I’m bored!”
Tape player & tapes, $30
Crayons, pencils, notebook, etc., $50
800 miles of peace & quiet …. Priceless