I am on a teleconference at the moment. No clue what they are talking about. I do have a few ideas for my next vacation though. If you click on the link, there are a bunch of good ideas to use for road trips. And since I have to kind of listen to the call, and can't do anything too productive, here is my two cents:
Travel Games & Ideas for Toddlers:
Surprise packages Prepare ahead with paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or 75 miles -- marked on a map with the location, it takes a little bit of preparation to do this but it REALLY helps young children. In each bag put a wrapped item -- usually a small toy. Then in some of the surprise packages you can add juice or a snack, stickers and a piece of paper, or something pertaining to the trip that you can talk about.
Hmmm...sounds like it will end up all over the mini-van. We take 3 hour trips regulary and I usually pack one bag with mostly large items such as books, etch-a-sketches, animals...NO STICKERS!
Use some colored construction paper to cut out some "tickets" for your trip. Give your child a pre-counted baggie full of tickets. Every half hour (or every 30 miles) they can turn in one ticket to you. When their tickets are gone, the trip has ended! This really helps young children get an idea of how much time is left on the journey.
Maybe for older kids...
Aluminum Foil modeling
Give everyone a sheet of aluminum foil. Have them mold it into anything they want: animal shapes, Frisbees, balls, jewelry, crowns, headband, necklaces. Be creative. Here's a link to article I wrote about more ways to have fun with aluminum art!
This one sounds like a great idea. And here is another addition: marathon blankets! You know those space age things you get after a big race? I stash them in my car in case I get stuck in one of those blizzards that pop up between DC and Philly unexpectedly. On a 1.5 hour drive on Easter, my 2 year old and my friend's 8 year old were entertained for an hour. 8 year old's little sister was left out though...so if you have multiple kids, you are going to have to run multiple marathons so you have more than 1 blanket (or use wrapping paper or aluminum foil).
Teleconference abruptly ended and when I tried to spell check I lost my entire post.
So, in brief, review the link. They have some good ideas.
Also, please ignore any spelling errors. I am not editing again!
In closing, thanks to everyone who recommended a car seat to use on a plane. We ended up with a lightweight Eddie Bauer for about $50. Harry loved it, was good as gold on the flight and in cabs, and it his now his "thinking chair" to draw "Clue's" in. I also used an old $9 folding luggage cart that they used to sell at airports before people had roller bags. Worked like a charm!