hoola hoops aka road trip weapons for success

I don’t know about you, but I loved Abby’s post with tips on traveling with kids.

You see, the littles and I are on a road trip right now driving from Montana to California for a two-week visit with Grammi and PopPop. So I followed a lot of her advice. I made homemade treats (like popcorn and soaked oatmeal bars), I packed a lot of organic fruit (pre-washed in apple cider vinegar), kombucha for everyone, and I packed a personal bag for each of the kiddos with a select group of toys and activities (coloring book and a few favorite dolls for imagination play for our little girl …board books and a plushy for the little guy).

But I also packed a secret weapon.

Our friend Lieana told me this story about a trip she took with her three kids from Montana to San Jose. She brought jump ropes with her and at every stop they made (to fill up or for a rest) they “competed” …how many jumps before we’re back in the car.


A great release of pent-up energy from sitting in the car. A wonderful way to get endorphins pumping. And just plain fun!

But jumping rope is a tad advanced for a three year old and a one year old.

So I needed to find a way to adapt her idea.

And I think I nailed it.

Hoola hoops.

Three of them.

One adult size ($7.99 at Target) and two little ones ($5.99 each).

The best $19.97 I’ve spent in a long time.

At every gas station there seemed to be a small plot of grass …just big enough to plop the hoops down and start jumping. Lined up in a row, they make a great obstacle course. If mom holds them they become a tunnel. Raise them a few inches off the ground and it’s all of a sudden fun to see how high you can go and keep climbing through. It also seemed to be a fun game to play keep away from little brother.

So fun.

My camera stayed packed for most of this trip, but I wish I had taken pictures.

But alas, it was enough to just change a diaper, take one to the potty, eat a snack and hoop for 15 minutes and then hop back into the car without incident.  (UPDATE: my potty trained princess didn’t have even ONE accident on this trip. Amazing.)


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