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Will you be hitting the open road this summer to travel to a family-favorite destination? Most American families plan at least 1 trip or vacation during the summer months, and what better time to travel than during the season that brings us those gorgeous sunny days where we can roll the windows down in the car and feel the cool breeze as we hit the highway!
While my family is in a season of life where traveling long distances is kept to a minimum (because toddlers can be super tricky to travel with), we do occasionally like to load up the car and head down to the gulf coast for the day a few times during the summer. It’s a fairly short driving distance from our home, so it’s an ideal spot to go to when we’re craving a little R&R and vitamin sea. The beach is the #1 travel destination spot in the state of Alabama, and once school is out for the summer across the nation, all of the highways and byways that lead to the beach in this state are flooded with road trippers who are looking to splash in the waves and have a little fun by the shore.
There was a point in time when my husband and I would just hop in the car and go wherever the wind would take us. We didn’t live by a schedule, we didn’t have a packing list of things to bring along with us when we were going to be gone from the house for more than 30 minutes, and we certainly didn’t have things like auto care and vehicle maintenance on the brain. As we’ve gotten older (and a little one came into the picture), our minds have become reprogrammed to put those things into the forefront of our thought processes now.
So when we recently decided to take another trip down to the gulf to get away from our house for a little bit, we started making a list of things that we needed to pack or take care of before we found ourselves on the road with all of the other travelers.
We needed to pick up a few essentials such as snacks, juice boxes, water, sunscreen, swim diapers, beach toys, etc. I knew I could get everything I needed in a quick stop at our local Walmart, which just so happens to be right off the Interstate heading down to the beach! We made our first pit stop there to load up the car with all of our beach day-cation essentials. While we were there, I turned to my husband and asked, “Uh, have we changed the oil in our car lately?” With the shrug of his shoulders, we immediately found ourselves headed over to the Automotive Care Center to hand over our keys to get a quick oil change before we headed out on our beach adventure.
We spoke with the lady at the front desk, addressed our needs and she handed us a ticket with our wait time (which was the perfect amount of time for us to go grab our groceries and check out – SO convenient!)
While we were there, I couldn’t help but notice this sign for Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil. We’ve put many a mile on our ol’ vehicle, and I knew our car had over 75,000 miles on it. I was pumped to see this rollback special, because getting a quality brand that will help clean the sludge of lesser oils and help keep our engine clean and running strong was the icing on the cake to an already super convenient oil change!
While we were shopping, it wasn’t long before our toddler started showing signs of frustration and despair because we were actually out in public trying to accomplish normal adult things. (Parents can be a real drag, can’t they?) I had a hunch that the whining wasn’t going to let up much on the way down to the beach, so I had a thought to throw a little somethin’ somethin’ together to help keep her focus off of her surroundings while she was in her car seat during the trip.
Since I was going to be picking up a few bottles of water anyway, I thought I’d grab a few other things while I was at Walmart to help me create a quick and easy DIY Ocean Seek and Find bottle for her to play with. We’ve been talking a lot lately about sea creatures and oceans, so I knew this would definitely be something that piqued her interest while we were en route to the beach!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY Ocean Seek and Find bottle:
1 empty plastic bottle (glass bottles are fine for older kids)
1 small package of decorative sea shells
1 small bag of aquarium sand
1 bag of aquarium jewels
1 small bag of ocean themed craft beads
Blue and green food coloring
Super Glue or quick drying glue
Step 1: Using a funnel (I rolled up a piece of paper I tore out of a coloring sheet,) pour your desired amount of sand into the empty bottle.
Step 2: Fill the remainder of the bottle up with water, being sure to leave some room at the top to account for displacement once the jewels are in.
Step 3: Add in sea shells, jewels, beads, etc.
Step 4: Add in 1 drop of blue food coloring and 1 drop of green food coloring. Add more water to the bottle until there is no more room (to prevent air bubbles from forming)
Step 5: Apply a layer of glue around the inner threads of the cap of the bottle and screw tightly on.
Shake the contents of the bottle up and have your toddler watch as the sand settles to the bottom and the sea creatures float around! I printed out a little card and glued on an extra bead to serve as a little seek & find guide to help my daughter know exactly what to look for. This quick little craft project has mesmerized my little one both inside and outside of the car, and she requests to play with it on more than just road trips!
I’ve found that it can also be used as a great tool to help her calm down when she starts throwing a tantrum. It helps tremendously with color and shape differentiation and counting, too! In addition to taking it in the car with us just about everywhere we go, she’s put in for it to live on her dresser in her bedroom so she can play with it whenever she pleases!
If you’re getting ready for a road trip with a little one, making a seek & find bottle is a great way to keep them entertained and focused on other things besides the road. If the kid is older, add even more beads and throw in other characters besides just sea creatures! The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do with them!
And before you finalize your packing list for your road trip this summer, don’t forget to drop your car off with the experts at the Walmart Automotive Care Center to get a quick oil change while you pick up everything else on your list! If your vehicle is considered to be a high mileage vehicle (over 75,000 miles), make sure you take advantage of the Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle motor oil that’s currently on Rollback for just $35.88!
Making car care a priority on our road trip by using Pennzoil at Walmart helps us make all of our summer road trips a success by saving time and money. Throwing in this little simple DIY project to take along with us wherever we go also helps us save a little bit of our sanity during those moments when our tot wants to get a little fussy. It’s a win/win all around!
Do you have a fun DIY project to take along with you on a road trip to help keep a little one entertained? Have you ever had your oil changed at Walmart while shopping for road trip essentials? Leave a comment below and share the love!
Click here for more information on how getting your oil changed at Walmart brings ease and convenience to your summer road trip!
David @ Spiced says
Oh, we totally understand the trials that come with toddler roadtrips…and taking toddlers out to do “real people things.” Thanks for the fun toy idea! That’s sure to keep our little guy entertained. And thanks for sharing the rollback info on Pennzoil right now, too! #client
We’ve done something similar for older kids. The bottle was filled with birdseed. Since it can’t be seen through, it’s more challenging, and some items really do hide! We’ve even done themed ones for Boy Scouts with various things representing the 12 point of the Scout Law–e.g., a dog to represent loyalty, a lion for bravery, a religious symbol for reverence (examples: a Latin cross if the Scout was Catholic, lotus if Buddist, etc.), a penny for thriftiness, and so on. Scrapbook charms, decorative buttons, jewelry charms, and beads, and small craft items all make great search items–A craft store is a great place to find a lot of things. We had tent and campfire buttons, stars and moon charms, tiny lanterns and animals from the railroad model section, flashlights from the dollhouse section, tiny beads that looked like bread and fruit to represent the food drives, and so on.
Gloria Jean Ansback says
Where can you find a bottle like the one pictured
Laura Tucker says
Hi Gloria! I used a VOSS bottle found over with the specialty waters in the drink aisle at Walmart. This one is glass and is very heavy, but I think they might make a plastic one. I hope that helps!
I am looking to buy beads for this craft. do I need to look for beads that sink, or should they all sink?
Laura Tucker says
These beads mostly float and do not sink. I’m thinking that using glass beads would work much better in terms of sinking, and your best bet to find that sort of thing would be to try a store like Hobby Lobby. They’ll be more expensive, but they can also be reused for additional craft projects in the future. You could also opt to hot glue each of these beads to one of the stones to make it sink – just a thought! I’ll link these beads below. Best of luck!