Toys or Tips for Car Travel

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tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977
Toys or Tips for Car Travel

So I know the basics about stopping, when to leave, extra garbage bags, snack ideas etc. My kids are not good travelers so this won't be fun driving 4 hours each way for this trip.

What I need are ways to entertain my toddlers! Items on my packing list so far:

flap books
magnet boards
latch board
magnadoodle
going to make some simple laceing shapes
other books
DVD player with a couple movies
kids songs on my phone
going to make some new I Spy bottles
crayons and coloring book? not sure if this is good idea or not in the actual car, but will need for restaurants once we are there anyway

TIA!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

This last trip was the first time I let Aiden have a snack in the car. Usually I never let him eat because I'm paranoid about chocking, but I got over the fear for this one trip and it helped sooo much. He refused to eat any actual meals when we stopped that day, but hey he was quieter in the car. I also found that handing him one toy at a time helped. When he threw it off to the side of his car seat, he got another. I used to put a bin next to him that he could grab from, but I noticed going out that it was almost overwhelming to him. He didn't spend any time with any one toy knowing there was more next to him. Handing him one toy at a time meant he actually spent time with that one toy (as much as 30 minutes!). Books were huge hits (he loves to "read"), as were the little people's noah's ark set we own. Suddenly that is his new favorite toy ever since he loves the animals. I usually bring a favorite toy and then toys that I haven't seen him touch in awhile that could be played with while strapped down. Smile

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

The DVD player is our best friend on long trips. I also try to get special snacks, something they might not usually get as well as the usual favorites. We don't do a lot of long distance traveling, so I'm not much help.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

We don't have a DVD player or an iPad or anything that will play movies. Our plan of attack consists of driving like bats out of hell during nap time and plying her with the new-to-her toys we collected. I go for obnoxious blinking loud toys because we don't have any of those at home and they're each good for 30-40 of happy toddler. Rotating through those and allowing the occasional snack (I'm paranoid like Jackie and have only given Teagan food in the car like twice) should get us through. I have an electric guitar, a Fisher Price lap top, a shape sorter, sing-along CDs, and a MagnaDoodle. If all else fails, I'll send DH back there to show her YouTube videos on his phone. I think we should be OK though because its mostly 4-5 hour legs.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

So we just drove our 1st leg of a 7 hour car ride and will to the return trip home tonight with Odin and Archer (leaving Ryland with the IL's) and lets just say it wasn't the prettiest. Snacks are good and it sounds like you have some good stuff for them to do as well. I'll add pipe cleaners with pony beads in a tupperware container is a great activity as well. Anyway, despite planning our travel around bedtime the one thing that 'worked' was having me sit in the back between the two small ones. Ugh. I'm so not the kinda person that likes to do that (plus I get wicked carsick in the back) but it kept everyone happy and sane (expect me) so that is always a strategy.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

When we do car trips it's snacks all the way, he gets all kinds ( often we travel with my Mum to save costs so she spolis him with all the kid specific things i don't buy) toys and books. About two hours is all Ronin can handle right now before he needs a run, he just hates being confined for too long so we always plan a stop to let him run a bit.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Jackie - one toy at a time sounds great. Now I have to figure out how to organize those toys!

Erin - the loud blinking toys only give us about 10 minutes when we see them at friends houses, so not going to bother I don't think.

Joy - I'm sorry it's not going so well!

Wendy - yeah, planning on 2 hours, long stop and then 2 hours. Thinking we'll do lots of outdoor running activity, force them to stay awake during nap time, leave at 3pm, stop for dinner at 5pm and then hit the car again in PJ's at 7pm for an arrival time of 9pm. we've tried leaving right after lunch before and it didn't work that well. Hoping this plan is better for us!

Newlywed630's picture
Joined: 07/20/07
Posts: 770

We just took a 20+ hour car ride to Indiana two weeks ago. Things that helped us were

Dvd players (renting red box movies was awesome so they could see new movies)
Color wonder markers. We found these awesome car scroll papers that the kids loved.
Stopping frequently at rest stops and corner stores. Chloe loved picking out junk food that we otherwise do not buy her.
My smart phone.
New toys from the dollar tree.
Random papers to rip into pieces ( she kept quiet for a good hour ripping up a map from the rest stop lol)
We kept them in their pjs and I just brought them easy clothes to slip into for going into stores.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006UBLWIW/ref=redir_mdp_mobile (color wonder scroll)

devermee's picture
Joined: 07/24/06
Posts: 239

I didn't read all the responses, but will soon as we have a trip coming up next month.

other things that we've used that you didn't have on your list:
make a trip to the dollar store - can find lots of random little toys, etc that will entertain
color wonder markers
stickers! - can get a bunch at the dollar store - on our last trip we had just received one of those Disney packets in the mail trying to sell DVD's - had a ton of movie picture stickers that DS just removed one by one and placed on plain pieces of paper!! kept him busy for quite some time!

Joined: 11/03/05
Posts: 748

Juliet has a thing for purses. Last weekend on our 5 hour trp, I would repack her purse with random toys (play phone, small car...). She spent a long time emptying it out and trying to put things back in.

Stopping at playgrounds is also good.

In hot weather, I freeze juice boxes and bottles with spouts. It limits the mess, as they only get the melted part.

This is a messy one but works: When you stop for icecream, get an extra cone and spoon. Put a few spoon full of icecream in the cone, making sure it is weel stuck to the sides. But, make sure you have lots of whipes handy.

stacymh's picture
Joined: 03/16/10
Posts: 1807

I was going to mention stickers too. We have a trip coming up at the end of the month, so my stash will be stickers, post its, plain paper with crayons (DH just made DS a little travel table that fits, but does not attach to, the car seat). Colander with pipe cleaners, pom poms with containers with lids. The last two ideas, I think came from other ladies on this board, so I'm going to try them.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I agree with snacks, one toy at a time, new little stuff from the dollar store, etc.

One thing I can add is toddler-friendly car games. We've kept a crabby LO happy for a pretty long time with things like "LET'S LOOK FOR THINGS THAT ARE PURPLE!" Etc. Also singing.

abacaxi's picture
Joined: 02/27/10
Posts: 363

When we took a 7 hour car trip in May, I got Rowan one of these: http://justb-byou.com/toys/smart/alphaberry/. It's not loud or offensive, and she seemed to enjoy it. She also liked reading books and playing with her stuffed animals. Unfortunately, she also decided to spend the last hour of the ride home screaming at the top of her lungs.