Road trips are a fun way for families to spend intimate time together as they reach their destination. Toddlers can get a little fussy and restless when sitting in a car for hours, and it can be a hassle to have everything under control for surviving the ride. Boredom will strike and it’s up to the parents to find things to keep their toddlers entertained. There is no need to stress because there are a number of ways to keep your kid occupied.
1. Play games
The most popular way to keep, not only toddlers, but the entire family occupied as they travel to their new destination. From silent individual games to family games, there are many different types of games to play. Some of the most fun ones require the attention of the whole car, like I Spy.
Team up with your toddler to play the license plate game, which is a fun geography lesson for your family. All you need is a pen and paper and you notate every new state you see. You can make it even more fun by creating a map of the United States and have them cross out every one they see on a license plate. Here are more activities for your toddler:
- Sticker books
- Silly putty
- Coloring books
- Mad libs
- Question game
- Doodle pad
Bring along your child’s favorite toys to keep them occupied. Things like race cars, dolls or action figures are easily used to distract toddlers by allowing their imagination to wander. Gel window stickers or clings are fun to do while looking out the window, adding something interesting to look at once they are bored with the scenery. If you don’t want to spend money on games or your toddler doesn’t have many small enough to bring, try making puppets ahead of time to help entertain your young one.
2. Use your technology
Technology is the most prominent in keeping our minds occupied while we are idle, relaxing, or waiting for something. Many parents allow their kids to handle electronic device like cell phones and tablets to play games or watch videos. Some tech companies dedicate some of their devices to young kids as it has become quite popular for them to use.
Allow your toddler to play games on your devices or their devices to keep them happy while on a rather uneventful ride. Try fun but educational games like Petting Zoo or Sesame Street. Dr. Panda’s Handyman, a problem solving game, has a twist with animals and safety around the house.
Grab a few of your kid’s favorite DVDs from home and use a portable DVD player for them to watch to help with their patience. Attach a headphone set to give them the effect of surrounding sound and also to separate the noise from your adult conversations. If you don’t own a portable dvd or your car doesn’t have one inside, try downloading streaming apps and services to keep your toddler’s attention.
3. Healthy snacks
Packing snacks for the road is just as important as packing your luggage. Keep your toddler happy by bringing the snack they love. Fresh fruits like apple slices, strawberries, and vegetables like mini carrots and cucumbers will be tasty for your child and for you as well. To keep your road trip snacks healthy, try to avoid processed foods like chips, candy, or sodas. Don’t forget to bring juices and water for something to drink.
4. Listen to music and sing along
Whether you want to play music out loud in the car or have everyone zone out into their own favorite songs, listening to music is a great past time for the whole family. Compile a list of your toddler’s favorite jams onto an iPod or music device and let them listen away. Play the songs the family enjoys the most, that could be sung together to create a joyful ride.
If you would rather sing the songs yourselves without the music, choose easy and catchy songs like “Row, Row, Row,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” or “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme.” You could even incorporate your kid’s favorite cartoon or TV show theme song and allow them to sing to you. This is a simple way to keep your kids happy and put them in a good moods while on the road
5. Nap time
Another pass time used by all ages when on road trips is falling asleep. After playing some games, singing songs and eating some snacks, your toddler will be exhausted and will fall asleep. Play some soft tunes to assist them into their nap smoothly without them having to fuss about being tired. This will most likely happen throughout the trip, sometimes toward the end, and it will be easy to end the trip without worrying about how to continuously keep them occupied.