Amusing kids on planes and in the car without dreaded screentime... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-27-2012, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping folks here have some good ideas given Waldorf's emphasis on avoiding screentime.  We, too, have done everything we can to eliminate it from our daughter's life.  Which means no TV, no video games, no access to smart phones,etc.  I actually find it relatively easy to do.


However, we're about to do some travel, and after which may need to be driving about 1.5 hours each way once a week.  We don't regularly do much time in the car, so my nearly 3 year old daughter's attention span for that is not huge.  She's fine up to about an hour if she's in a good mood.  Our new lifestyle, however, may require a lot more car time (at least on an occasional basis) than she is used to.  I know most people would just pop a cartoon in a DVD player and drive along in peace, but that approach is not what we want to do.


So.....ideas?  We already do all the stuff our Waldorf teachers would recommend, like singing songs, playing games, etc.  Any simple toys that would hold her attention?




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#2 of 6 Old 08-27-2012, 12:18 PM
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For DS, we have a basket with a bunch of cardboard books for him too look at.


I have a fabric bag filled with various toy vehicles and another filled with Schleich animals.  I take those out one at a time. (not sure if you do plastic or "detailed" toys or not though.  Schleich is our exception for plastic, and we are "Waldorf" inspired, so I am ok with some "detailed" cars, trucks, animals, etc. as long as they aren't battery type toys and still imagination driven)


This sketching board is great, as all you need is water, it is never "used up" like paper, and you can't end up with melted wax or dull crayons.  They sell them a number of places including target.  Sometimes I draw and tell DS a story, other times he just likes to scribble away.


Otherwise, we just use the usual tricks.  Singing songs, pointing things out to him that we see as we drive along, etc.


Thankfully, we usually don't have to drive more than 30 mins anywhere, but this is my bag of tricks for long (6 hour!) drives to visit the inlaws!


Good luck!

N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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#3 of 6 Old 08-27-2012, 05:46 PM
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We live in a rural area where an hour drive is not unusual.   When we visit family, it takes six hours.  Things we do: playsilks, books, music we all enjoy, talking, time out of the car for a little fresh air.  The less stuff, the better, since it is likely to fall in the floor out of the reach of one in a car seat.  I bet she will take to the change easily, since she is a little older. Good luck!

Mothering an Autumn (08) , a Spring (11) , and another Autumn! (Nov. 2013)

Taking what works and leaving the rest

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#4 of 6 Old 08-28-2012, 04:47 PM
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Our kids but like magnadoodles in the car. Or a new sticker book can take up a good hour or two. A new CD or books on tape from the library will fill in the remainder. I don't like it generally buy I will buy a packet of the Crayola "magic" art supplies that don't mark anything besides the special paper. The glitter paper is a favorite.


On a plane we use CARES which is wonderful and allows them to use the tray table. And yes, we take play clay on the plane all the time. Also duplo blocks or threading toys.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 12:11 AM
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Something to consider...when it comes to airplanes you may actually want to bring SOMETHING that they wouldn't normally do/watch/see. I know this is a wierd place to read this (and trust me, my kids are media-free), but it will distract them from the airplane movie that you have zero control over and is probably highly inappropriate for your child.  A friend clued me in on this.  She brought nothing on a very long flight and her kids were transfixed by a movie that she would have never chosen for them. All the usual Waldorf-friendly 'long trip' items were no match for that plane movie.  So on that note, you may want to borrow a portable DVD and some well-thought out DVDs, or allow your phone to be used if that isn't normally available.  Basically anything that is going to be a huge draw so they are transfixed by something you have edit-rights to and not the airline. Of course you will open the door to the media-addiction and pleadings of "but last time...but you let us...but," which is something to consider.  Having said that, I will absolutely be doing something like that if my kids have the occasion to go on a flight where you are forced to watch one main movie.


For long drives we did magna-doodles, now not as often b/c the kids are older. Now my older is a voracious reader so we actually have to remind him to look up now and then. ;) Recently I checked out some fairy tales from the library to listen to for a long ride (and that also got my eldest to put the book down for a while). We do picture books, some paper and crayons. 


Good luck!

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#6 of 6 Old 08-29-2012, 07:54 AM
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I found this on Pinterest last night:


Great idea for toddler activity bags, perfect for the car.  She also has an update where she used pencil case bags instead of ziplocks to put everything in so you can attach them to a binder ring to bring a few along more conveniently.

N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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