Avoiding movies in the car - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-03-2010, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Any advice on entertaining a two year old for 7-10 hours driving each day for 3 days (and eventually the return trip the same distance). I usually sit in back with her, read books, play-doh, do puppet shows, make tin foil sculptures, play with tape and stickers, draw, sing, play I-spy, etc but am worried that by day 2 or 3 of this trip, we will be stopping at the first Target or Best Buy we come to and desperately buying a DVD player and movies...

We usually stop every 2 hours or so and I have mapped out some rest stops and community playgrounds along our route so there should be something for her to look forward to...

When talking to friends about the road trip, everyone just says "oh, just watch her favorite shows." We would like to avoid that (I don't think she has favorite shows anyway since her TV watching has been limited to whatever her grandparents showed her last visit and to a few World Cup games). We are on a fairly limited budget so too many new toys are out as well... I have printed out coloring pages, have a magnadoodle, dolls, finger puppets and we will have a new bunch of library books.

Any other ideas?
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#2 of 8 Old 07-03-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Sounds like you are doing a great job. I would only add a CD of songs that you like to sing.

You don't need TV. I mean what did people do before TV????
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#3 of 8 Old 07-06-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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We don't have a dvd player, so it's not an option for us. I'm trying to figure out what we do/did. Hmmm...

1. Those really annoying picture books (often with characters) with microchips, and you press different parts of the book, and it plays different songs. We have two of them, and we keep them hidden away. They get brought out only for car trips of longer than 2 hours. Very annoying, but fortunately loses novelty after the first hour and then child falls asleep. These were all we brought with us, long before dd learned to read.

2. Public radio

3. We loaded all of our music CDs onto an iPod touch so that we could play them on the car's stereo system. To be honest, it was only one song and one CD that kept our dd occupied for hours, but your dd will certainly have different taste. The song "The Jazz Cat/Minnie the Moocher" by the group Three 'Mo Tenors, kept our dd excited for two straight hours. Unfortunately, she insisted that we play that one song for two straight hours. Can you say, infinite loop? Our dd also loved "The Dog Train" musical CD (it comes with the lyrics in the form of a hardcover book), which has a lot of quirky but very good songs. (For example, there is a Wierd Al Yankovich-Kate Winslet duet called "I need a nap!" and another high energy song by another artist called "Don't give me that broccoli!")

4. One of thing we've never tried, but would surely work. Do you know those birthday greeting cards that you open, and the card plays a catchy tune? My dd loves to open them over and over again. (I'm talking several dozen times in rapid succession.) I'd suggest bringing some of these. More than one, in fact. You haven't lived if you haven't heard two very different songs playing from two different greeting cards simultaneously.

All of these kept our dd more than occupied. I cannot guarantee that they won't drive you crazy.
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#4 of 8 Old 07-06-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Audiobooks. My two year old will sit and listen to audiobooks in the car quite happily for an hour or more. You can get quite a few from your local library, or you can buy them from someplace like audible.com. Titles that have been on high rotation for my daughter for the past three months or so (she's currently 2.75):
1) The Frog and Toad audio collection (bane of my existence, I've heard this so many times it haunts my dreams). An hour and a half of toddler entertainment. More than that actually, since she'll happily listen to it back to back.
2) The Cat in the Hat and other Dr. Seuss favourites (hit and miss)
3) Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss (hit and miss)
4) Where the Wild Things are & other stories by Maurice Sendak
5) Corduroy
6) Knuffle Bunny
7) The very hungry caterpillar

Take a look for books your child enjoys in audio format. Ask at your library, as children's books are quite often packaged as a book with CD combo, and thus aren't listed as "audiobooks" in the library collection. I was surprised at how fast my daughter cottoned on to audiobooks when I started playing them for her. Try introducing them a little before your car trip to give your child a chance to get hooked!

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#5 of 8 Old 07-07-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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My 2 yr old is great in the car. She really likes kid's songs on CD (esp when we sing along), her magnadoodle, lots of books, and her rag dolls (she likes to dress and undress them, mostly).


The one thing about comparing today's road trips with the ones of our childhoods (or at least mine) is that today's kids are in car seats that are MUCH more restrictive than they were 20-30 years ago. My DD is so limited in her range of movement that she can't even really see out the window that well. I can't imagine being pinned to my seat at my shoulders for all those hours! I remember being able to lie down flat on the seat and take a nap when I was a kid on a long car ride and we kids rode in the way back of the station wagon on one long trip! So, even though as a kid we took tons of road trips without needing a video to entertain us, and even though we are a tv free family, we are considering the use of a dvd player to help my kid though the long hours of being pinned at her shoulders and waist while mom and dad enjoy much more freedom of movement. Just my 2 cents.

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#6 of 8 Old 07-07-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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Audiobooks are great for road trips.

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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#7 of 8 Old 07-07-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
My 2 yr old is great in the car. She really likes kid's songs on CD (esp when we sing along), her magnadoodle, lots of books, and her rag dolls (she likes to dress and undress them, mostly).


The one thing about comparing today's road trips with the ones of our childhoods (or at least mine) is that today's kids are in car seats that are MUCH more restrictive than they were 20-30 years ago. My DD is so limited in her range of movement that she can't even really see out the window that well. I can't imagine being pinned to my seat at my shoulders for all those hours! I remember being able to lie down flat on the seat and take a nap when I was a kid on a long car ride and we kids rode in the way back of the station wagon on one long trip! So, even though as a kid we took tons of road trips without needing a video to entertain us, and even though we are a tv free family, we are considering the use of a dvd player to help my kid though the long hours of being pinned at her shoulders and waist while mom and dad enjoy much more freedom of movement. Just my 2 cents.

I say this all the time about car seats!!!!! I hate them!!!! HATE THEM!!!!
Sorry just had to say it.....
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#8 of 8 Old 07-08-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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We have a lot of kids music, ds1 has memorized all the songs and sings along. Your ideas sound pretty good! Hopefully she;ll fall asleep from boredom partways.

SAHM to my wonderful constellationwild.gif 5/2006 & northern light bouncy.gif1/2009 fly-by-nursing1.giffambedsingle2.gifslingboy.gif
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