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Car trip ideas/helpers

635 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  GreenMomPhD
I'm taking my kids on a 10hr car trip by myself. One is 4 the other 18 months any ideas for keeping them entertained/me sane. Any items that are a must have for travelling with kids. I'm thinking of getting some lap trays for their carseats and an organizer for the middle of them.
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I just took my ds on a 6 hour trip - overall it wasn't too bad. I had lots of books & little toys (he LOVES matchbox cars right now). I also made sure to plan stops that were more than just 5 minutes in length & in locations where he could run around some - there are often picnic areas that work well. I also did food in the car which I normally won't do but a good treat could keep him busy for a good chunk of time.

Anyway, while we were away we also went on a daytrip that was 1.5 hours each direction in some else's vehicle. She had a portable dvd player - it was FABULOUS!!! Ds doesn't normally watch more than 15 minutes of tv at once & has never watched a whole movie but he was fascinated by it & it really occupied him.

Dh & I had previously talked about getting one for long trips but thought ds was still too young but before we do another longer trip we will definitely be purchasing one.
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I 2nd the portable DVD player! I took my DS on a 5 hr ride and he loved it. Although, it's something I don't pull out until all other items have been exhausted. Once they see that player...that's all they want!
My now 27 month old has been on three road trips where each direction was 12-13 hours. I'm always by myself with her. We did the first one when she was ~17 months. I have a few things I do. I plan for each direction to take two days. We drive for ~90 minutes then stop for 45-60 minutes and play outside the car for a bit. In the car she has a HUGE stack of books I hand her one at a time and she looks through them slowly. We also have a wide variety of toys that she gets handed one at a time. I have a bunch of tiny tupperware style containers and she is handed them one at a time with small amounts of snacks in them throughout the day. (Crackers, dried fruit, some fresh fruit, a couple of animal cookies, small amounts of veggies) She has a couple of cups with straws that we don't use outside the car so those are a fun treat. I do try to limit the sugar or I pay for it.

I bought a minivan right before the first of these road trips and turned the whole back part into a bed. We sometimes take naps back there or sleep at night there instead of dealing with a motel. It's incredibly comfy.

Good luck!
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Books on CD/tape and kids music that you can sing along with. I've noticed if I sing the songs with my daughter, it keeps her entertained longer in the car.
Another vote for the DVD player. DD does NOT like the car and it has saved us from horrible screaming fits many times. She doesn't watch much TV at home, so the car is now a special place!
With us though, we have to make sure we watch her very carefully because she doesn't tend to sleep when it is on (overly stimulated I guess), so we do turn it off after a while and sing or talk to her until she does fall asleep.
Good luck and have a great trip!
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I have a 2 year old and we have taken quite a few driving trips. I keep in my car a box filed with toys and books. I would recommend that you go to the dollar store and you can get a lot of neat little things to keep kids busy. They have things like books, tambourines, cars, etc. Also, try stickers. My daughter loves to take stickers and put them on herself, then books, then back again. They keep her occupied for a long time! The last thing I would recommend is a mini magnadoodle. My daughter loves to draw on it!
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