Having recently gone on two separate camping trips, I have had time to ponder what to do with that child crying in the backseat. See photo above. And that was before we even left the house!
Each camping trip was a five hour drive away from home, which was a bit much for our 17-month-old, even with a few stops. I wish I could say that he always was this docile:
Or this playful:
But that was not the case! I wish I had researched some of these options in advance. Which is why I am losing no time sharing them with you!
- Hang soft toys from links within reach for interest, and so you can retrieve them easily when your baby throws them!
- Sing. Bring a selection of CDs or make your own mix of songs on a CD or iPod to play for your kids!
- Play the color game with cars or buildings. Probably just the sound of your talking will interest your child, and they may join in if they are old enough.
- Traveling toys. Pack a special bag of “car toys” for the trip, include a few board books and sturdy, washable toys that can handle getting dropped over the side of the car seat. A lot!
- Talk. Studies show that children aren’t being talked to nearly enough. Take the time with a captive audience to talk to them and let them talk to you. As them about specific details of what they look forward to the most. What they enjoyed the most. Share your own ideas.
- Count how many card, birds, cows you pass ( pick an object that is showing up with regularity and is familiar to your child.)
- Create. Bring along quiet toys for restaurant stops – a crayon holder is great for keeping crayons in their place, and might make a fun ‘trip surprise’ to bring out at the first pit stop.
- Soap bubbles. Okay this is for the brave of heart. I read this on a website, and perhaps if an older child or adult was in the backseat, this might be a good activity. Blow out the window or in the car… it’s just soap after all. (Your thoughts?).
- Stickers. Get a little notebook of paper for your toddler to apply stickers into over the trip. This is a good time to use up all those address label stickers. Or maybe select stickers that have to do with your trip – if you’re going to the beach, find some fish and beach related stickers to engage your child.
- Felt boards. Create your own felt board by gluing a large piece of felt to a sturdy piece of cardboard. Then give your child felt shapes to stick to the felt board. You can create your own shapes or buy some precut shapes! Soft, quiet fun for the car ride!
Bonus: I found a lot of great traveling with children tips and ideas on Mom’s Minivan site.
Share some of your tips for traveling with toddlers! Would love to add to my repertoire!
Have you checked out the rest of my 101 Toddler Activities?