So… we just got home from a road trip to Florida. With a 9-month-old and a 3-year-old. This might potentially make us certifiable! Ha! Well. We survived it at least!
It took us 24 solid hours each way. No stopping to sleepover anywhere. Just potty breaks. (With, I might add, a pretty fully potty trained toddler – YIPEE! So glad he decided THIS was the week to comply with our potty training efforts! LOL).
I knew the trip would be long and somewhat boring as we would not be stopping for sight-seeing. So I packed a bag FULL of activities for my toddler!
Here’s what I brought (from top left, clockwise).
1. Car roll with various colored cars inside. I had made this roll as a Christmas present for my son – it has a road on it for extra playtime fun!
2. Forest animal magnets – taken from a larger set and placed into a small tin box – very handy for carrying to restaurants!
3. High-interest books – a few of his favorites, and others with a lot to look at (think Usborne books or Richard Scarry).
4. Wipe-off activity book – this book was highly requested throughout the trip. The best part is, I could just erase and he could start over. He did, however, get marker on his face a lot (but never on the car seat!).
5. Lace-up animal shapes – I thought these would be more popular but he just likes to hold them and play with them, not actually lace them. Still, I think they are a great activity to have on hand.
6. Maps – I printed out a few maps of the US. I had read many great map activity ideas, but most were just too old for him. What we ended up doing was drawing our route (in red), and then I drew a little car every time we stopped to show how far we’d traveled. If something interesting happened at our stop, I’d draw that out to the side as well. (Like the time we saw a big bridge).
7. Cookie sheet and wooden magnet blocks. This was also a popular toy – and I got both items at the Dollar Tree! The magnets (mostly) stayed on the sheet and he had a lot of fun creating designs. The cookie sheet also could double as an activity board for drawing/writing on a child’s lap in the car.
8. Blank journal and crayons. Good for any number of activities, including stickers!
9. Magnadoodle – travel sized is quite handy!
10. Sticker sets – I had some “create-a-scene” sets, Dress Up a Fireman, and race car design sets. I also brought plain old regular sheets of stickers.
BONUS: (Not pictured) Pack a few glow sticks. These were a LIFESAVER. When our son woke up at 1 am as we were driving, he started crying and got very upset to find himself strapped in a car seat in the dark still. I broke out a green glow stick and he was happily waving it around in seconds. About ten minutes later, he was fast asleep, clutching his mini glow stick tightly! I wish I’d taken a photo, but it probably would not have turned out.
TIP: The last trip we made to North Carolina, I made the mistake of handing my son the entire activity bag. He ripped through most of the activities and stickers in about an hour. Oops. This time, I kept the bag up front with me and doled out activities whenever he started to get restless! Much better!
Also see my other post on Road Trip Activities for Toddlers!
What else have you done on the road to entertain your children!?