7 Tips for Keeping Toddlers Entertained in the Car
*Disclosure: The post is sponsored by XFINITY, but opinions as always are all my own! I am thankful to work with companies that provide my family with a little extra spending money and for readers like you who come and see what I have to say.
Living in a different state than all of our family means we spend a lot of time in the car. We are lucky that everyone makes the extra effort to travel to us often, but we still spend hours in the car when we head their way. Since we now travel with a one and two year old I wanted to share a few things we do to make the ride a little more enjoyable for everyone!
1. Pack an entertainment bag/box Each of the kids have soft, round Easter baskets. They also make perfect car bags! Before we go on a trip I let Chickadee fill her basket up with all kinds of goodies. She usually chooses several board books, her baby doll, and her Melissa & Doug Water Wow coloring pads (these are amazing & you can find them here (affiliate link)). For Sprout I will also put in a few board books, as well as some squeaky toys, and teething rings.
2. Play music The kids love listening to “their music” in the car. Chickadee will even request a CD change when she hears “daddy’s song.” Their favorite CD is from the music class we attended. The class was pricey, but they sent us home with a CD & it’s amazing. The second we hit play the kids settle down…makes writing the check worth every penny. We also listen to kid’s worship songs & a lot of “Let It Go” Make sure and learn how your stereo system works, it’s nice to turn the music to play in the back of the car!
3. Snacks I try to hold out on snacks as long as I can. However, in my opinion snacks almost always end up being a must! Make sure your child is capable of eating the snack you choose to give them with limited supervision since you will probably be up front. If you are uncomfortable giving a snack in the car you can wait until you make a pit stop or have an adult sit in the back with them. We use the snack catcher snack cups that have the soft flaps on the lid that the kids can push their hands through to retrieve whatever it is I have packed for them. They also always have water cups!
4. Car Games We often play games in the car with Chickadee to keep her occupied, and Sprout tends to enjoy listening to the conversation that comes along with a game. Eye Spy is a favorite. She also likes looking for different color or types of cars. Animal Sounds are always fun. We will take turns making them and letting Chickadee guess which animal sound we are making.
5. Stop If you can stop along the way. One idea is to pack the meal you will be eating on the road. YOu can then stop at a playground or rest stop to eat a picnic meal and let the kids run around and burn off their energy. If you aren’t sure about a park/playground stopping at a restaurant with an indoor playground is another great options!
6. Sleep This one is tricky, so you need to know your kid’s sleep habits. For us it took some trial and error. Our kids usually like conditions “just so” to sleep. Chickadee & Sprout are rarely a car sleeper and has to be an hour or two past her nap to even have a shot at falling asleep in the car. We have found they actually do better if they are well rested. So leaving in the morning or right after a nap we have found usually works best for us. If your kids are good car sleepers, I’m jealous!
7. Show/Movies With technology the way it is these days, allowing your children to watch their favorite show or movie in the car is now an option. You can bring DVDs and use a portable DVD player or if you are an XFINITY subscriber start counting your lucky stars! XFINITY has you covered, thanks to X1 DVR! With X1 DVR, you can watch your recorded shows from anywhere – Google Fiber can’t offer that kind of flexibility. With X1 DVR, you can take your kid’s favorite recordings on the go to enjoy anywhere. Download shows and movies to keep the kids entertained for part of your next trip. The cloud technology from X1 allows for 500 GB of storage, meaning you’ve got tons of shows you can load up. For Chickadee I would definitely make sure I had plenty of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George loaded up! I wouldn’t be able to do this with Google Fiber.
Do you have any other tips for road tripping it with toddlers? My last piece of advice would to be to not give everything out too soon!! Our little ones will go at least 30-45 minutes just looking out the window and making each other laugh. Save all of your goodies until you need them! Happy Travels!