Parenting

Road Trip! Make It Fun For Your Toddler


If you had to spend 4 or 5 hours in a snug car seat with even snugger straps and nothing to do, you might not be a huge road trip fan either. Road trips are getting more fun for the younger set as portable and built-in DVD players become more and more common, but sometimes even watching videos gets old.

When it's time to resort to good old fashioned road trip entertainment, we've got the time-tested, mother approved activities for you:

Trip Bag. At the beginning of the trip, surprise your kids with a Trip Bag, filled with goodies you've selected for them ahead of time, like activity books, small toys, books, snacks and more.

Music. Listening to CDs of your child's favorite songs and singing along will help the time pass faster. Choose song collections with finger games and verses your child will know, like Itsy Bitsy Spider, BINGO and This Old Man.

Electric Reading Books. The popular learn-to-read "books" like My First LeapPad by LeapFrog or the Power Touch Learning System by Fisher Price will engage your child's interest with words, stories and games featuring favorite characters, Thomas the Train, Strawberry Shortcake and Arthur.

Game Boy Advance. We usually pack this for the adults, but now it's also great to share with our toddlers thanks to the kids videos that are now available. We love the Dora The Explorer: Game Boy Advance Video Vol. 1 featuring 3 Little Piggies and Big River.

I Spy. The classic game that kids from 2 to 12 can enjoy! The person who's turn it is picks out something everyone can see and says, " I spy something?" and then describes the color, shape size or location to give clues. She answers "yes" or "no" to questions. The correct guesser becomes the next spy.

Scavenger Hunt. Make a list of things you may see on a road trip and as you find them on your travels, check them off. For toddlers, find, print and laminate pictures of things on our scavenger hunt list to make the game visual. This game is also easily adaptable to older kids, who can check items off on the list. Try making the activity competitive, and allow only the first person who sees the item to check it off. Click here for a starter list for your road trip scavenger hunt!

Car Bingo. This is a variation of the travel scavenger hunt, fun for older toddlers and young children. Make bingo cards using the items listed above in our road trip scavenger hunt, using four squares up and four across. Cover the squares of things like police cards, stop signs and bicycles as you find them on your travels. Click here to visit Sesame Street for a set of bingo cards you can print!

Lap Desk. Make or buy a lap desk to make activities easier for kids traveling in the back seat. A good traveling lap desk will have a cushy bottom to conform to your child's legs and help keep the top stable. Some models have zipper pockets or containers to hold crayons and pens.

About the Author

For more great information about expecting and parenting, visit MomRecommended.com, a site for moms by moms. Annie Valle is a freelance writer, web designer and a mom. You'll find product reviews, recipes, baby names, free projects and more, when you visit http://www.momrecommended.com.


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