Toddlers: 24 Months+

Toys for long car ride

We are going on vacation next week and I want to get my 2 year old some toys for the car ride and hotel. Any suggestions? We have a magna doodle, b. toys alphaberry, and b. toys dog guitar. I am thinking about some new bristle blocks or simething for the hotel.

Re: Toys for long car ride

  • If you don't have this, you might look into either borrowing or buying a dvd player for the car.  We took a long car ride last summer from Indiana to South Carolina when ds had just turned 2, and I think we could have bought ourselves some peace by having Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for him.


  • We always take a few books. DS loves books and will look at them on his own in the car. He also loves to electronics and to push buttons so on vacation we took along a vTech little kids laptop that goes through the alphabet and plays songs, etc.

    Also, if you have one I have found that my iPhone in the car is lifesaver. He has is own games on there and knows how to get them and everything.

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  • I'm not a plug them in type, but I have some serious long car ride experience with my kids, one trip was 18 hours in the car, another was two consecutive days at 9+ hours. Before the trip we made a map of the US and colored in all the states we were driving through in different colors and had really big dots for where we started, and where we were going and stopping. We took it in the car and would show them the map. Right now we are in the purple state which is Ohio, but we will be going into the red state Kentucky next. When we crossed a state line we would have a little celebration. 

    We had times for activities, aka we didn't have music on the whole time, we had music times. There was a kids music time, a quiet music time before naptime and bedtime, a daddy music time. There was also a singing time where we sang songs. 

    We had coloring time, I found these great coloring pads at Walgreens that were "paint" it was a little squirter of water with a brush at the end and the water changed the color of the paper we also used those color wonder things. Sticker books like wise are great.

    Snack time was a favorite. I made sure that we had some fruits and nuts and cheese and some special treat snacks. Stopping for meals became a well practiced dance. We stopped mostly at McDs, which we don't normally go to. But everywhere we stopped had a play area. I would take the kids into the bathroom, change diaper, made toddler tinkle, daddy waited in line and ordered food we met him at the table, the kids ate, then went and played for a little, then back to the potty then back to the car. The kids toy in the happy meal was confiscated immediately from the lunch, so they focused on eating then on running and climbing and they got the toy when we got back on the highway. 

    I found good success with anything new.  A couple of dollar store type toys, a few new books, a new barbie whatever, then wrapped them up like gifts and gave them out slowly over the trip. They also had a bucket of toys wedged between their carseats so they could pick things out and put them away on their own. 

    We also played games, the silent game was my favorite, we would all be quite for 1 mile or whatever and look out the window then we would all share what we saw then what we hoped to see. 

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  • DD loves those "search & find" kind of books. I just saw a few at Costco, if you have a membership, I'd pick up one or two. There are tons of pictures and things to look for. We make up little stories about what the peole are doing, etc.

    Magna doodle, but you already listed that.  Maybe a dry erase kind of a book. TRU, but I'm sure other stores have them as well, I saw a Crayola dry erase board with crayons, it has a little handle and what not.

    Maybe make some cards with things you'll see along the way - like a green high way sign, or a brown sign, etc, like an eye spy kind of an idea.  If you have time, you can also make an eye spy bottle - fill it with beans, and other things like a paper clip, beads, noodles, etc and then your lo can 'spy' whats in the bottle. Target has something similar in the game section, but it seemed pricey for what it is, imo.

    Have fun!

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  • ColorWonder books and markers were great for us.  Also, I bought a few new books for DS to look through.  They were a hit, especially the interactive ones with buttons to push and listen to.  As random as it sounds, a small flashlight was a huge hit with DS--especially as it got darker in the car.  He thought it was awesome.  Along those lines, anything that lights up was also a hit. 

    And, like PPs have said, the portable DVD player and my iPhone were our lifesavers.  DS only handled so many restaraunts with playplaces and new toys before he was tired of the car.  The DVD player with Dora and Mickey and a couple of new apps on my phone were the only thing that got him through those times. 

    Also, I recommend having a favorite blanket/lovey available for naps.  DS had his in arm's reach the entire trip.  There were many times that he grabbed them and fell asleep while watching a movie or looking out the car window. 



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  • With DS we usually bring his LeapPad, and I let him play on my phone. We also bring a few books.
    m/c 2013
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