Keeping a toddler entertained on a road trip can be difficult, but it’s possible! We have traveled with our children from age 4 weeks on, and they have done a wonderful job in a car and on a plane. We attribute a huge part of their good behavior to being prepared. Making sure we keep our kids entertained while traveling takes some preparation, but with some planning, it makes traveling so much easier!
7 Tips for Traveling with Toddlers
Here are some tricks to keeping your toddler entertained while on a road trip:
1. Non-messy arts and crafts
We love water pens and invisible ink markers. We keep them in the kids’ travel backpacks and church bags. This is an easy way to keep the kids busy with no extra mess and keeps them from needing a bunch of markers or crayons. The Water Wow books from Melissa and Doug are our favorite!
One of the quietest ways to keep kids entertained is reading or looking at a book. Board books or Indestructible Books are great for traveling, because they hold up far better than paperback books. Road trips are a good time to bring out the fun slide books, flap books, and/or look and find books. If you have an older child in the back they can always read to your toddler.
3. Pack snacks
A hangry child is never a fun one to travel with. Make sure to pre-pack snacks, have containers that help contain the mess, and if you like to buy in bulk separate snacks into snack bags that make it easy to distribute. Apple sauce packs, granola bars, goldfish, pretzels, dried fruit, and meat sticks are all great snacks to bring on a trip, and BONUS they aren’t super messy!
4. Small Toy Bags
We try and cycle things through when on our road trips. This has brought us the most success when keeping our kids entertained. We will pack a few cars, a few toy trains, or a few favorite characters and hand them out one thing at a time. This keeps things exciting! Keeping them in a waterproof easy zip bag makes transporting super easy.
5. Listen to a favorite soundtrack
Sometimes nothing helps a grumpy toddler like their favorite song. We always make sure our phone is loaded with our kid’s favorite songs. Make sure to not overplay them so they are ineffective, and so it is a lot more enjoyable for Mom and Dad when they are played.
6. Download a movie
An easy method of quieting a toddler down is always a movie. We prefer to keep our youngest son off a screen, because someday that time will come and it will be hard to peel him away. But when you are on the 26th hour of a 28-hour road trip… Frozen may be a necessity. Download one or two movies and a few episodes of their favorite show on a tablet before leaving, and use if you are needing a stretch of built-in entertainment.
7. Schedule Breaks
This will be your lifesaver. It is important to realize little legs do not like to sit in a car for 10 hours straight.
- Schedule time for bathroom breaks.
- Acknowledge if you are potty training you may have to quickly pull off the road.
- Check out if there are parks close to your route.
Running off that extra energy every few hours really helps with time in the car.
Traveling with a toddler is always possible! It takes a bit more planning and thought when packing and keeping them entertained, but you can do it!
What are your best tips for road trips with kids?
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