If you’re traveling with a little one (my biggest little one, M, is almost 5), you know that it really helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.
Recently, we took our longest car trip to date: 8 hours. And let me say, 8 hours (even if broken up!) is a long time for a preschooler to stay entertained. But, with some cheap pre-planning, it actually turned out to be a super fun time with
no minimal whining! Here are some of our favorite car games for kids.
I picked up a red cardboard box at Target’s dollar spot. It fit perfectly in the backseat, between M and G’s carseats.
The first thing I did was to fill some activity bags.
These zippered pouches are a dollar at Wal-Mart and hold quite a bit.
Here’s what were inside:
1. Dollar Tree journal, stickers, and box of new crayons
2. Dominoes (fun for the hotel, too!)
3. Fix-it Kit with Dollar Tree eye glass repair kit, calculator, old cell phone (just to tinker with!)
4. Finger puppets from Ikea
I also picked up some workbooks from Target’s dollar spot, along with a new pack of colored pencils and her monthly subscription to Highlights magazine (great for the preschool set!).
The night before (literally!), I made a quick I-Spy jar, repurposing an old spaghetti container with rice and tiny objects. I laminated a picture of what was hidden inside and included an erasable marker she could use to cross off the objects she found.
And of course, we utilized the Leapster and the iPod, filling the iPod with lots of new (free!) educational games. I always go to the App Store and search, “Educational free,” and go from there.
Everything fit snugly in the box and provided hours of fun.
She could independently access each activity, making her own selections and cleaning up when done.
Here are a few other travel activities we’ve tried and a funny car game to keep little ones distracted.