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Summer Travel with Toddlers

Summer may be winding down, but for lots of us, the family vacations are just beginning. I’m a huge planner and I’m always searching for ways for my tot, M, to stay happy and entertained during car rides or trips.
So if you’re planning a vacation, check out some of these cheap and easy ways to keep your little one happy and learning!

Magnets and Cookie Sheet

 
I picked this metal cookie sheet up at the Dollar Tree and loaded a small cloth bag with some new magnets (we love THESE by Melissa and Doug).  The beauty is that the pieces stick and it was so fun to hear M tell stories with them.
It’d also be fun to add in alphabet magnets and practice letter sounds or name building!
This Printable, Magnetic Mr. Potato Head is also a great option!

Finger Puppets


Finger puppets can get the whole family involved in the fun and learning!
We pick ours up at Ikea (like THIS package) since they’re super affordable, but also keep your eyes out for finger puppets at dollar stores as well.  Finger puppets are soft and interactive; tell stories, have them “share” their favorite moments of the trip, or just let your tot play and sort while waiting for food to arrive!

Children’s Hot Spots

Okay so before we ever leave to go on a trip, I always try and build in a couple of daily activities that are sure to keep my tot happy.  Many of our vacations include us visiting and chatting with family which can get a little exhausting for our tiny ones.  So Google your way to finding fun tot-centered activities (preferably ones that the whole family will love!).
Some of our favorite off-beat things that we’ve been able to find in many cities include:
*Children’s museums
*City Tours on a trolley or in an amphibious vehicle (SO fun; seriously, THESE are in lots of cities and M loves it every time)
*Professional Sports Games (many have cheap seats in grassy, picnic area sections and kids can literally run and play and snack the whole game)
*And of course: swimming pools, elevator rides, and sleeping on the floor or pillows are always an adventure!

Stickers


Sometimes it’s just stroller time and M has to hang out while we shop or walk.  I always load my purse with a variety of sticker sheets and dole them out appropriately.  Stickers are a great exercise in fine motor skills, but they’re also fun to stick on your legs, arms, or tummy.  Every time I visit a dollar store, I pick up a pack of stickers; they really come in a handy!
I hope if you find yourself traveling with your tot this summer, it is a memorable and awesome experience!
Written by Jill
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4 Comments

  • Reply JDaniel4's Mom

    I love the idea of researching a city before you get there.

    July 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm
  • Reply Tracy

    Thank you for posting this! We are leaving on a marathon car trip (we’ll be in the car for a total of 24 hours over the course of 10 days, traveling to 6 different towns). My twins are 19 months old – so some of these activities will be right up their alley! Off to Ikea I go! 🙂

    July 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Sammie

    Wonderful, wonderful ideas! I’m going to get the cute finger puppets for my grandkids for Christmas.

    November 5, 2012 at 2:12 am
  • Reply Sharon

    Hi! Thanks for some wonderful ideas! They were a life saver for me, especially the magnets and stickers! I hope you don’t mind I mentioned your awesome page on my own blog. Thanks again!

    March 31, 2013 at 10:45 am
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