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Ever travel with a 3-year-old? Good car ride activities?

I'm packing a travel backpack for my son, who will be almost 3 when we drive from Illinois to Colorado and back. So far I'm thinking about a cd player with stories on disc, an I-spy bag, some cars, single-serving snacks, coloring books and crayons. What are some other good activities for a long car ride? I'm not looking to spend a lot of money. He will have a lap desk so anything that can sit on there will be good, as long as it doesn't have a lot of pieces.


Asked by heydooney at 5:30 PM on Nov. 15, 2009 in Travel

Level 6 (110 Credits)
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Answers (5)
  • Puzzles
    Learning Laptop
    Playdough (If he's not one to throw it all over the place or eat it) has some Travel Activities

    Those are some websites where I've found great activities. In Feb-March we'll be traveling with a one year old and a 5-6 month old from Michigan to Arizona, so I've been doing my homework too. Hope those websites help you as well!

    You can also get a portable DVD player, so he can watch some of his favorite movies.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:33 AM on Dec. 9, 2009

  • etch a sketch
    magna doodle
    flash cards
    aqua doodle
    slinky (our personal favorite)
    a poop load of stickers (messy-ish but usually a winner)
    a teeny handheld fan for making silly noises in
    a tape recorder or microphone
    download some games to your cell phone (practice pre-trip if he's never played w/ it before)
    photo albums (always a winner with my kids, esp if it's THEIR pictures)

    Answer by hibbingmom at 7:15 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • My MIL bought a portable DVD player for us and my BIL to share for when we go down to FL... it is a 5.5 hour drive, but with 2 kids it takes 7 for me to drive it. I always swore up and down that my kids would never have a DVD player in the car, but it has been a lifesaver with my oldest. She turned 4 2 weeks ago...the 15 month old throws everything we give her around the backseat...she won't watch the DVD player like her older sister.
    Lilly also takes her Tag books in the car so that she has something to "read". The baby has one electronic toy that she likes that does the ABC's.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:30 AM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • You might try a goodwill for a Leap Pad. I jsut drove from Washington to Florida and am on my to North Carolina and then doing the whole trip in reverse. My three and four year old could play with those thing for forever. I got one of them for $2.50 with the game, so it might be something to look in to. I always pack a variety of things so when they get bored. I also say the dvd player is totally worth it but can be expensive. Good luck and I bet your little ones will do better than you expected.

    Answer by Melbornj at 10:39 AM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • I have driven from Colorado to California every summer since my nearly 5 yr old was 2. One of his favorite games was "what color is that car/truck." It helped him learn his colors and it combined 2 things he adores - moving vehicles and color. Last year he got a leapster for his bday and it kept him quite busy. We also stopped for hikes and silly attractions along the way. Love the magna doodle and slinky ideas. I'll have to remember that for the next trip.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 3:49 PM on Nov. 16, 2009