When we take family road trips, as we are about to do again this weekend, I have to get creative with ways to keep my 4-year-old calm and happy in her car seat for hours, because we don't have one of those fancy cars with a TV. And that's ok, because it's kind of fun to play car games, I think. Here are some of the ways I have come up with to keep her busy and content on the road, be in it cars or trains or airplanes even:
-Play "I spy". We take turns spying and guessing, and this can go on for a long time.
-Play scavenger hunt. We like to look for animals, colors, cool road signs and shapes, or interesting vehicles around us, like a flatbed or tractor or golf cart.
-Sing songs. We crank up the radio and sing along. This definitely makes the time go by, and burns some energy too! I bring along a few of my daughter's CD's as well. Listening to her favorite music entertains her and soothes her at the same time. Win, win!
-See who can keep a straight face the longest. (My kid loses every time and thinks it's hysterical).
-Books are one of the best ways to capture my kid's attention and keep her calm, anytime. I pick books that she is really interested in lately as well as some old favorites we have not read in a long time, just to mix it up.
-I always stash a few yummy treats and dish them out in small doses. My kid gets carsick so I have to stick to gum and lollipops and mints but that's enough to keep her happy for while and brighten her mood.
-I bring things she can play with easily in her hands like some play dough or pipe cleaners. In an airplane or train, if there is a small table surface, I bring a few Legos so she can build too and cards.
-In the car, I keep some instruments, like a little tambourine and couple of maracas to make music with.
-My kid always enjoys travel art supplies like a small dry-erase board and crayons or markers, a new coloring book, or a notepad with a pen on string attached. Of course stickers are fun too.
How do you keep your kids entertained when you travel?