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Entertainment In The Car for a 4 Year Old

Posted by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM
  • 8 Replies

I need gift ideas for my friend's soon to be 4 year old daughter. I asked what she wanted & she said something to play with in the car. I'd like to keep it around $30-40.

Any ideas?

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM
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by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM
My DD has a bunch of these magnet games, they come in a carrying case and you can change the scene or move the pieces around. She got them when she was 3 and is now 5.5 and still plays with them
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by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

 what about those no mess coloring crayola books or whatever they are. I got my kids mobigos but they are over the price range you mentioned.


by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

10 Way to Keep Kids Happy in the Car

A while back when we did that Sharing Saturday about keeping kids happy in the car, you all gave some awesome suggestions.  They were so helpful on our road trip.  A few of you asked if I'd compile the list into a post so you could use it for reference.  So, here it is.  Here are 10 things you all suggested that help a road trip run smoothly (and help keep your sanity).

1) Books.  Our library has a section of children's books with audio CDs in the back flap.  They are picture books and they tell you when to turn the page.  These worked well on our trip because my boys can't read yet, but they can turn the page and listen.  They thought they were pretty fun.  If you have the Tag Reading System, a few of you mentioned that it was a real hit in the car.

2) Dollar Store Presents.  Many of you suggested giving out a dollar store toy every hour or so.  Some of you mentioned wrapping the toys like presents.  My boys thought this was ridiculously cool.  We didn't have to spend much money and the boys thought it was Christmas.  I highly recommend sticking to the once an hour and never caving on that.  That way you don't use up your bag of tricks too soon.

3) Glow Sticks at Night.  Your glow stick idea was also great.  Once it got dark outside we got these out and we magically had light sabers.  Glow sticks are always fun.

4) Good Snacks.  One of you mentioned that the single serving cereal boxes worked well.  Our boys loved those and they were easy  to pack.  I think it's best to pack little candy, to avoid getting the kids hyper.  Granola bars, nuts, cheese, fruit, and cereal worked well for us.  (One of you suggested having personal snack bags.  That sounds like a good move for avoiding fights.)

5) Track your progress.  I think it's helpful for a young child to have a visual idea of how long the trip will be.  I printed off a picture of a car and let Rex color it.  I made two small slits in it and strung a packaging ribbon through it.  Then I tied it to the handles above, where it was out of reach for them.  I made black lines for each hour.  Then you can slide the car a few inches to the black line every time you complete an hour.

One of you mentioned having a map that your kids could color state by state as you traveled.  I thought that sounded like a really great idea, too.

6) Verbal games.  I Spy, the Alphabet game, and any other game you can play out loud can be fun.  I think I played those five million times in my childhood.  (I may have even sung the Song That Never Ends for over an hour to annoy my sister, but that's a story for another day.)

7) Coloring and Clipboards.  Crayons, stickers, and even googley eyes can help pass a lot of time.  The Dollar Store also has clipboards.  Etch-a-sketch, Magna Doodles, and dry erase boards work well too.

8) Comfortable Clothing.  We break out the leisure pants for the boys.  One of you mentioned that making sure they have warm socks and layered, warm clothing is helpful.  All of that will definitely give you a better chance of them napping as well.

9) Fun Music That Everyone Likes.  It's hard to find music that everyone in the family enjoys, but it is possible.  We have a couple CDs that the boys and we like.  Good music makes for a happy car.

10) The Secret Weapon.  As a last resort we borrowed a DVD player from my sister and we had our phones.  I was actually pleasantly surprised that we hardly used them.

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM
Dd just brings her DS. That and talking/singing keeps her happy.
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by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Well, here’s a few printables to help in your seemingly unattainable quest.  Good Luck!

by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM
My son loves his magna doodle.
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by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM
I call these Kid Clips. And they worked like little charms for us.

First of all, I should explain that we operate on the "Sweets for the Sweet" Philosophy in our house. That simply means that desserts & special treats are reserved for those who are kind & sweet. My kids know that if they say something ugly or mean to their brother or sister (or to their parents), they won't be getting dessert that day, including sodas or slushies, should we pass a Sonic at Happy Hour. And trust me, they do not like unhappy Happy Hours. Yes, even my older kids have to follow this plan & it definitely works.

So, with a few stickers & scraps of paper, I made these little clips for my visor as a constant reminder of who was doing a good job in the kindness department.

The rule was simple: as long as they were doing well, the clip stayed up. But, if anyone made a bad choice & decided to be ugly or whiny, their clip came down. And if the clip came down, they would miss out on the next fun thing, whether it be a pack of gum at the next gas stop, an ice cream cone, getting to choose the next movie or having extra time on the iPad.

The amazing thing was, every clip stayed up the entire 16 hours of our trip up there. Trust me--I was impressed. The way back was just a little less blissful, but only one time did I have to remove a clip. I won't mention who that was, but she's short & her name ends in "a". She did not like seeing her clip come down, so she worked hard & got it back up there pretty quickly.

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