C.A. asks from Wichita, KS on October 02, 2009
22 Hr Drive with a 2 Yr old......what to Bring??????
Howdy to my know it all mamas :)
My husband and I are preparing to take a trip from Kansas to South Carolina with a overnight stop in Tennessee to see my bio dad, half sisters and some other family that haven't met my husband or son. Last time I saw them was a week before I found out I was preg!! I know it's crazy to stick a 2 yr old in a car that long but we really wanted to drive so we can stop and see family(and so my husband can bring his Harley on a trailer to ride in SC) rather then fly which would eliminate those options. I'm trying to think of some activities that he can do while sitting in a car seat. What won't fall off his lap? crayons would be spilt all over the car, puzzles don't work well on laps.... we have a VCR in the expedition but I don't know how long that will keep him entertained. He got a LeapFrog Tag JR for his bday with 4 books which I'm taking with us, he also got a dry erase board but that may be to big. WHAT ELSE can my poor baby do? He did really well when we drove 4 hrs to Worlds of Fun over the summer and again when we drove 8 hrs to Arkansas(he was 8 mo and slept half the trip)BUT 22+ hrs?!?!?!?! Also we are staying with friends in SC for the week we are there, so I have to figure out what toys to bring for that. We've only been away from home over a weekend(overnight) I've never packed a toddler for a whole week.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Well I got some GREAT responses. The trip isn't till Oct 17th and I will try and repost how it went. I got some great ideas like the magna doodle so I'll probably go buy one and maybe another version along the same line. I remember as a child having one with gel in it and when you would draw it was neon... I'll look and see. Or the color wonder crayons. He got the color wonder finger paint for his bday(we won't take that in the car!!!!!)But the crayons/markers would be great.
Someone said leave at bedtime....I had suggested to my husband that we leave at bedtime(9pm) since I'll be to excited to sleep anyway and let Paxton sleep pretty much the whole way. since it's approx 12 hrs to TN we would get there first thing in the morning giving me more time to see family and for them to meet Pax(and my husband, but he's not as cute lol.) And the ideas to stop at McDonalds instead of just going through drive-thru and let him play while we eat and then he can eat in the car.
I really appreciate all the ideas, thanks!!!!!!!!!
K.O. answers from Wichita on October 03, 2009
Hi C.! I had to smile when I read your question because we live in Kansas and my parents live in SC so we have made the trip often with four boys in tow!
We find it best to leave in the early evening (around dinnertime or shortly after). We stop after about two hours for a "potty break" and to get kids in their pajamas. Then, my husband and I take turns driving through the night while the boys sleep. We stop at a sit down breakfast place around 6 or 7 in the morning and allow for a nice meal and some "stretch time." Then, we are off again.
This really cuts down what we have to take with us. We show a movie in the evening, I read aloud books during the trip, the boys bring along magnetic game boards, hand puppets, books to read (you would have to read to your son since he is too little to read on his own), leap pads, binoculars to watch things, a play cell phone to make calls, ) Hope this helps! Enjoy the trip. It is a long one; however, we enjoy the family time together every time that we go!
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from Kansas City on October 03, 2009
don't worry, it'll be fun! haha! we did 18 hrs over the summer with a 2 1/2 year old...he'll be great. okay great may be an overstatement, BUT, have you thought about driving at night? it worked for us! also we used the portable dvd player, but only on the way home, and it helped a lot. on the way down the dang thing wouldn't work. we also bought him a $5 magna doodle, which is a toy he had not ever seen before, he loved that and played with it quite a bit. some new and different kinds of toys he hasn't seen before are your best bet. good luck!
V.H. answers from St. Louis on October 05, 2009
Lacing cards (make your own or buy some more durable ones, like ones from Melissa and Doug) a sticker book, a Magna Doodle? My son loves his. I know they sell trays that you can hook on to the carseat, so maybe little things like cars won't fall off. A CD of kid's music to sing along to? Stop at playgrounds for lunch so he can blow off some steam. I'd probably be hitting the Happy Meals pretty heavy so he could be amused by the toy afterwards...ha!
J.H. answers from Kansas City on October 05, 2009
I have to admit, I haven't even looked at your other responses. But I wanted to let you know that at the end of May we took our 2 year old son and 5 year old daughter to Disney World via the car, with out an over-night stay on the way down. They did great! We took the DVD player, and a few of their favorite books, and Color Wonder markers etc to play with.
But I think the biggest life saver for us was that every time we had to stop the car, for gas, to get something to eat, whatever. I took the kids and found some grass for them to run, jump, spin, whatever to get rid of some energy! When we stopped for gas, my husband pumped gas and the kids and I found a place for them to expend energy, then he drove over to us, we loaded up after they said they were ready (usually just about 10 minutes). If we stopped to eat, my husband would go get something to eat, while I found the kids an area to get rid of energy! We ate, they played, then they ate in the car!
I don't know for sure, but we had a no fuss trip down or back. Hope you have a great time!
Happy, safe traveling, J.
E.C. answers from St. Louis on October 03, 2009
We just did a long trip with a two year old, about 3 1/2 days in the car. I agree that coloring books and puzzle dont really work in the car. We do have a DVD player in the car and that helped alot. My son is really into cars so I filled a box with new hotwheels and other cheap toys and slowing gave them out to him during the trip. This seemed to keep him busy longer because they were new toys. I think we spent a total of $30 on the box, but it was well worth it!
L.B. answers from St. Joseph on October 03, 2009
First of all, you aren't driving 22 hours at one time...you are driving two intervals of 12. That's not so bad. I would definitely recommend LOTS of DVD's/VHS (whatever you have)...kids LOVE to watch the TV and this is the one time you will allow them to do it non-stop. The TAG book is a great idea (provided he doesn't drop it) as are books on tape (my kids love their MP3 players (which I might add my youngest was just 3 when she got hers). I don't suggest the dry erase board because 1) the obvious open marker, 2) there are still wipe off stuff that comes off the boards from it. Instead I'd recommend the MagnaDoodle...same concept except MUCH cleaner and you can get either the large version or the smaller hand helds. If you're willing to sit in the back with him, you could read him books or work on simple games like I SPY (work on the colors or shapes which him). Another thing you can do is sleep deprive him before he gets in the car so he will sleep some of the way...when we took off for our 20 hour drive last summer we left at 4 am and didn't stop for breakfast until 8...so son and I slept the first 4 hours (darling daughter kept daddy wake...LOL)....at any rate, if you deprive him some, if he DOES fall asleep, it won't skew the sleep schedule so much and have him up at all hours when you arrive at destination a or b and you and hubby wanting to crash (that's the pits!!!).
Also, google parks and restaurants along the way...McDonald's web site will tell you which locations have play places (a REALLY good way to make them run off pent up energy...you eat, let him play, and let him eat once you get back in the car...therefore, no down time for you all on road)....We also found that the free standing Chic-Fil-A's down in TX had play places...don't know if it's that way going east but certainly something worth looking into as an alterternative to McDonald's. Hope the suggestions help...just try to schedule bathroom/leg stretch breaks every 2-3 hours or you not only will have a grumpy kid but you will have one that is most reluctant to get back into a carseat anytime soon! BTW-make sure you keep a blanket close by him in the car incase you all are warm and he gets cold...;)
D.O. answers from Kansas City on October 03, 2009
there's those travel magnadoodles which my daughter really likes in the car. the big one keeps her busy for quite a while in the car too. I go to the dollar store before leaving for trips and just walk the aisles and just get a bunch of stupid little things that will be new to my daughter. I've also gotten a travel lap thing that clips onto the car seat from toys r us. i sit in back with her and let her play with playdough. she likes rolling it into balls and then trasferring the balls in between containers...that's probably the best time waster. and the tray is nice for snacks too. stickers are always good. the wee sing cds are great too...the one we have comes with actions to do with the songs that are great for 2 year olds...finger and hand motions. my daughter just turned 2 and loves it. good luck!
S.H. answers from St. Louis on October 03, 2009
I think you're on the right track, & I like the answers already posted.
My addition would be: at most ages, the kids love to open presents. On our road trips, I would hit the Dollar Store & stock up on goofy little prizes. I also added in special food treats- I even wrapped up the mini boxes of raisins & other basic food items! Once boredom hit, we would open a present. This always bought us time! & to encourage observing the surroundings, we would tally up the McDonalds (or WalMarts or red cars,etc) until we could open that next prize. For the older kids, I actually made BINGO sheets & Treasure Hunt papers...& that lasted for hours, too. (Just had to add that one in for when your child is older!) Have fun!