A.K. asks from Allen, TX on May 03, 2011
Road Trip - Dallas,TX
We are taking a road trip soon with our 4 year old. We did this last year and it went well, but this one is a bit longer. We are looking at being in the car between 2 days for about 20 hours.
Do any of your wonderful moms have advice on games to play in the car with the little one? Other ideas that you would like to share that have worked for you? We have TV in the car, but I don't want her to spend all that time just watching movies.
Does anyone know a good site that I could find some in the car scavenger hunts or something else to really spend that time as a family and also to teach as we travel across country?
Thanks in advance!!
M.J. answers from Sacramento on May 03, 2011
I don't have any tips on road games but did want to recommend getting a lap table for your daughter. We got ours through One Step Ahead -- soft blue one with pockets on the sides. It's SUCH a help on long car trips. The kids can have snacks, crayons and other small things in the pockets and use the top for drawing, coloring and eating.
1 mom found this helpful
L.S. answers from Dallas on May 04, 2011
The coolest tip I heard was to get a cookie sheet (with edges) and put magnets in it and then change it out. Crayons, markers, etc. That way they are less likely to fall all over the floor. My 4 year old LOVES maze books, "preschool learning" books, Leapfrog Games, music. Just have things handy to swap out with him when he's bored. Good luck!!
M.M. answers from Detroit on May 03, 2011
Does she have anything like a Leapster or a Nintendo DS? That could buy you some time. Also, I would think about going to the Dollar Store or the Dollar Section at Target and scoop up some "fun" but cheap stuff to entertain her. There are dry erase boards, stamps, Activity books that work on things like colors or matching, magnetic paper dolls. If you Google Free Preschool Worksheets, you will find numerous sites with coloring or other age appropriate sheets for her. 20 hours is a loooong time! Good Luck!
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on May 03, 2011
Get a clip board and fill up a folder with different kinds of work book and activity sheets for her to do and color. You can make your own lacing cards by cutting out shapes and hole punching holes around the outer edges, then she "sews" with a shoe lace or string. A cookie sheet on her lap could help hold some small toys and you could buy her some magnets to play with on it too!
My advice is to eat in the car - you're already sitting down. And then use stop time for streching legs. You could take a soccer ball to kick back and forth at some grassy spot!
Get a map and show her the different places you are going - have her trace the line. You could print out pages about different state birds or trees or flags - I'm sure you can find them, just google!
K.L. answers from Redding on May 03, 2011
We just went on a 10 hour drive down and 10 hours back for a trip to Disneyland with our daughter and grand daughter. I found sitting in the back seat was easier for me than turning around every 3 seconds to see what she wanted to show me. Daughter was happy to get the front seat. We took along a deck of I Spy cards and had her play along trying to find things along the freeway. I bought her a few new-to-her books to look at and some crayola magic markers and the special paper so she wouldnt color on anythng else and she was happy to sit in the car seat and scribble. Also found a leap pad learning system at a thrift store and gave it to her half way there. She was thrilled to get a new toy and one she could push buttons and touch stuff with the pen and make sounds. Cool stuff, shes playing with it right now. She napped a lot. We made sure she had some snacks and drinks that wouldnt melt, or be sticky and when we stopped for meals we had her get out and run wild and jump off the sidewalks outside the restaurants to burn off some energy before getting back in the car. It was fun!
K.A. answers from Dallas on May 04, 2011
We usually leave early in the morning, and the kids doze in the car. After about two or three hours, we stop for breakfast and let them run around. Then we get back into the car. We listen to books on tape, play the alphabet game (finding the alphabet in road signs) or something like that. I go to the dollar store before hand and load up on books, stickers and maybe some little toys. When they get board, I give them a book or activity to do. Then we stop for lunch, always somewhere they can get out and run around. If it is nice, we will get something drive through and go to a park. Then its back in the car. We usually put a movie in about now, and if we are lucky, they go to sleep. Then another round of games or activity books, then we stop for dinner or the night, depending on where we are going. Kids songs on tape are great. Books on tape on great. Print out road bingo games on line. He can cross off pictures as he sees them, then you could give a little prize for a bingo. We also take lots of goldfish, cheese sticks, etc and drinks because as soon as their rear ends hit the carseats, they want a snack.
B.M. answers from Abilene on May 04, 2011
So glad I came over to respond. You have received some great suggestions that I hadn't thought of and can use.
Here are my two cents - Definitely get the Color Wonder markers and paper. They are a bit pricey, but they don't melt in the heat and they can't mark up your vehicle.
I always sit in the back with my granddaughter, behind the passenger seat, that way I can move the empty seat as far forward as possible and have plenty of leg room and my hubby can see her in the rear view mirror without having to turn away from the road.
Our 5 year old granddaughter is still in a car seat. She likes it much better than a booster. She can see down the road better, if more comfortable when she is sleeping and of course is safer.
When we stop to eat, we usually stop somewhere with a playground and let her play to her hearts content and then let her eat in the car. This has worked great since we started traveling with her when she was a year old. Of course she doesn't normally get to eat in the vehicle so it is a treat to her.
Finger puppets! She has the best imagination and puts on amazing shows that I video to share with her mom when we get home.
We try to travel on her schedule. If she needs to stop we stop. If she is sleeping, we go until she wakes up. This is easy for us traveling with just one child, but watch the gas gauge. We have almost been in trouble a few times by not stopping until she is awake! LOL
People look at me funny on this last one - we travel with her training potty, wipes, and something to seal the waste up in until we get to a waste basket. Restrooms are not always available when a child needs to go and this has come in VERY handy on many occasions. I have a little basket in the back next to it with all the necessary items we might need if she has to go.
Have fun on your trip. These are precious times with your little one.