Planning vacation or a longer trip with your toddler? Feeling a bit anxious about keeping your toddler from throwing tantrums in such a small space as a car? Travelling with toddlers can be a bit scary at first but with some help, you will get to your destination and everyone will enjoy the time you spent together!
Today we share tips by a group of moms to help you have a more enjoyable, tantrum-free travelling experience with toddlers and jump start your vacation for the whole family.
TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS – TIPS AND IDEAS BY PARENTS
Get them a camera and a mapWhen driving cross country last year, we planned for a number of side stops, but with the goal of not having to use them all. If the kids were sleeping, we kept driving. Snack time was a big hit in the car, as eating kept my toddler entertained and busy for a good chunk of time. I prepare toys and activities for my toddler packed into a small backpack — magnet boards, play dough, coloring books, legos, busy bags, you get the idea. One of the biggest hits was giving him a map of the United States, with our trip route highlighted. He spent a LONG TIME pretending to read the map, and asked for it multiple times on our trip. Finally, he also was enthralled with his camera and took lots of pictures en route. One word of advice? Even if your child is potty trained, bring a small potty along in the car. We made a number of roadside stops and being able to just stop on the off ramp really helped when a rest stop (or clean bathroom) wasn’t to be found.
Shared by Betsy, mother to 2 boys (3 years and 6 months), author at Betsy’s Photography
Be flexible and patientPlan around your toddler’s schedule as much as you can, add in time to stop and let them stretch their legs, and most of all be flexible and patient – you’ll get there!
Shared by Laura, mother to 2 twin boys(2,5 years old), author at Sunny Day Family
Sit in the back with a toddlerFor us – the best we could do was to try to drive during nap times and to limit our driving trips to no more than a couple of hours while our son was awake. It also seemed to help if my husband or I would sit in the back with our son. It was much easier to keep him happy that way with reading books together, saying nursery rhymes and playing hide-and-seek around the side of the car seat! Now that he’s a preschooler, he enjoys longer drives with no issues – as we’ve always kept it a positive experience.
Shared by Sue, mother to 3 year old boy, author at One Time Though
Let them get out and stretch their legsApart from making sure that they are comfortable and entertained, I have seen how important it is to make sure that they don’t travel for more than two hours without getting out. Also let them get out and get some fresh air after a feed. A full tummy and lack of movement can get them queezy. If we really cannot let them out then we try to at least turn off the air conditioning or drive with the windows down.
Shared by Ayesha, mother to 3 (7 and 2 and 1 years old), author at Words’n’Needles
Vary activities during travellingWe all suffer from car sickness so can’t do reading and writing activities. We vary activities such as listening to CD stories, music and playing word games. ‘I Spy’ with a 3 year old is quite difficult but fun. (That cloud that begins with ‘P’ was a hard one to get!) We also know loads and loads of songs to sing.
Shared by Dr.Orlena Kerek, mother to 3 boys (6, 4 and 2 year olds) and girl (2 year old), author at Snotty Noses
Bring out new toys and snacksI stack a bag with new, inexpensive toys (hello, dollar store!) and snacks. The novelty of things she hasn’t seen before keeps her entertained longer than a well-known toy would. We also (gasp!) use a LeapFrog on the really long trips.
Shared by Emma, mother to 5 year old girl, author on P is for Preschooler
Travel over nightActually, we tried to travel over the night when possible and the biggest part of a trip our toddler would sleep through. We also keep in a car several CDs with nursery rhymes and other kid-friendly songs we can sing along. My kids love to sing and it’s a great way to keep the spirit high when we are contained in a small space.
Shared by Mihaela, mother to 2 girls (7 and 2,5 years old), author on Best Toys for Toddlers.
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