My daughter is not quite up to toddler stage yet (although with all the standing and walking while she has something to support her, you’d be forgiven for thinking she was), but she’s getting close. Combined with a trip across the state, and I’ve been worried about how to keep a young child entertained while traveling for much of the past week. Luckily, there are methods to keep your child happy and amused while traveling, without breaking the bank or your mind.
Which brings us to this article, sharing some of said methods for any future trips that you might have (and for me to rely on while I am returning home). I hope that any travels you have are quick and enable you to have a good time with friends and family. (And if you have any small children, that you are able to show them off to anyone who wants to check them out *cough*my family*cough*.)
8 Methods to Entertain Toddlers on Trips
1. Sing Some Songs: Depending on your child’s age, they may be able to sing along, but if not, putting on an appropriate CD and singing along will make a good way to keep your child entertained. If you choose a song with educational content, you might be able to add to their knowledge to boot, making it a good plan overall.
2. Break Out Special Toys: If your child is anything like my Laney, she is probably very intrigued by toys she doesn’t see often. If you put aside some toys a while ahead so she doesn’t have a chance to play with them, you can keep them extra interested. As for what type of toys to choose, soft, easy to handle toys, particularly ones that can be secured to the car seat, will make good choices.
3. Point Out Interesting Sights: Traveling allows you to see many new things. You can point out special buildings, unusual vehicles, or beautiful plants, depending on the situation. If you child is old enough, you could ask try to count with them, pointing out the number of the particular sight you’ve chosen.
4. Create Artwork: There are lots of ways you can create artwork, many of which you can do while being in a car (or a plane). Breaking out some crayons and paper and/or a white board with appropriate markers allows you child to make a form of artwork while riding. Not the best studio, but it allows the opportunity for fun and entertainment, along with some neat artwork when all is done.
5. Colored Pipe Cleaners: On the same note, you can give (older) toddlers pipe cleaners to use for making cute figures and other diagrams. You want to be careful and only let older children use them, as they can potentially do damage with the tips of the pipe cleaners, but they could make very cute items with some time and focus.
6. Video Games: I know, I know, not the first thing you want to give to two year olds, but with the increasing number of devices and games oriented towards young children, you can likely find something appropriate for their age, and educational, to boot. You’ll have to watch that your child doesn’t get sick while playing, but such games are increasingly popular and could prove entertaining, and more interactive than:
7. Children DVDs: Probably not one of your first choices, but if you have a DVD player (increasingly common in vans or other child-friendly vehicles), you could put on an appropriate movie/show and let them watch for a portion of the trip. It’s not something you want to do all the time (or for longer trips), but it can do the job when needed. Although, if you can get your child to settle down, you could try…
8. Sleep: This shouldn’t be a surprise at all, but any good trip provides plenty of possibilities for your child to sleep. Since most toddlers need a nap or two throughout the day anyway, traveling during naptime and helping them to sleep will improve your trip and enable them to be that much more active and happy come arrival time. (If you’re like me, you might even get a nice nap during the trip as well.)