A while ago I contacted some mothers and asked them how do they keep their children entertained during a long car trip, here is what I got back from them:
Cassy- Shorts trip = She is pretty good, if she gets fussy I’ll chuck back a rice cracker to her. I keep a packet in the car.
Long trips= I always plan around a nap time. So I just put on some Lana Del Rey and she passes out She loves the car so it’s not really any stress for us.
Sami- Our daughter usually sleeps but if she gets really cranky we watch ABC kids on the iPad, or she has some toys she plays with.
Shiona- Generally we leave for long trips when our children are due for a sleep( even our 3 yr old will fall asleep on a long drive). 3 yr old is great if not asleep anyway, he loves driving and is happy and if he gets restless he is happy to just watch a DVD on the in car player. Maybe some snacks along the way and depending on the trip usually a toilet/ play stop at a maccas ( clean , safe if I’m alone and always have a park to play at). Bub is 1 and has never been good in the car but will sleep when he is due for a sleep and once he wakes I usually have 30 mins of happy time with him being happy just having music and then snacks but unfortunately sometimes him crying on a long trip is unavoidable if I want to get to my destination. Have tried colouring and fun packs of things to do but they are too young to care at the moment, only amused for a short period of time.
Tegan- Give them food.
Nicole- We don’t really do anything in particular, but we do listen to music.
Trista- Usually when we drive long distance we have wiggles on a tablet, otherwise just give him food or stop for a play at a park.
Mikaela- Talking to her, asking her what she sees. We play CDs a lot lately and often she’ll bring a doll or toy into the car and also give her snacks.
Larissa- My kids are pretty good on long trips in the car, they are happy to just sit there. My youngest likes watching the trucks go past and the other two have their tablets to keep them amused. As for planes last time we went on one my youngest wasn’t born yet and it was the middle of the night and the kids slept.
Miss A has been in the car for long car trips MANY times in her 1.5 years of life so far as both our families live hours away so visiting them requires a long car drive to get there.
When she was a baby she would sleep most of the time during the drive and we would just need to stop every 2 hours to feed her. I had to make sure I did this (offered it at least) at every stop as even though she may last 3 hrs between feeds or even 4 hrs we didn’t want to run the risk of her needing to be fed while we were driving and unable to stop.
As she has grown older and sleeps less and less it has become a little more of a challenge to keep her entertained for such long periods of time. Especially if I am doing to drive on my own (which has often been the case). Over Christmas we drove down to Melbourne over 2 days each way. A long drive with a Toddler! While in Melbourne we purchased a DVD player for when things get desperate on the drive and we need her to be entertained for an hour or two. However I know if I play this from the minute she is in the car she wont sleep so I usually let her sleep the first part of the drive and then after she has had a long sleep at the next stop I will put the DVD player up.
Activities we use in the car:
- Wiggles CD
- Soft toys to play with
- We have a window shade that has animals on it that she loves to play with
- Musical toys that have buttons for her to interact with
- Looking out the window and pointing out various things she can see.
- Talking with us
The type of entertainment that we can provide purely depends on if it just me driving with her, or if we go away as a family and one person can entertain her while the other drives.
How do you entertain your child on long car trips?
By Clare at Relaxed Parenting