Guest Post: How The Car can be a Playground for your Toddler

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Ask any parent from a family on-the-go how easy it is to keep small children entertained during a long car ride, and they will roll their eyes and respond with silly sarcasm. Toddlers have incredibly low attention spans and hyperactive drives—not a good recipe for a calm and relaxing car journey. However, there are a number of things parents can do to keep their hyper little ones engaged and busy to the point that they aren’t kicking the back of the seats and nagging for apple juice.

Nothing keeps kids entertained like crafting projects. The brightly colored construction paper, crayons, and fun plastic child-safe scissors will keep them quiet for hours (you just may have to vacuum up the mess later). Having kids make their own storybooks or posters will prove to be fun activities. Another option is to have them create something that can be contributed to the art projects that mom engages in. For example, 21st Century Insurance is running a baby on board contest that calls for moms to re-create the iconic yellow diamond sign from the 80s. This contest has a cash prize of 10 thousand dollars. Once your toddler learns how many toys 10K will buy, they are sure to be “on board” in helping with your contest project.

If you want to offer a mess-free source for keeping your kids entertained then consider getting them some new toys for the car trip. Find out what your child’s favorite toy is, and bring it along. Then go to a toy store and pick up something similar to it, as well as something completely different. This will provide your toddler with a loved and familiar option, something new and similar to his favorite toy, and something completely new and unknown.

If you aren’t sure what toys to buy you can always go online and search consumer reviews that are age and gender specific. For example, in one article that examines the best toys for 4 year old boys, there are some great options to take in the car. Here are a few:

·         LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer. This learning toy comes with 5 apps from over 325 available ones that include games, videos, and music. They also offer 2500 subject skills that include reading, science, language, math and many more. It has a fun touch screen feature, a front and back camera and even a video recorder.

·         Vtech Switch and Go Dinos. Toddlers will have fun transforming dinosaurs into car carriers, and back to their prehistoric semblances all over again. They can make the dinosaurs battle each other too. The dinosaurs have moveable heads and tails, while the car carrier has a built in LCD screen that shows animation and offers fun dinosaur facts.

·         Dream Lite Pillow Pets Snuggly Puppy. When the sun is starting to set and you have another few hours left on your road trip, surprise your toddler with this cuddly plush toy. The snuggly puppy toy is great for cuddling but it also runs off 3 AAA batteries or an AC adapter to cast stars on the wall for bedtime. If you have an SUV and a restless toddler in the back, this toy could be a great option to get them to take a nap. 

Keep them engaged and comforted 
By presenting your toddler with these fun toys and exciting crafts, they can keep themselves entertained for hours while you and your spouse focus on driving safely to your next destination.