Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to Keep a 1 year old Entertained on a Road Trip

This past week we drove out to San Antonio to visit Philip's family for a week. While we often used to make the 13 hour drive in just one day, we knew that there was no way we could do that with Michaela. Even with an overnight stop though, it is an awful long time to keep a newly mobile 1 year old locked up in a car seat and we knew we would have to get creative in order to keep her relatively content. Here's the toy that kept her happiest for the longest:


I just bought a very small baking sheet from the dollar store, along with several sets of chipboard magnets. The baking sheet was small enough for her to hold in her lap while in the car seat and she loved moving the magnets around and taking them on and off the sheet. I didn't, but if you are a very creative person, you could also tell stories with the magnets.


Along with this, I also packed a little container full of cards, books, small toys, and a drawing pad with crayons. Every time she got fussy I would try changing out what she was playing with and if that didn't work, we would give her a small snack (fig newton, graham cracker, etc) that would keep her occupied for a little bit. We also played lots of "Patty Cake" and "This Little Piggy."

We took turns driving and sitting in the back seat with her. With one of us in the back seat to hand her food, play with her, and talk to her, she was kept much happier than if she was all by herself in the back.

If you've got a long drive with a little one coming up, good luck! It takes a whole lot of distraction to keep them happy! Also, make sure to stop every couple of hours to let those little legs stretch out and get some activity!

1 comments:

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

These are great tips! Micheala is very lucky to have such thoughtful travel companions!