A very important part of making a road trip with young children a success is having a variety of entertainment options available to keep them occupied. Of course, if your vehicle comes equipped with a dvd player, then that may be your go-to form of entertainment. If you’ll be on the road for a substantial length of time, you should also supply other means of entertainment.
For my toddler, I like to rely on games and toys that are easy for her to manipulate on her own, keep her engaged for a good while, and that she will be less likely to lose in the back seat. Here is a list of items I have found to fit that criteria.
Magna doodle - no mess and no pieces to lose.
Reusable stickers allow her to reposition stickers on the supplied mat as much as she wants. Because they’re reusable, they’re also much easier to manipulate than traditional stickers. (Plus, you don't have to worry about scraping unwanted stickers off the car later.)
Magnaform magnetic shapes allow her to build structures right in her car seat. The magnets are strong enough to hold together well, but weak enough for her little hands to pull them apart and rearrange.
Imagine Ink Game Books allow kids to scribble away with the special marker that only writes on the special paper of the game book (which means no coloring on the seats).
Imaginetics are like magnetic stickers that come with a file-folder size magnetic board. I was so excited when I found this, since it was perfect for stationary play. Moving the magnetic animals around on the magnetic background kept my tot happily busy for a good chunk of time.
An “I Spy” bottle is another mess-free, tot-approved toy. There are many DIY tutorials on Pinterest for making your own if you don’t want to purchase one.
Sing-alongs and finger plays (think “Itsy Bitsy Spider) are another great way to distract toddlers while traveling. Sing your own, or borrow a children’s CD from the library.
Books are another good item to keep in the car (unless your child gets car sick).
Finally, an item that really helps us all keep our sanity on road trips is the iPad that I load with toddler-friendly apps. We have a bean bag type case designed to hold the tablet so my daughter can sit with it on her lap and also so the device is protected in case she drops it.
These are the items I have had the most success with for entertaining our kiddo on the road. I hope you find them helpful on your next road trip.