Traveling with toddlers is no easy task. They like to be active, so being strapped into a car seat for hours on end is their worst nightmare!
It is recommended you stop every 2 hours or so according to Marygrace Taylor from What to Expect. Let them stretch their legs and run around to break up the drive.
But what do you do when you’re driving to keep your toddler entertained? Obviously a tablet or other electronic device is a lifesaver for traveling. But they will probably get bored of Mickey Mouse after a couple of hours.
If your drive is more than an hour or two, you should prepare by bringing a handful of car safe toys to keep them busy!
Toddlers tend to love to learn and do activities, so why not help stimulate their development while you’re all trapped in the car together? It will probably cut down on the whining too!
(Pro tip=Wait until the day of your trip to show your toddler any new toys. The novelty will add some excitement and hopefully increase their interest!)
Safety and Car Toys
An important thing to remember when packing car toys is to avoid anything that could injury your child in case of a crash. While no one likes to think about this happening, it’s important to think about safety so your child does not get hurt.
Avoid anything big, heavy, or anything with pointed edges. Choose toys that are soft, small, and lightweight. That way, it won’t hurt if the toy does become a projectile and hit your child (or you!) if something goes wrong.
Toddlers also do like to throw things…So only having soft toys will keep everyone in the car safe if they get frustrated with a toy and throw it at their sibling!
Books for Car Trips
While board books are great at home for toddlers, these can be quite heavy and aren’t very safe for the car.
If you haven’t heard of Indestructible books, run don’t walk to Amazon! These books are chew proof, rip proof, and washable! I can attest to this after using them with my little destroyer at home, ha! They are super lightweight and therefore great for the car!
They also take up almost no space in a suitcase, so they are the ideal kids books to pack when traveling!
Fabric books are another soft and lightweight option that are safe for the car. This 8 pack from the Toyk Store is also bath friendly, which is a nice bonus!
Your toddler can work on developing their cognitive and fine motor skills with this Away We Go quiet book. It’s a travel theme which is perfect for road trips!
This Montessori quiet book let’s your toddler work on practical skills like buttoning and zipping while in the car. It’s also machine washable which is a huge bonus for a toddler toy!
Coloring in the Car
You probably don’t want to hand your toddler a box of markers and risk them painting a mural on themselves or your windows…Luckily there are some great mess free coloring options out there!
Paint with Water
Water Wow books from Melissa and Doug offer painting fun over and over because the color slowly starts to disappear and return to white after a few minutes. Your child can color the same pages several times on your trip! Just remember to fill the paintbrush with water before you hit the road! In my experience, the water lasts for quite awhile before it needs to be refilled.
Mess Free Markers
Just about everyone knows the Crayola product Color Wonder. These markers only show up on Color Wonder paper and are a godsend to parents who want to avoid their white walls becoming a toddler’s canvas. This Amazon exclusive set of coloring pads is easy to bring in the car!
Another cool line of products similar to Color Wonder is Imagine Ink. I like that they have small little pads that include one marker, it makes it easy to grab on the go! They make them in pretty much any character you can think of, so no matter what your child’s current obsession, you can probably find it!
This 9pc shape sorter has been a favorite in our house for awhile and I love bringing it on trips with us! Since it’s soft, it can easily be squished into a bag to bring along with you. And since it’s soft, it’s also safe for the car.
These soft pull back cars are great if you have a vehicle obsessed kiddo like I do. If you remove the wheels (which is easy to do), you can even throw them in the washer to be cleaned!
This farm animal barnyard toy is a great option for the animal loving toddler. You can sing Old MacDonald together while they play and ask your child to make the animal noises!
Pop Its are a popular toy that are easy to find at many stores, but you can also find them online. This colorful 4 pack on Amazon if fun for kids of all ages and can even serve as a teething toy if needed.
There are many more options out there. Try searching for “soft toys” and “travel toys” to find more options online. Of course you can never go wrong with stuffed animal friends!
I recommend also following @safeintheseat on Instagram for more tips on safety while traveling with kids.
Have a great trip!
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