The thought of driving long distance with your antsy toddler is intimidating, but with these helpful suggestions from 101 mamas, you’re sure to have a much more relaxing trip while your little is fully entertained in the back 🤩
Container to put it all in:
Curious George Tin Box ($9):
Many mamas found a little pail like this one to be the best for storing toys and snacks. It’s sturdy and easy to transport in and out of the car. The only downside is it doesn’t fit a lot of stuff, but that may be just the ticket to staying organized and trading out the items inside at each pit stop.
Fjallraven Toddler Backpack ($60-$70)
You obviously don’t have to spend $60+ on a backpack for your toddler, but gotta say, these are such good quality! There are also cute, cheaper options at H&M, Target and Old Navy. It’s nice for your little one to have their own backpack so they feel a greater sense of autonomy, prepping them for all that alone time in the back seat!
Toy and Sticker Fillers!
Finger Puppets ($16)
They also have farm animals, wild animals and a few other cute puppet options. Hopefully your little is at a point where he/she can stretch their imagination and put on a little puppet show for themselves 😉
Farm Animal Magnets ($14)
Like the finger puppets, this link has a wide array of magnet options ranging from images from Beatles songs to fruits and veggies, numbers and letters etc. You can bring a small cookie sheet for them to play with them on!
Russian Nesting Dolls ($15)
These are a great time suck and have the advantage of being easy to store! Super cute too!
Ring Flash Cards ($13)
These flash cards are light weight, stay on the ring and have plenty of words for your kids to practice and identify. By the time you arrive at your destination, they’ll be little geniuses 🤣
Sticker Book ($10)
There are also other sticker book options on trucks, numbers, colors, shapes and animals. These seem to be better than reusable stickers for younger age groups (those don’t seem to last) although you run the risk of them getting them stuck on the car seat 😬
Win-win! These invisible ink coloring sets don’t make a mess and have a great element of surprise for your curious backseat toddler!
Buckle Toy ($17)
Klaudia, an O.G. 101 mama says this tactical skill building buckle toy kept her daughter busy for considerable time on a very long plane trip!
Animal Figurines ($12)
A few mamas said their little ones LOVED putting these animals in and out of their bag and it took up lots of imaginative play time 😜
Puffy Window Stickers ($10)
These work on a car window or plane window and don’t leave any marks. The sea creature motif is a lot of fun too 🦀
Trays & Screen Mounts
This car seat protector keeps your fancy car clean and tidy, has extra storage in the leg area and most importantly, has a slot for the iPad. 101 mama Natalie highly recommends it after her car trip to Colorado.
This tray has a protective iPad mount to keep sticky fingers away, a dry erase board, ample storage for pens etc. and a cup holder. However, it may not be suitable for the younger ones who want to hold 1000 things at once because on top of the car seat, it doesn’t leave a lot of space for moving things around.
This one seems to be the most practical for the long term, but only if your toddler is older and is already facing forward.
☀️BONUS TIP: Loosely wrap each individual toy in newspaper or tissue paper so they feel like a gift and it takes time for them to open them! Also, make sure you save new toys and books for the ride home!