Long roadtrip (12+hrs)

Tara - posted on 05/06/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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i have already posted this thread in toddler moms but i'm needing some suggestions for my younger child :) i have a 2yo and a 1yo and i am needing suggestions for keeping them occupied on a long (12+ hrs) road trip. i do not have a portable dvd player and don't have money for one so i am needing ideas without this media

Thanks for the help!!!!!

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Rachelle - posted on 05/15/2010

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Give only one or two toys at a time, so during the trip, there's something "new" (even if its an old favorite) every two hours or so. Stop and take a rest, let the kids out to run around at every pee-stop. Start games like "I Spy", create a story, or help them to keep a "journal" of their trip.
As a kid, my family often took road trips cross-country. And I have to fly for 13 hours (including lay-over)with my little one to see my parents. Kids are easily amused, just remember to play with them, instead of just trying to keep them quiet in the back seat. Sing-alongs, trying to get truckers to blow the horn, and pit-stops is what kept my family sane. Do a google search for "car games" or "road-trip games" and pick a few that are age appropriate.

Heather - posted on 05/18/2010

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When it comes to long trips, my 13 month old is a veteran. Her first long trip was when she was 2 months from Alaska to Louisiana. Since, then I have taken her on solo missions from 9 hours to 23 hours. She does great with a mirror, toys, books, snacks, lovey animals and shaker toys. While it can be annoying, it works. We leave very early, she sleeps some of the time and we stop for stretch time occasionally. You will be surprised at how easy it really becomes. Good luck!

Virginie - posted on 05/14/2010

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Hi!

Bring along the tray from your high chair, your big one can use it to color put their books on, drive cars, string big beads on a shoe lace, sticker books. Your little might also enjoy having a tray (if they are anything like mine, the little one always wants what his brother has)... Also, some new dollar store things can help. A big bag of books and toys and keep on passing them one as they throw them on the floor. Kid's music, if you like that. Stop often! We've been bringing my 2.5 on 20hr+ road trips ever since he was born (3 weeks the first time!) and same things with his brother (1yo). They do great, and we don't have a DVD player.

Dana - posted on 05/13/2010

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Find a mall or a restaurant with a play place so they can burn off some energy while waiting. Take lots of toys and books but don't break them out all at once....other wise they get bored.

Kerry - posted on 05/11/2010

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bring fav toys but u willl need 2 do plenty ov stops just so there not stuck in that 1 place even if its only 4 5 mins 4 or 5 times threw out the trip

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Kristin - posted on 06/03/2010

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a friend of mine is going on a long trip with twin 2 year olds... I just went to the dollar store and spent 24 dollars and got a ton of things for their bday. I found board books, crayons, books of construction paper, stickers, foam puzzles, puppets, these window cling things that stick to a laminated scene, bubbles, beads that string on a shoelace, etc. Go check it out! Get some things like that, some great kids cds (check your library, they have kids books on tape and kids cds that you can check out) and bring along some old favorite toys too. Just give 1 or 2 at a time, like people said above, and be patient with them... they're little and sitting for that long is hard work! Have a great trip!

Jennifer - posted on 05/21/2010

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do you have any childrens CD's? Maybe ones with the voices of their favorite or most identifiable characters. I just returned from a road trip with my 1year old 12 hours both ways. We left Monday got back Wednesday. Also make sure you bring them drinks that arent too sugary. And there is always the option of traveling at night or whenever their bed time is. THat way they will sleep for most of the trip.
I had a pretty successful trip. Very little fussing. We sang alot of songs and danced in our seats. (Im sure the people behind us and that passed thought we were doing the potty dance.)
Good luck

Katie - posted on 05/21/2010

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I drive back and forth from VA to FL which is a 12+ hour trip. Usually I make it a 2 day trip. But, I bring books, coloring books, toys, and on the day that we drive the longest I stop at a rest stop when they get restless and let them play for 30-45 minutes.

Tina - posted on 05/20/2010

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My Husband and I used to make the 12 hr journey to see my family and what we did was leave at 6pm'ish we'ed have the kids fed bathed and in PJ's they would read or we'd sing till they fell asleep. Then we'd take turns driving through the night, we'd have things to keep us awake. The kids would wake up in the morning either at or almost at the grandparents house. It worked for us.

Melissa - posted on 05/18/2010

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If you are driving make sure to leave very early in the morning cuz then they might just sleep for most of it then make sure you have lots of toys and take a break at a rest stop for a while and let them run around to stretch their legs and then after that maybe they'll go back to sleep again!! I find with my little guy he like to play with things he's not suppose to so I have old sunglasses in te car and other things he wouldn't be able to play with, they think it's great!!!

ANSI DENiZ - posted on 05/18/2010

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We had just traveled by plane for 11 hours with our 13-month old daughter. I prepared flashcards to make her busy with looking at pictures and naming them. I brought her less-used, tiny toys and also a bunch of books. I prepared snacks to eat and gave a different one every 1,5 hour. To make her sleep is to be difficult because she is used to her bed. But by singing songs, she got asleep.

Besides you are two, so they may help themselves entertain easier, hh?

It is not so much disasterous as you think.

Enjoy your trip!

Erin - posted on 05/17/2010

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The longest trip we've done with our 1 year old was a 6 hour drive just before her first birthday and she slept for most of it. I would suggest, however, lots of books, a few stuffed animals or toys that your child really likes and maybe some cds of children's music. I remember when I was really young my mom would always bring Raffi and Fred Penner tapes on road trips to keep us happy in the car.

Eleanor - posted on 05/16/2010

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Leaving at nap time worked for us, then variety - singing, toys, food, it helps if theres someone in the back. Then breaks!

Jillian - posted on 05/16/2010

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my mother lives about 13 hours away, we were planning a road trip down to see her and she suggested to leave shortly after my daughters bedtime, drive strait through, then let her play with abby while i took a nap when we got there. never got the chance to try it, but in july we will be driving from Washington state to North Carolina with a stop in California and a stop in Iowa. not sure yet how it will go, lots of stops!!! good luck!

Brooke - posted on 05/16/2010

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Patience, patience, patience. Extra time for stops. Snacks. Toys. Books. I would say coloring books and crayons but after cleaning up blue crayon puke on our last road trip...maybe not. I like the dollar store idea...just make sure it is stuff that can't be choked on because EVERYTHING goes in the mouth. Good luck...

ANN - posted on 05/10/2010

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Here are some ideas for you: Sing songs, make up stories, but thats all I really know

Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2010

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We frequently travel with our little ones, and I agree with previous posts that it is very important to stop often. At least every 2-3 hours, and long enough to change diapers, feed, and get outside of the vehicle to move around. This adds to the travel time, but it is worth it to arrive with happy little ones! Singing works sometimes,and toys are a good distraction.

Casey - posted on 05/09/2010

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We'll be driving 12hrs + with our 1 & 2.5 y/os in June too (first road trip). Our plan so far is to leave super early- 4am, plan to make lots of stops that they can get out & run around (mapping out rest stop ahead of time), using the portable DVD & an activity/new toy for every hour.
We took them on a 6hr plane ride last year & my then 3mo & 1.5 y/o slept most of the time, but that's different than being strapped into their car seats.
Our thought is that we want to travel during the day, so if they don't sleep well, we don't ruin a nights sleep at the begining of our trip.
I have also heard that it's a good strategy to have an activity or toy for each hour. And we plan on having meals in the car- using that as an activity & saving stops for playtime.
I know that no matter how much I try to tplan ahead, I won't know until we're in the car how it's going to go, so I'll just do my best to be prepared for anything.
HTH & good luck!

[deleted account]

If you have a portable DVD player, it can work wonders! If you don't have one, check craigslist.com or hit some yard sales.
Good luck!

Alicia - posted on 05/08/2010

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i have a one years old that has been doing frequent 8 hr trips in the car since he was born. i have found that if i leave at about 4am he usually sleeps for the first few hours then we stop somewhere for breakfast where he can crawl around (ie a park or relatives house somewhere that has clean floors cause his still crawling) then he usually goes back to sleep after this.

i think basically you have to just wait and see, when they are happy leave them be when they get restless a toy/book, food, music or a stop generally work!

Di - posted on 05/08/2010

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I agree, having done full day car trips with a then 10mth old and a 2.3yo, have activities at the ready, but dont forget ol' faithfuls like eye spy. I play it with my 2yo, but look for objects " I spy a cow", and he points and says he spies it too. It encourages them to take an interest in the world around them, and both you and they get more out of the trip if you interact occasionally.

Plan for regular breaks with oppotunities for the kids to use up some of that pent up energy - when stopping for fuel, to eat, or when you've had enough of them having enough etc. It might take longer, but better to plan for that than lose your sanity - and family trips are supposed to be fun for the whole family, you and the children included.

You could also consider driving at night, when they are more likely to sleep and there is less traffic - so long as you and any co-drivers are well rested beforehand. If you do this, make sure there is someone who has had enough sleep to keep up with the kids the next day though!

Having snacks and drinks ready is a good idea. Is your 2 yo toilet training? You might need to consider this too.

Hope this helps and your trip goes well.

Helen - posted on 05/08/2010

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sing sing sing .Do you have childrens songs to play in the car my two love their music. We have cds to play in the car my oldest sings along and the baby just cant get enough of his sister singing . not so much fun for mum and dad as they like the same ones over and over but it beats crying . good luck.

Heather - posted on 05/07/2010

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well hopefully being so young they sleep, but if not, when me and my hubby go on long trips with our boys (also 1 and 2) we have a picnic lunch at a park in toys we stop in, so we can get out strech relax and the boys can play (they usually play enough there ready for naps when we get back in the car :P). We also have snacks and jiuce ready in the front seat to toss back if they start getting cranky, and dollar store toys are awesome too. good luck :D

Jessica - posted on 05/07/2010

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I asked for advice also in this topic because my son and I will travel 8 hours by plane and someone gave me a good one, go to the dollar store (like someone else said) and buy one toy for each hour you will travel, that way, your kids will have something new every hour. Remember that kids are curious.
I thought it was a good idea but we don´t have those stores in Sweden so I still don´t know what I will do :P haha I hope it helps :)

Sue - posted on 05/07/2010

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I would suggest frequent breaks if possible, so they don't get too bored and stiff. With my son I stick a mirror to the back of the front seat, as this seems to amuse him and make sure he has a few toys within reach. I find he tends to sleep for most of the journey anyway, so it isn't a problem.

Rachel - posted on 05/06/2010

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Is there a dollar store near that you can go to? Sometimes getting a couple new cheap toys helps. That way they have something different to keep them occupied...along with a couple of their favorites.

Amber - posted on 05/06/2010

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If your kids like books, bring a bunch of books with you. Honestly with kids that young, there's not much help for long road trips. Just bring toys and lots of snacks and drinks. I'm about to take my one year old on a 13 hour trip and all I plan on bringing is a few of her favorite toys to occupy her

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