How to occupy a toddler on long journeys.

“A holiday isn’t a holiday without plenty of freedom and fun.”

We are off on holiday next week and I am super excited, what better way to do the countdown than to write some holiday based posts! I am kicking it off with a post about how to keep your little ones occupied on long journeys. Long journeys aren’t fun for anyone, especially not little ones with buckets of energy and no way to burn it off!

Here are some tips that work for us:

  • Apps – I know screen time is massively frowned upon, but I am no supermum and anything that keeps my little one occupied and not throwing tantrums is a winner in my book. We especially love YouTube kids which is surprisingly educational even though there’s the occasional surprise egg video and daddy finger song thrown in! Still we can’t have it all can we.
  •  Journey map – Create a map of your journey and when you spot a thing on the map they get to stick a sticker on it or have a snack.
  • Photograph the journey – Let your little ones take photos of things you drive by. My little one has a kiddizoom camera, it isn’t the best resolution but it is only for children and it is nice to have memories of your journey through their eyes. There are also games built-in to the camera which is great.
  • Listen to music – Do your little ones like music? My little one loves to listen to Disney songs and sometimes even sing along! Although it gets a little repetitive, it keeps her occupied and away from the tears!
  • DVD players – These are a life saver. Pop it on the back of your seat, put on a dvd that your little one loves and they will be quiet for a while – They might even fall asleep.
  • Colouring books – Every child loves to colour, lets face it we do too! Grab a colouring book and a few colouring pencils and they will be well away!

If those aren’t enough I have also asked some fellow bloggers what they do on long journeys. Here’s what they say…

  •  Zoe from Mummy & Liss says that they keep a small bag of toys in the car and her little one plays with them on longer journeys.
  • Kerry from Kerry Louise Norris says snacks, snacks and more snacks!
  • Debbie from My Boys Club says Plenty of easy to eat snack food and toys – She remembers playing Peppa Pig Bingo for hours when hers were little.
  • Amelia from Another Mummy Blog says plenty of snacks, a magazine that they like that has stickers in it.
  • Danielle from This Womans Word says Eco is into Alphablocks, Peppa Pig and Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes so we play these on the tablet for a max of 45 mins. Afterwards playing where is your…. keeps him happy and stimulated.
  • Pip from Pip Milburn says for extra long journeys we take a bag of inexpensive new toys from Poundland, snacks, sticker books and an iPad!
  • Emma from wanderlust and wet wipes says We have just discovered audiobooks and they have changed our lives! Agree with PPs about snacks and water / drinks. We also like singing songs and playing I Spy or a very simplified version of road trip bingo. I know loads of people who swear by iPads but we don’t do them in the car as it makes them carsick.
  • Hannah from Hi Baby Blog says or proper long journeys we like those crayola magic colouring books. No mess, lots of fun.
  • Emma from Emma Reed says Buy cheap items from Poundland and the works and wrap them up. We bought travel connect four, sticker books, fun card games, tiny dinosaur toys etc. Whenever the child gets bored you can hand them the ‘gift’ and it should keep them occupied for each hour.
  • Lisa from Baby Not Included says Lots of snacks. Books, audio books or something to watch on a tablet, colouring but with a toddler this may be tricky, time it so they’re likely to fall asleep.
  • Christy from Welsh Mum says Counting games that keep them looking out the window! My mum used to tell me to count the sheep as we passed. As I’m from Wales, this was quite the task! I’d always fall asleep by the time we got to triple digits… but you can make it a fun game with count the red cars, number plates that start with P, houses that have white doors… or just about anything.
  • Victoria from Welcome to Lylia Rose says Plenty of healthy snacks, drinks, iPads, colouring books & pencils, plus their own playlists do the trick for us.
  • Helena from Babyfoote says Absolutely nothing that can be dropped. No small pieces. Magnetic tangram games are excellent. Lots of talking about things outside the windows. Car journey bingo.
  • Pete from Household Money Saving says In The Night Garden CD. My daughter was absolutely mesmerised by it as a toddler. But any CD/audiobook of something they enjoy should keep them occupied.
  • Nicole from Where The Heart Is says When mine were little, I would pack each of them a new coloring book, a few books to read, and a plastic cup full of crayons that I’d put in their cup holders. Now that they’re older, we just play movies the whole time.
  • Elizabeth from The Homemakers Journal says If your life is a technology-free zone or you still cling to the quaint notion that a family day out should involve verbal interaction, then it pays to come prepared with a book of games or puzzles.
  • Susan from Edinburgh Mummy says We have 12 hour trips to Ireland every so often. It’s amazing how many knock knock jokes you can tell in half a day. We also play a lot of eyeball eyeball and stories where everybody tells one sentence, although when my 5 year old gets bored he just ends it with “and then everybody died. The end”.
  • Kelly from Reduced Grub has written a blog post about the best ways to travel with a toddler by a stewardess! You can read it here.

Thank you so much to those that gave tips. I hope these help you out if you are about to take the plunge into long journeys. Be sure to check out their blogs!

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