How to Keep A Toddler Busy When Taking a Long Car Trip

We may not be pros yet when it comes to flying with children (although I think that badge is coming soon), but we are quite experienced when it comes to driving long distances with our small children.  If you are taking a long car trip this season here are some tips on staying sane and keeping your little one happy too!

Invest in a DVD Player And/Or an Ipad or similar device

If you as frugal as we are you might attempt to get by without it.  But, I urge you to think about this purchase as an investment if you don’t already have one.  An investment in your sanity, your health, to reduce your stress level, it really donesn’t matter what in because it will be a positive investment in multiple ways.  This investment has paid for itself about a million times over.  Last year on black Friday we actually snagged THIS DVD player for only $75.  We are still excited about that great deal.  And, this year hubby saved up an Ipad (for himself), but bought it pre-Christmas just so that we can travel with it and help keep little man entertained.

Purchase a Few New Movies for Christmas

Don’t you just love it how traveling seems to just equal money all the way around? Purchase a few new movies as holiday gifts and your little one will be happy and content.  I think one of our new movies this year will be Cars 2 my little guy just loves those movies.  Our little guy could watch the same movie more than once, especially if it is new!


Food is a crowd pleaser even for adults. Make sure you keep those little tummies full and happy.  I always say that as long as kids are eating healthy snacks it doesn’t matter if they are snacking frequently.  We love to stock up on Organic Crunchin’ Grahams, dried fruit, or other easy to handle fruit like bananas.  If things are too hectic I’ll make healthy homemade granola bars or other snacks and stick them in the car as well.

Sing Songs

My kids love silly songs.  Bring along some kids CDs or just belt out their favorite songs right along with them.   Keep them entertained by helping them keep their mind off how long you’ve been on the road.  Our favorites are the ABC’s, Old McDonald, Jesus Loves Me, or just make up songs about whatever my toddler chooses.  There is always lots of giggles and laughter associated with our song choices!

Travel Art or Magnetic Board

There are some great travel art sets as well as magnetic boards that children can be artsy on while traveling.  And, there is often no mess with loosing crayons or markers on the bottom of the car.  Our children just love to color on our Travel Doodle that is especially for the car.  No mess and so much fun!

What about you?  Do you have an ideas for entertaining little ones while you travel long distances?



  1. Becky Bayne says:

    Hi Becky – when my kids were young we traveled nine hours to the ocean each summer. The first year, my sister (a preschool teacher) sent them a box of wrapped gifts for the trip. They were aloud one gift to unwrap each hour. They loved it, and it was fun to see what creative things she packed – simple toys, granola bars, juice boxes, etc. It helped make it a fun and the trip was over before they knew it!

    As the kids grew we loved to purchase Focus on the Family’s, Whit’s End Audio CD’s – wonderful stories that the kids listened to over and over again.

    The whole family treasure the memories of those summer trips, it was worth the stress of traveling each year!

  2. Joelle says:

    Growing up, we also got to open little gifts along the way, but ours were based on miles traveled, not time, (50 miles, 100 miles, etc.).

    The Focus on the Family audio series, Adventures in Odyssey, which Becky refers to, was also a big hit with my whole family, (except for my dad, who eventually got tired of hearing them after hours and hours nonstop!). They are great for a variety of ages.


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