We recently took a little trip up to Colorado to visit my best friend and her family. The 11 hour drive turned into 14 as changed routes to avoid tornados forming over open plain in the middle of nowhere.
My 2-year-old did surprisingly well, thanks to a couple must-haves to make the trip a little shorter. My husband and I were set on only using movies as a last resort and we ended up playing some for her around 5 pm during the last 4 hours of the drive which I think was an accomplishment!
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1. Water Wow
Whoever invented this is my hero. Not only is it mess-free “painting” but it dries so it’s reusable. This kept Aurelia amused for hours! The paint brush is refillable with water and is completely spill-free! She loved the pretty colors that came to life as we drove for miles.
2. Travel Magna-doodle
This was another life-saver. My daughter practiced her “letters” on it and drew funny faces. I like this one because it’s tiny but big enough to see and it has a clip to attach to her car seat.
3. Travel Lap Tray
I have mixed feelings about this one. It was hard to find a good lap tray that is flexible. I ended up getting this one because it got good reviews and it has the fun road map which my daughter loves. It doesn’t really fit over her car seat well, but I set it on her lap which lasted a little bit. Aurelia had a toy car to drive on the colorful road. I didn’t really use it to give her snacks or coloring because it didn’t stay on, but she still got plenty of use out of it.
4. Amazon Fire Tablet
This is by far the best purchase I’ve made. We’re definitely an apple family, but I didn’t want to spend the money on an iPad. Since we got Prime this year I’ve been more and more impressed by Amazon’s products and customer service, so I decided to check out their tablet for media. So far I’ve been impressed! At $50 (cheaper if you order on a sale day) it won’t break the bank. Since we already have Prime it was easy to download a few good movies that will play without WIFI for long car trips. It’s got a lot of toddler-friendly features, free apps and I also use it as a kindle to store some books.
I wasn’t gonna add this, because it’s not specifically for the car, but then I remembered how much we used it and how awesome it’s beem! We started using this hydration pack as a diaper bag and I love it. Even when it’s filled to the max with water, it can fit a pack of wipes, 2 diapers and a couple snacks in the front pocket.
It was great for our trip because there were no stupid, leaky sippy-cups involved. Aurelia could have water anytime she wants, and when we filled it with ice water it stayed cold for hours. We rigged it so she could reach the nozzle in the car and we were good to go! It is great to take on walks as well. It’s small enough for her to carry but the straps adjust so I can carry it too. I also love that it’s 1.5 liters because that’s plenty for both of us to drink and I don’t have to lug around a water bottle.
There you have it, some must-haves that helped our trip go faster. Obviously, we also packed lots of snacks too! Fruit/veggies puree pouches are still a favorite, and graham crackers. What are some things you make sure to take on long road trip for your toddler?