With many of you traveling this weekend and summer around the corner, many families will hit the road in their cars this year. With my parents living 3 hours away from us, my kids are somewhat used to a road trip. I have a few toys that we keep in the car, so on these trips, even though the toys aren’t new and shiny, they are hardly played with, so the kids are excited. Here are a few of our favorite items for the car:
1. A doodle board - I started out buying cheaper, smaller versions, and they broke. So, I splurged and got a nicer one. I love this Fisher Price one - it is travel sized, and is perfect to hold on small laps. To eliminate fighting, I got two. My kids draw pictures, practice writing letters, and their favorite is when I write letters/numbers/shapes for them to name.
2. vtech ABC text & go - I am not a huge fan of toys that make noise in the house. So, we keep them in the car. Both of my kids have this and I like it - it is interactive, has a few different letter and number games - words that start with each letter, guessing which letter comes at the beginning of a word, counting, etc.
3. A water bottle - I like the safe sporter water bottle - I love that it is stainless steel, it keeps drinks cold, and, a feature my kids love is the colorful silicon grip. We have had issues with other stainless steel cups and my kids not wanting to hold them because they were too cold. This cup was the perfect solution. I also like the wide mouth, so it is easy to add a regular ice cube if needed. And, because no one wants a spill in the car, the sport top is perfect!
4. Zutano blankets - My husband likes to have the a/c on high, so sometimes the kids get cold, or just like to cuddle with a blanket. So, I keep a blanket for each ready to go. I like the zutano ones because they are warm and thick, but aren’t too heavy and bulky. The fun patterns are hard to resist!
5. Lastly, a couple of books. Again, we have a stash of books that we keep in the car, so they are ‘new’ because they aren’t looked at every day, but I will also grab another 2-3 per kid on a topic or theme that they are into at the moment.
Where does all this stuff go? I looked into ‘car organizers’ and thought they were too expensive - a cheaper option was to purchase a cleaning caddy - it perfectly holds toys and books.
Erica Young has a MA in Early Childhood Education from New York University. She is currently a stay at home mom to a 4 year old pony loving ballerina and a 2 year old metrocard holding bus driver.