By Karla Mikkelson
Think back to the simpler days – life without a Nintendo DS, iPod or portable DVD player. Teaching kids to entertain themselves with a few small, quiet toys when they are toddlers is a skill they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives.
Here are some inexpensive tips to take the pain out of long car rides:
- Search for items out the window that start with each alphabet letter.
- Spy license plates from as many states as possible and find them on a U.S. map.
- Chat Pack or Brain Quest (portable kids’ question/answer decks).
- Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader (try the travel-sized electronic version.
- Travel-sized Connect Four, Battleship or Boggle games.
- Mini notebooks, washable markers, age-appropriate workbooks (try Mad Libs).
- Reading books.
- Hand-sized toys like Polly Pockets and action figures (store in zip-up pencil case).
- String for cats cradle, etc. or a friendship bracelet making kit.
THE TRAVEL BASKET
Having a handy supply of things along on every trip is crucial to keeping your family on budget, as well as keeping your kids happily entertained. Keep supplies in a basket or small plastic bin within your children’s reach.
Some basket “must-haves:”
- Wet wipe packets and tissues or napkins in a refillable Ziploc bag.
- Water bottle.
- Travel-sized toys, games, books, markers.
It’s also a good idea to keep a sick bag and change of clothes in the car. Think of it as insurance. One day you may be thankful you have it!