The Road Without Gadgets: What to occupy the child in the Car

child toys

Driving in the car can be terribly tiring for children. The easiest way to keep your child occupied is to hand them a smartphone and turn on their favorite game or cartoon. But sometimes they even bore children. And they can also make a child get seasick. For the same reason, reading while traveling is not suitable for everyone.

It is always fun to listen to music and podcasts, but it is important to have a few things in the arsenal that a child can play with themselves if they start to get cranky. The usual stuffed toys and dolls are kind of boring to play with on the road. But here are a few common things and toys that are sure to entertain the child.

1. Children’s books

Children’s books with bright pictures, lacing and inserts. With windows and manipulatives. Kids love to move their hands over the small pages, open the windows and look for hidden animals or favorite cartoon characters. Especially good if the book will be a lot of pages, so the child can look at it for as long as possible. So it will not bore him for a long time.

2. To-do list

If you have to travel around the city with many stops (need to stop at different stores, for example), make a list of all the points of the route. Write them down not in the notes on your phone, but in a normal notebook. And give the list to your child. Tell him or her that you trust him or her with a very important task: to tell you where to go next, and to mark the things he or she has done on the list.

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For children who are not yet reading so well, draw icons on the list to indicate things to do (fruit for the grocery store, a car for the car wash, and so on). This way there is less chance that the child will get cranky, because the success of the whole trip depends on him. And he won’t have a reason to ask every five minutes when you’re going home.

3. Flashcards

Buy or print cards with pictures of animals, foods, objects, numbers, letters and colors. Depends on what your child is currently learning at home. He can look at these cards and review the numbers, letters, and other things on the go.

Studying them on cards is more convenient than using books, especially on the road. If a child gets tired of looking at the cards, they can still find a use for them: they can be arranged in any order, crumpled up, and thrown around the car.

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4. Stickers

Stickers are sure to captivate your child for a long time, so he will not even notice how you get home. There are books to add stickers to fill in the gaps in the story. But many children like to just glue them in random order on a blank sheet of paper or make up their own stories. Some won’t want to limit themselves to a sheet and decide to decorate the car, so it’s better to choose reusable stickers.

5. Antistress toys

Bubbly balls, stretchy toys and balls with funny faces will like children more than the usual stuffed toys, because they are more exciting. They are also designed so that they can be crumpled for hours, not paying attention to anything around them.

6. Wallet

If you don’t prepare well for the trip, you’ll have to give your wallet and cards to your child. Make sure your child doesn’t have a phone handy, or else he’ll buy that paid app he’s been wanting to install for a long time.

Better take a separate wallet and stuff it with old discount cards. They do not seem interesting to you, but the child will enjoy going through these cards and look at the different patterns on them. And, of course, try to bend them and throw them around.

7. Magnets

Instead of a magnetic board, which is inconvenient to take in the car because of its size, you can use the lid from a tin can. You’ll also need, yes, you guessed it, magnets. Regular fridge magnets will do, and your child can just lay them out on the board in random order.

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If your child plays with magnetic letters or numbers at home, be sure to grab them. Or buy a magnetic puzzle. You can turn any regular puzzle into it. You will only need to fix the pieces of magnetic tape on the parts.

8. Backpack with surprises

Grab your child’s usual toys from home, but don’t tell him what you’re taking, and assemble a backpack with surprises. Child will enjoy digging through the backpack and find out what you took. Then he will be able to think of how to use these toys and things.

9. Toy Jar

Take a plastic jar with a lid and put some small toys in it. Different figurines, trinkets, even buttons and other little things will work. Fill all the remaining space in the jar with rice or hydrogel balls. Mix the contents of the jar and close it tightly. Just in case, you can secure the lid with glue, so the child won’t get these small toys and try to swallow them. But shaking the jar and looking at the objects in it will be interesting for him. Text by

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