Sometimes even riding to the grocery store is a hassle with these two! How would I ever manage a 14 hour car ride home to Michigan…by myself. You read that right. By myself, just one adult to two toddlers. I’m almost crying writing this. Okay that’s dramatic, but here’s the toys that helped me through (and links)!!
First off, some tips! If you have two kids, make SURE you get two of everything. No need to be fighting off jealous fits on the road.
Kids love surprises and gifts, I whipped out some old wrapping paper and made it special for them! They loved opening a “Special Prize”.
Magnetic Books – Kids can create their own scene with these magnets.
Stuck On Stories – I got a great deal on these at a consignment sale the week before our adventure. There are different matching games on each page
Lace and Trace Boards – how cool! These definitely keep the mind busy, but are easy enough for toddlers (even Porter who’s two).
Wipe Clean Books – We found a couple of these at the thrift store. Whether or not they are actually tracing the numbers and letters, this is an easy way to “color” in the car.
Tape Activity Books – this was interesting and I didn’t even know this existed, but leave it to Melissa and Doug. Cambri loves ripping the tape and matching it to the right location.
Sticker Scenes – I found a couple of these but we went with Melissa and Doug, because I’m a M&D snob. These stickers are actually reusable and the books come in a variety of designs.
Look and Find Books – these come in a bunch of varieties and work well for kids who are working on expanding their vocabulary. Cambri even likes the “original” Find Waldo books.
Water Wow Books – just add water and they can color away. Pages dry colorless so they can reuse over and over again. This was a REAL winner in our car!
Pencil Case with Mini Toys – has anyone noticed the new generation’s infatuation with mini toys?! Think: Hatchimals, mini characters, LOL Surprise goodies. Any of those will do. Just collect enough and put them in a pencil case. Toddlers love using their imagination to create lifelike scenarios. I also included magnet letters that spelled out their names, but you know, that’s just for bonus points.
Etch a Sketch – my pocket book said minis were the best idea (remember, I’m buying two of everything).
Any “Surprise Toy” – you know, the ones they watch being opened by ladies in Japan with fancy nails on YouTube: Kinder Eggs, LOL Surprise, Mashems or Fashems, Blind Bags, Hatchimals, the like. Bonus points if the original container can be put back together and they can open them repeatedly!
Easter Eggs – kind of like the surprise toys, only cheaper. Grab those Easter eggs out of storage and stuff them with all their mini figurines! You could even do candy, stickers, tattoos, the kids just want to open things!
Tangle Fidget Toy – I found this nifty thing next to the etch a sketch. It seems to encourage thoughtful play and engineering skills, but mostly it keeps them occupied for at least 5 minutes.
Any Character Toys – she prefers princesses or Barbies and he prefers superheroes or dinosaurs, but they could use their imagination and make them interact all day (well this is a road trip, so maybe not).
Snacks – Spluge on the good ones, they will love it!
And for good measure, toss in a DVD player with a couple of their favorite movies. We also had a playlist of sing-along songs on YouTube to have “dance parties” in the car. If all else fails, bring your own noise cancelling headphones.