Entertaining Kids on the Way to the Campground

Growing up, I traveled out west with my family on trips every summer.  Riding in the back of our powder blue Pontiac, my sister and I played the car tag game and entertained ourselves for only so far before we were tattling about who was touching who.  There was a lot of "are we there yet?"  and "when can we stop at a hotel so we can swim in a pool?"  Let's face it, car trips can be hard.  Even with an iPad or some other electronics in hand, that only lasts so far.  Then what?

Our family travels quite a bit.  We make long trips to visit my husband's family in Indiana.  There are the long drives for camping trips.  And, there are the trips back and forth to the doctor that are 2 hours one way drives before coming home at the end of a long day of appointments.  I learned early on that entertaining a child in the backseat is survival.

Last year, I purchased a Kids Travel Tray Car Lap Desk.  This may be our best purchase to date.  This little tray works for snacks, playing with cars and playdough, drawing and more.  It can be wiped clean.  It is lightweight and has held up well.

I also think it is a good idea to purchase a little organizer to put on the back seat to store your child's things.  I have a little organizer that I purchased from Etsy with a gift card from a baby shower.  I use it to hold books, markers, paper, cars and more.  I usually give it a good clean out and organize before a long trip.

If you are looking for something different to stock your car with, try Mad Mattr.  This modeling sand like clay won't dry out.  I have had this in our car for months.  Our son looks forward to playing with it on his tray.  Since this is something different from what we have in our home, it is something to look forward to!

In the car, recommend using markers as opposed to crayons.  They won't melt in the summer heat.  Pick up a simple pack with the basic colors.  Don't buy the big pack with a ton of colors.  That is just a lot of stuff to end up rolling around under your seats and everywhere.  Think simple.  Add a pad of writing paper, and you are good to go!  Crayola Broad Point Washable Markers - Pack of 2 (58-7808-2Pack)

Anything else you add is a bonus.  Throw in a few small books.  Toy cars or a stuffed animal can be fun.  Keep these things solely in your car, and your child will always have something to look forward to in the car.

Sure, you can still play the license plate game and other childhood favorites.  You could even pack some cards to play.  But whatever you do, limit electronics and allow your child to be creative in the car and not just glued to a device.

If you are looking for ideas to entertain your kids at the campground, visit my post about campground activities.  I also have a Pinterest Board devoted to Camping with Kids.  Enjoy the ride as you hit the open road and embrace that time you have in the car with your little ones.  This is the precious time that I wish I had more of.  Until next time...

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