Anyone who has travelled in a car with a cranky baby knows how frustrating, distracting and downright emotionally exhausting it can be. Sure, they may be safely strapped into their car seat, but long car trips can drive even the most pleasant baby into a crying, whining meltdown. Keeping an arsenal of mommy-approved car seat games at the ready can keep your little one happy and help you all enjoy the ride.
You can turn songs into fun, interactive car seat games, states KidsHealth. Your tiny traveler will enjoy singing along to children's music or nursery rhymes. If you're not the driver, sing songs complete with hand motions: think of "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" or "Where is Thumbkin?" Older children can have fun singing the alphabet song, in rounds to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," or even by listening to your music -- with age-appropriate lyrics, of course.
A dropped toy can lead to a screaming child, which makes an attachable or linked item a handy travel choice. Babies can play games with toys that attach directly to the car seat, especially with those that can double as teethers. For toddlers and preschoolers, choose games and activities with "sticking" power, such as felt boards or Colorforms, or even a small cookie sheet with magnetic letters.
Drawing Games and Activities
For fun, mess-free games that toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy, WhattoExpect.com suggests you bring along magnetic drawing toys. A classic is "Wooly Willy," where you use a magnetic wand to give a bald Willy hair, or a drawing mat that uses a water-based pen instead of ink. With older toddlers and preschoolers, you can even use these toys to practice letters or spelling, play tic-tac-toe, or just simply doodle.
Road trips are a perfect opportunity for toddlers and preschoolers to learn and explore, states PBS Parents. Preschoolers can have fun with "The Alphabet Game," where you pick a category such as animals or foods and take turns thinking of a word that starts with each letter in the alphabet. Younger children can practice letter recognition by finding specific letters on billboards, signs, or license plates.