I blogged our trip to Boston/Cape Cod last week over here! In order to get there though, we had to drive 11 hours. Yes. 11 hours in an SUV with 2 toddlers yikes! I was so nervous about the trip as the twins are normally melting down after a 2 hour trip to visit my grandparents. It was so much less expensive for us to drive than fly though, so we were determined to make it work. 3 nights before the trip, I spent a good few hours on pinterest and other blogs looking for tips and tricks for keeping toddlers entertained during travel. I made myself a good little list and the next day, off to the dollar store I went!
I bought a package of small brown paper bags and bought them each little zippered bag! I told them about their special bags the night before the trip so this got them excited about the “long” car ride and all the fun “surprises” I had planned for them!
I basically planned out the whole trip with a different activity to introduce each hour, planning a park break/picnic at lunch hour and knowing they would nap for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. I kept their bags in the front with me and passed things back to them but with older children, they could probably be more in control.
Here’s the activities I packed:
- Melissa and Doug Water Wow – my friend Noelle lent these to us and I was so thankful because the twins LOVED them and thought they were actually “painting”. It’s basically a pen you fill with water and it has a brush on the end. The books can be used over and over again so by the time they finished the last page, they could go back to the start and do it again.
- Travel Scavenger Hunt – In this pack, was a travel scavenger hunt I found on pinterest (there are so many you can print off!) and I bought them fun spider man stickers from the dollar store to stick on each thing they found. They got it for the most part but there did end up being stickers in A LOT more places than just the boxes. haha.
- Treats – in a few bags, I packed a healthy snacks like fruit to go and yogurt raisins and a few of them had some actually candy like a lollipop or gummy bears (balance!!) Saved these bags for when they were starting to get bored and wrestless as a yummy treat would change their attitude around immediately!
- Finger puppets. I grabbed these from the dollar store as well and LOVED them. We told them to make up a story about our holiday and it was a riot.
- Good old Crayons and coloring book. We got them each new coloring books so they were excited about that!
- Movie and Popcorn – we borrowed a portable dvd player and this was a LIFE SAVER. After our picnic in the park around noon, we got back in the car for popcorn and a movie. It was a great wind-down activity and they thought this was SO cool to be able to do in the car. They both fell asleep shortly after and napped for a good couple hours.
- Tablets – we have an I-pad and another small tablet and we loaded them with new games before we left. I saved this for a last resort and when they woke up from their nap it was a great way to keep them entertained for the last stretch before we stopped for supper!
- Melissa and Doug Lace Toys (not pictured) – these are great for fine motor skills and the twins loved them!
- Small toys/books – we packed a couple bins to keep between their seats for easy access! Worked great.
Overall, the twins did INCREDIBLE!!! It totally payed off to plan ahead and be prepared. Before we left for the trip back, we stopped at Target to stock up on some more treats/new activities. They were a little more restless/grumpy on the way back but aren’t we all?! We just made a few more stops and park breaks.
Hope all you travelling families might find this post helpful for any long car trips you might have make this summer! And most of these activities totally work for a train or plane trip too! Happy travelling!!