So this isn’t going to be your typical “Top 10 Tips for Road-tripping with a Toddler” post where I tell you the best toys to bring in the car and encourage you to load your kid with snacks to keep them happy in the car…but bear with me.
We are going on a road trip tomorrow to a beach house. We will spend at minimum 4.5 hours in the car to get there. You know how many things I will do to entertain my kids in the car….. ZERO. I will do exactly zero things. Seriously. I can count on one hand the amount of toys I have given my kids to play with on car rides. They typically get a book or two and a small toy like a stuff animal, doll, match box car or small truck.
We don’t do a DVD player, we don’t do an iPad, we don’t even do toddler music.
Why? Because, I like to torture myself. No. Seriously, because I really feel like we, as parents (and as a society), are responsible for giving our kids plenty of opportunities to be bored. Being stuck in a carseat is boring AF. But my kids are so used to not being entertained in the car that they don’t even think twice. They sing, look for colors, ask us questions, point out trucks, sleep, they look out the window and daydream.
Now listen, I’m not saying throwing on a DVD if you’re driving a ridiculously long way is a bad idea–I just think we need to intentionally seek out opportunities that allow our kids to be bored–and the car is a great place to start.
It’s never too late to start letting your kids get bored…
- Limit the amount of toys they have access to in the car
- Try to keep toys to basic open ended things that don’t require batteries
- Books, books, books!
- Don’t provide toys for shorter trips