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Entertaining toddler in car - tips please

(23 Posts)
daisy99divine Sun 03-Aug-08 01:43:19

Any tips for entertaining my 2 year old DS while we drive across all France (from Calais to Alps)

I know, he's very entertaining grin I was wondering what we could do to entertain him hmm

We've got nursery rhymes, drinks, snacks (but don't want him to get hyper) and hope he sleeps wink

he's done 4 hours before melt down before. This time we have at least 10 shock

thanks for any tips

merryandmad Sun 03-Aug-08 10:59:55

How about an in car dvd player? Ours cost about £70- but worth it as we have had 2 trips down to Kent to see MIL (about a 4 hour trip for us).
We had to trun it off after we stopped for toilet break as dd1 (3) hadn't gone back to sleep, but now she loves the idea of going to nannys because she can watch the telly in daddy's car.

JuneBugJen Sun 03-Aug-08 11:05:14

Merry is right. Just drove from Bristol to scotland without a peep due to works of 'Monsters inc'
If it makes you feel guilty, have 1 film then sing 'old mcdonald' 700 times!

moondog Sun 03-Aug-08 11:12:52

Anyone over 30 survived without in car entertainment. So can they. DVD players in cars are the pits. What about looking out of the window? hmm

ten10 Sun 03-Aug-08 11:14:48

I find my car dvd player invaluable
But also I have to have regular "run around" breaks, so i try and find somewhere with a playground and stop for a least an hour so that he can tire himself out.

Is it possible for you to do the journey over two days? as this is a long time for a toddler to be in the car.

JuneBugJen Sun 03-Aug-08 11:16:24

Used to do long journey 1 time a month with screaming 2 year old. Tried everything. And I mean everything!!

Several times it actually became dangerous when weather conditions bad. What would you rather have some mums do moondog? Have a safe long drive or be wrapped around a central reservation trying to point out cows to a howling child?
I only use it on journeys lasting 3 hours or more.

yawningmonster Sun 03-Aug-08 11:17:10

we often do long hauls with ds, now he is a little older we tend to leave him to it a bit more with a few games of eye spy, a map of where we are going to follow etc etc but when he was that age we had a wee stash of cheap treats from the two dollar shop. We would fire these in the back with him every hour or so and also made loads of stops for him to run off some steam which helped alot

moondog Sun 03-Aug-08 11:17:51

Ah,so do stats. show that accidents were higher pre in car dvd players?

JuneBugJen Sun 03-Aug-08 11:18:45

oops cant join in row anymore, need to tend to kids!

merryandmad Sun 03-Aug-08 11:22:16

Daisy, Is this during the day, or are you travelling at night?.
We also have an hour break in the journey- stop for something to eat and run round playground etc.
How about bubbles (a bit messy I know sorry- but these are in my desperation kit), etchersketcher (sp)- (board that you draw on and can wipe it clean),
hide and seek (from behind head guard) .........

merryandmad Sun 03-Aug-08 11:24:29

Moondog- sorry but 4+ hours in car, it helps to have a dvd player, no contest- that doesn't mean I plonk them in front of the tv every day though!

moondog Sun 03-Aug-08 11:28:29

Ididn't say it did mean that. hmm
My point isthat it is okay, nay, positively beneficial to be bored sometimes.

littleducks Sun 03-Aug-08 11:33:13

dh gives dd his phone which has episodes of charlie and lola recorded on, i dont really like but he has to drive and concentrate so i think occassionally as long as it isnt a habit is ok.

What about music, we have nursery rhymes, a tumble tots, songs from the jungle book (she hasnt even seen film but dh and i know the words!) and ITNG cds. The ITNG is good for her i think as it is the soundtrack to episodes so is likew children's radio plays

Childrens magazines, normally i think these are a waste of money but for journeys are good, get one with a free gift and lots of activites (but check if scissors etc. are required you pack them!)

Stickers- my mum bought dd a lovely workbook with stickers of objects (jar of jam, paintbrush etc) which you stuck over the drawn item in scenes, i havent found one as basic as this yet though as most seem to have olderthemes like letters. Ordinary stickers and paper will do

merryandmad Sun 03-Aug-08 11:36:38

my dad had my two girls (3 & 2) in the fits of giggles yesterday describing all the things that were in his sandwiches, taking a bite etc saying that tasted of worms, then another saying sausages etc- it kept them amused for 45 min. Could you imagine doing that for your picnic/ snacks in the car?
Altough dd2 didn't really join in with the suggestions (unlike dd1), she enjoyed and understood the game and kept taking bites out of her sandwich so my dad could tell her what they tasted like!
Sometimes the easiest things keep them distracted too

merryandmad Sun 03-Aug-08 11:38:41

Isn't Cbeebies on bbc radio 7 (digital radio)- would you be able to pick this up in France?

littleducks Sun 03-Aug-08 11:40:30

I agree children should get used to being bored and learn to entertain themslves, but i would probably practice this on shorter journeys or at home to encourage independent play and be a complete coward for the 10 hr plus driving on the wrong side of the road one!

Story telling, dd loves our invented series of 'poppy cat' stories, it started really basic, poppy cat woke up had weatabix for breakfast then got dressed and had a nap, now 'poppy cat' has more elabourate adventures normally doing whatever dd has done recently so feeding ducks, the funfair swimming etc. She normlly wants the story repeated and loves to add in details.

littleducks Sun 03-Aug-08 11:41:13

I dont think cbeebies radio would work there

daisy99divine Sun 03-Aug-08 23:19:27

Hallo and thanks for the tips smile

sorry to ignite a DVD or not discussion - sadly we are in a campervan so not much chance

Thinking of driving in part at night, to ease the journey and ideas of stickers etc are great

I think all the ideas basically boil down to
(1) be thoughtful
(2) try to change things
(3) let them stop and run around a lot
(4) if all else fail wheel in grandad with worm sandwiches grin
lol and thanks

if you see steam coming out of my ears in France next week, stop and <<<wave>>>


littledudesmummy Mon 04-Aug-08 11:23:07

We drive to Belgium and door-to-door the best we have made it in is 12 hours. We used to travel through the day but now with a nearly 3 year old we do it through the night so he just sleeps then entire time (except for the ferry of course). We leave at about 8pm getting to Belgium mid-morning the next day. It is a killer for us, obviously having next to no sleep, but can't imagine how much worse we'd feel with a whingeing, bored toddler frazzling our nerves. Luckily though, we stay with rellies so they can looked after LO for a bit while we get some shut-eye. Think it's a bit much to ask such little ones to entertain themselves - their imaginations are just forming at this age. May experiment with day travel as he gets older.

flipflopper Mon 04-Aug-08 16:28:15

DVD player essential you dont have to have it on the whole way but I dont see the problem with it when you are on such a long jouney
Gives you ear drums a break too

CaurnieBred Mon 04-Aug-08 16:43:58

We are only contemplating driving to the Alps next year because of the DVD player!

Just because we didn't have them when we were younger didn't make the journeys fun. My mum and dad now drive down from Scotland with my 8 year old cousin and they have one for that. They had too many years driving my sister and I around the country and they would have loved the technology to have been available back in the 1970/80s.

Too many summers of listening to "Bits 'n' Pieces" on crackly MW . . .

Springflower Mon 04-Aug-08 16:45:20

I dont see the problem either - there are lots of things that didnt exist when we were young but it doesnt mean that that situation was better. I think if there are things that make a long journey more bearable then why not use them?

2point4kids Mon 04-Aug-08 16:54:12

Just because you can get through 10 hours looking out of a window doesnt mean its pleasant!
Much nicer to be able to offer a 2 year old some pleasant distractions at least some of the time imo.

DVD player very good idea. I havent got one because we dont tend to do drives over about 3 hours, but I would get one in a shot for a longer journey.
Sticker book. Etchasketch. Picture books.
Perhaps a print out with lots of pictures on (a red car, a lorry, a bus etc) and get him to 'spot' each item?

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