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I need some tips on occupying my 4yo dd on a longish car journey

(27 Posts)
Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 14:48:15

We're off on holiday in a couple of weeks and will be driving, not a huge journey but long enough for a 4yo.

I want to pack her up some bits and bobs to keep her busy during the trip but my mind is blank. All I can think of atm is a new colouring book and maybe some reading books for her to look at(she can't read)

I'm considering a portable dvd but tbh am not sure we'd use it apart from a few times a year so not sure it's worth the money.

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas of how to keep her from asking the dreaded 'are we there yet?' too often. I'm aware that this is a necessary question when driving any distancegrin


FAQ Sun 10-Aug-08 14:51:40

sweets, crisps, lollipops..........

well that's what I use anyhow (train/coaches rather than car) - not to everyone's taste though wink

ThatBigGermanPrison Sun 10-Aug-08 14:53:34

Dish out a Fruitella sweet for every 10 yellow cars ... keep her up until midnight the night before.

LadyPenelope Sun 10-Aug-08 14:56:00

Music/story cds
i-spy with sounds of first letters if she can do that. If not then a list of stuff to look for red car, fire engine, sheep, bus etc.

FAQ Sun 10-Aug-08 14:57:03

very relieved I wasn't the only one who said sweets grin

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 14:58:07

faq, i will be using them toogrin

TBGP, good idea about the spotting and treat thing, will do that. spreads the treats outwink keeping her up late doesn't work angry she is just incredibly stroppy the next day. I have no idea where she gets that from <<<<<looks around sheepishly>>>>>grin

Maybe we could just stop a few more times than we'd likehmm whenever there's a playground or something. Leave earlier and take a packed lunch???

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 14:58:49

i may even give her a fruit shoot and sausage roll wink

FAQ Sun 10-Aug-08 14:59:01

personally I'd make as few stops as possible - just makes the whole trip even longer.

Have done car journeys in the past (long ones) and we found that the fewer stops we made the easier it was.

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 14:59:58

oooo ladypenelope i could get her a cd player(they must be cheap nowhmm) and a few story cd's brilliant idea, thankssmile

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 15:02:01

i suppose FAQ, makes it longer for the kids.

We did the same trip last year in one go and it was just dd's boredom that made it feel like forever!

chocolatespiders Sun 10-Aug-08 15:03:37

drawing board >> forgotten what they are called.... one that you draw on and then wipe it away

ChairmumMiaow Sun 10-Aug-08 15:04:22

4yo (at the time) niece borrowed DH's ibook (old model) with a car charger for it and she and her 10yo sister watched DVDs as we drove around france (godsend on the couple of 8 hour driving days we did)

DontNeedAnything Sun 10-Aug-08 15:11:49

TBH a portable DVD is worth it's weight in gold if you can afford one.

We probably use ours for an hour at a time about 6 time s year tops. But I wouldn't be without it for the world.

broccolispears Sun 10-Aug-08 15:24:26

A cautionary tale: Last weekend we set off on a loooong car journey. I had a bag of distractions for dd; snacks, magazines, colouring, books, toys, games. It was the perfect recipe for car sickness. The poor lamb turned a blueish grey and vommed copiously for the rest of the journey necessitating many stops for changes of clothes and swilling out of the foot well, and boy was it fun wrestling an already nausious and pissed off 2-year-old back into a sicky car seat. We smelled delicious.

My top tip is CDs. Stories or songs or nursery rhymes, whatever she likes to listen to. We stuck them on the car player and she was amused all the way home. True, dp and I developed nervous twitches by the 184th time Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, but no sick! Yay!

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 15:53:22

chocspiders, I know what you mean. she has one of those but hasn't played with it in a while, i'll hide it now and get it out for the journeygrin

DNA, i might see if i can find a cheap enough dvd player. it may be handy for when we are there and getting ready etc

BS, thanks for the warning, sounds like you had fun! Will limit the treats especially as we're getting a new car tomorrow(new to us anyway) don't fancy mucking it out!!

thanks for the ideas, i'm definately going to find a cd player and story cd's for her. I have a few weeks so even have enough time to look in charity shops/at bootfairs for themsmile She can also play her high school musical cd on that to save dh's earswink

Will also get her a new colouring book(s) and sticker book. she's quite into sticker books atm.

I may even make up some sheets telling her to find ten red cars etc so she can keep her own tallygrinshe could stick a sticker on for each one she sees lol

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 10-Aug-08 20:29:39

Medised. grin

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 20:38:23



will pack a bottle just incasewink

pointydog Sun 10-Aug-08 20:45:58

How long is the journey?

iamdingdong Sun 10-Aug-08 20:51:03

my twin girls are 4 and have leapsters for in the car, which they love, on really long journeys (like driving to France from the NE) I also take along a 'sac magique' with stocking filler type things in to dish out every so often (and sweets, of course wink)

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 20:53:50

pointydog, it's around 3 hours. like i say not too long but long enough

iamdingdong, that's the sort of thing i was thinking, a bag full of tat things that she'll love to hide and dish out here and there to keep boredom in check(ish)!

iamdingdong Sun 10-Aug-08 20:56:20

quite - the cheaper and pinker the tat, the better, in the case of my 2! They also love CD stories - we have winnie the witch, the julia donaldson ones and they're just getting into some roald dahl, which is more bearable for us!

iamdingdong Sun 10-Aug-08 20:58:51

3 hours will fly by - we do 2 hours just to visit my parents, 4-5 for my brother or sister and hols always longer. I'd only stop once tbh in that time

Mummyjoon Sun 10-Aug-08 21:05:40

my dd is only two, so when we did a long journey driving through germany last summer we obviously timed it with sleeps but something that would work well for four yr old is to...

wrap up some surprises for the journey I chose old favourites and new books she loved the pass the parcel effect she unwrapped them in one go ,but your dd could unwrap a new layer (interspersed with sweets?) for car, road sign..whatever until reaching the prize.

Lift the flap books are always a great fav too

Load ipod with favourites and use lighter thingy to tune radio and listen to stories / songs already uploaded to go- can pre sort into lively / chilled etc..

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 21:06:45

you've met dd then iamdingdongwink she loves anything pink and sparklygrin

we did the same trip last year and didn't stop at all. dd was just very veyr bored. so i think if i can get some things to entertain her then it'll be fine.

am definately gonna get a cd player and cd stories. have been thinking of getting her some anyway as i loved them as a child. and she'll love her own cd player, in pink naturallywinkgrin

Eddas Sun 10-Aug-08 21:19:58

mummyjoon, i like the pass the parcel idea too. she'd like that.

you know i haven't though how i'm gonna entertain ds yet eitherblush but he is only 15 months so am hoping to get him to sleep for a lot of the journey

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