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how do you entertain a 3.6yo on a 5 hour car journey?

(32 Posts)
MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 15:09:07

dp and ds1 need to take a 5 hour car journey together. there will be breaks, but ds1 will be in the back seat, no one else in the car (apart from dp obviously) and we are worried about him getting bored/distracting dp. I am proposing to get him a leapster explorer which would be just for occasional long journeys, dp is opposed.

how would you keep a 3.6yo boy entertained for such a long time? he normally needs a few hours of running/jumping/active time every day to stay pleasant.

bamboobutton Mon 25-Jul-11 15:12:36

a headrest dvd player.

and frequent stops.

GooseyLoosey Mon 25-Jul-11 15:16:51

We used to do this kind of journey near bed time - so say start at 6.00pm. Tea in car. Story on CD in car. (Hopefully) fall asleep in car until reach destination.

noyouhavehadawee Mon 25-Jul-11 15:18:14

Head rest dvd player coz if he looking down he more likely to chunder..... <very experienced in chundering in cars and avoidance>

stillstanding Mon 25-Jul-11 15:19:22

Mine would be fine with this, assuming at least one (preferably two ) stops. Bit of napping, bit of music on the cd, bit of chat. We've never had a problem with two hour stints. But i spose a dvd if you're desperate.

bamboobutton Mon 25-Jul-11 15:23:01

had a look at the leapster thing and i reckon it will end being a huge PITA on a long jouney. i predict:

frustrated tantrums

tantrums when it is dropped in the floor, which will happen about a zillion times leaving the front pasenger to contort their body into impossible positions to retrieve it from under the front seat.

and i also predict it being thrown at high velocity into the drivers head.

if at all possible do what gooeyloosey suggests

MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 15:25:35

good point re chundering nyhhaw!

hadn't thought of a dvd. headrest mounted though means he can't switch it on/off himself, I guess, so it's just on the whole time? he's never sat through a whole movie (they haven't made "octonauts - the movie" yet), but I suppose if strapped in...

my worry stillstanding is that he gets bored and starts complicated conversations at crucial driving moments. dp is not wonderful at navigation (even with satnav) and can get flustered with roundabouts etc.

MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 15:27:26

and another good point re dropping on the floor! there will only be dp (driving) and ds1 in car, so no one to pick it up.

ok, leapster definitely out. dp also will not drive that far at night, so late departure is out too. starting to look at dvd players... they're not cheap are they?!

thehairybabysmum Mon 25-Jul-11 15:33:25

We do these regularly. With one (sometimes two) stops, it is fine. Lots of snacks, books for them to look at, chat, eye spy. counting diggers etc etc.

They fall asleep generally. Agree that leaving at bedtime is the best bet. We mostly do this and it generally works a treat.

DVD players dont work form what i have heard, they get just as bored of watching it, plus how would your DP change it after an hour or length of film/programme?

Leapster bad idea as will be dropped/thrown.

bamboobutton Mon 25-Jul-11 15:33:33

you can get a headrest dvd player for about £90ish on amazon

MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 15:55:58

£90 is not cheap grin

ok, going to have to accept no electronic solution and find instead a bunch of car books and toys.

Milliways Mon 25-Jul-11 16:07:22

Ours would listen to Audio books at that age - Horrid Henry, Sophie etc (played for older child but younger one listened!).

Singing along to nursery rhyme tapes / childrens CDs as well (awful for adults, but kills an hour).

"First person to see" game? (Red car, tree, dog etc)

Good luck!

noyouhavehadawee Mon 25-Jul-11 16:12:11

ours was about £40 twin one as well on ebay - we intended to sell it back on ebay afterwards but kept it.

chocolateyclur Mon 25-Jul-11 16:17:19

I have to do 2 x 5hr journeys once a month with 3.2 year old son so he can see his Dad. I was pleasantly surprised by how well he copes. He doesn't often sleep (unfortunately) - but I do bribe ("if you're a good boy til we stop we'll get a milky bar at the services...". I do give him comics, and his drawing pad, but to be honest it depends on his frame of mind at the time - if he's being a bit arsey then they generally get "accidentally dropped" and cause more arguments and frustration. Favourite CDs, keeping an eye out for animals etc all seem to work better.

And when I have more money I'll be investing in one of those DVD headrest thingies - despite always saying I never would!

bamboobutton Mon 25-Jul-11 16:18:27

grin it was the cheapest we found outside ebay.

we don't trust ebay for electronic items anymore.

CinnabarRed Mon 25-Jul-11 16:23:25

Asda do a headrest DVD thing for about £60. Worth every penny.

activate Mon 25-Jul-11 16:26:30

I wouldn't worry about it

Driving is soporophic and he will either chill out or sleep - in between a few songs, incar games like spotting a red car etc, some snacks and some stops will be fine

it's good for them to not have to be entertained at all times tbh - I wouldn't set up expectations of constant entertainment required and an incar dvd is unneccessary - ours has lain in the cupboards for years

MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 19:47:08

oh thanks for all the suggestions. so barring spotting a dvd player cheap on ebay, our shopping list is:
- comics
- new audio CDs: horrid henry, sophie, any other suggestions?
- sticker book
- driving route that passes several fields of diggers and cows smile

TalkinPeace2 Mon 25-Jul-11 19:57:02

I did the run to the South of France when mine were 4 and 6
2 x six hour drive
I also did New York to New Hampshire (8 hours) when they were 4 and 2

Sticker books
crayons
sticker books
singalong CDs
eye spy books

NOTHING that stops them looking out the window : have never gone for any electronics - DD gets car sick

we also picked up sticker books en route - French or American ones were somehow so much better

and don't forget to play "yellow car" - helps keep everybody focused
and reading out daft road signs

MamaChocoholic Mon 25-Jul-11 20:02:29

thanks TP2. I didn't even know they did books for I spy!

how do you play "yellow car" (just look out for a yellow car maybe)?

TalkinPeace2 Mon 25-Jul-11 20:07:46

that's the one!
they are rare enough that its about one shout every ten minutes
yellow lorries are extra
yellow motorbikes for boys are ten points
etc etc !

and this is one of many
www.amazon.co.uk/I-Spy-Motorway-Michelin-Guides/dp/2067151355/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311620822&sr=8-1

beanandspud Mon 25-Jul-11 20:10:58

Homemade ISpy...

Cut and paste some pictures of things to look out for - vehicles, roadsigns, animals etc. onto a sheet of A4 with a box next to each to colour in. Get a cheap clipboard, attach a crayon with a piece of string so it doesn't get lost and have a prize for a complete sheet.

You can print off a few different ones for different times in the journey.

thehairybabysmum Mon 25-Jul-11 20:43:30

What activate says....being able to be bored is a valuble life skill IMO!!

Yellow car sounds good, will try that next time for mine, thanks!

JoanofStark Mon 25-Jul-11 20:47:17

DVD players work very well for ours, who are a bit younger than yours.

They can switch it on/off themselves as they have remote controls.

Far preferable to us all having to listen to nursery rhymes for a long journey.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 25-Jul-11 20:54:57

www.amazon.co.uk/Most-Amazing-Dinosaur-Songs-Various/dp/B00025ETTG/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1311623585&sr=1-1

Buena Vista Social Club, Scott Joplin, Rock n roll compilations
there is life beyond nursery rhymes

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