how to keep 1 year old entertained on a long journey without using technology!!

(33 Posts)
cloudhands Thu 13-Dec-12 08:44:05

I just thought i would start this thread so anyone interested can share what worked for their kids. I think it's common knowledge that using technology in the under threes is just incredibly bad for their brain development, and my own anxious mummy brain wouldn't allow me to give my 1 year old an ipad even if it's just temporary.

i'd love to have a range of suggestions to choose from when we are travelling at xmas.

for me in car journeys singing worked in the past, when my DD was a bit younger, and a nice baby massage, to relax her when she was in her car seat.

also games that make her laugh, like throwing things on the floor and me getting annoyed.

She loves books so I'm sure a few of them will keep her amused for a little while.

anyone else have some good suggestions?

ChiefOwl Sat 15-Dec-12 22:20:43

Put the dc in their pj's and set off just before bedtime - its the only way! this is still my preference and my youngest is 5!

attheendoftheday Sat 15-Dec-12 22:17:55

The only way I can stand the 6 hour drive down to my mum's is to set off at 6pm with dd in her pyjamas. It is the only way!

MrsMerryMeeple Sat 15-Dec-12 15:48:05

Have nothing against giving DS the ipad for a few minutes, but don't have any way to attach it in the car, so have so far not given him high tech in the car.

We have a bag or basket full of toys that are safe for him to play with unsupervised, preferably new or have been hidden for a while. He keeps himself entertained for a bit, then if he starts fretting I drop a toy over to him. When he drops that and gets bored, the next one goes over.

Board books that are not so precious it matters if they get chewed on, rattles, plastic containers, duplo or little people figures, things with lids that can be put on or taken off, busy books, fabric toys with fasteners, links, anything from the toybox that fits the above description.

Each time we stop I collect all the toys from the floor/seat and restock the basket.

Snack pots also help. Rice cakes, baby biscuits, corn puffs etc.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sat 15-Dec-12 15:28:06

Faith in MN restoredwink

Hugz'n'kisses BFFs 4eva

SneakyBiscuitEater Sat 15-Dec-12 10:20:23

Thread about a thread?

mammmamia Sat 15-Dec-12 10:13:09

Do not agree at all with OP re technology as others have said, but try the travel Aquadoodle - good for car journeys.

hokeycakey Fri 14-Dec-12 23:36:03

Girlwiththemouseyhair you must not have an "anxious mummy brain" and to be honest I think you're better off without it

Don't sweat it and yes it was a bitchy op

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 14-Dec-12 23:06:19

Wow, passive aggressive response to my recent thread about iPad apps to use for a most likely 5mins out of an 11 hour plane journey?

Obviously I disagree that occasional use of "technology" rots their brains - my 1yr old occasionally sees tv on when her 4yo brother is watching but just wanders off.

We always do lengthy car journeys at bedtime too so they just sleep but I'm afraid a mother singing to her pfb for 11 hours on a transatlantic flight would drive me mental...

We do all the usual, wrap new toys/pieces of tat/snacks/games etc - the 4yo could quite happily do the whole flight with no technology but it's an overnight do if watching a film or two keeps him quiet for everyone else's comfort, tis no bad thing in my opinion.

So there

Misty9 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:46:33

Agree with pp, ds is now 15 months and we've done loads of 4-5hr car trips with him in the car seat, in the back....entertaining himself?! I guess he looks out the window, sleeps, plays with his feet etc. the kind of things baby's do smile we just stop every 2hrs or so and have to do this to swap drivers anyway (and refuel dh with caffeine).

Haven't tried stupid o'clock driving yet as last time we did the long trip we were both too knackered to drive Friday night so ended up leaving Saturday morning in the end! Won't do that again as far too much to come back the next day. As for technology...everything in moderation I say (especially at 4pm on a Friday when I'm tearing my hair out).

hokeycakey Fri 14-Dec-12 22:31:42

Agreed travel at night/ nap time it's the only way to do it

And seriously people are you really going to entertain a 1 year old in the car for a whole journey???? Give them books, magic slate toys etc but my advice would be let them be, they can look out the window/sing to themselves, kids really don't need constant entertainment from their parents.

And no I didn't know that technology is terribly bad for brain development must have missed that

If it gets really bad just pull over at next services and let them out for a bit

FireOverBethlehem Fri 14-Dec-12 13:30:28

Take two adults in the car - one in the front and the other in the back with DS if they aren't going to sleep. I entertained DC for 2 1/2 hours up the M5 with a plastic bowl and spoon because we'd hoped he'd sleep, piled his toys into the boot before setting off, and then he didn't.

I think it's a bit young for them to entertain themselves - my DS wouldn't have followed a film at that age.

Zimbah Fri 14-Dec-12 13:18:14

We got a portable DVD player for a long journey when DD1 was around 3 and it was bliss! Before that we did the travelling at night/early morning, different toys, CDs, endless endless endless singing/car spotting/I Spy etc etc until I was ready to tear my own ears off.

I don't think a DVD would keep a 1 year old entertained for long though, it's a difficult age for car journeys. Little toys (raid the charity shops) in a bag, small toys wrapped up so she can tear off the paper, lots of low-choke-risk snacks.

eagleray Thu 13-Dec-12 22:54:53

No useful advice here as DD not due til Jan, but the thread made me smile as brought back memories of my own childhood as every year my family would embark on a 1,000 mile round trip to visit grandparents in a Morris Marina. The only entertainment I can recall was playing I-spy, and toilet stops were deemed unnecessary - instead a potty was provided to use (lots of spillages and falling off potty when we went round a corner). And we were constantly sick...

Most memorable of these trips was one where just as we arrived at grandparents' house and my sister (in her excitement at the prospect of being able to get out of the car) chinned herself on the back of the driver's seat and nearly severed her tongue. She still has the scar now from where they stitched it back together shock

I plan to tell DD all about our adventures in the '70s if she ever asks for an ipad to play with in the car smile

DewDr0p Thu 13-Dec-12 22:50:37


And in the nicest possible way, get over yourself re the in car DVD player.

notnagging Thu 13-Dec-12 22:47:06

I would agree with travelling at bedtime

luckysocks Thu 13-Dec-12 22:05:06

Sorry, that wasn't very helpful, it just made me a bit angry !

For us, stickers, colouring, a small new toy, and like others have said, timing it around sleep as much as possible. And the iPhone. And chocolate buttons. bad mummy

luckysocks Thu 13-Dec-12 22:02:08

DS is fucked then. He LOVES technology and his problem solving capacity, fine motor control, number identification (I keep changing the password on my iPhone and he is undeterred) and his general ability to discover advanced functions and work out how to use them correctly blows my mind.

I also use it as a building block - for some reason he hadn't the slightest interest in letter recognition, for example, until I found an app for him. Now it's suddenly clicked and within a week he was drawing letters when colouring and could spell his name and wants to learn to spell other words too... it's the same principle as using a schema, I guess.

Obviously he's not allowed to spend all day glued to some device (which he happily would if I'd let him) but bad for brain development? I'm not sure I'd agree.

Watching with interest for good tips though, we've got another plane journey coming up soon!

NellyTheElephant Thu 13-Dec-12 21:36:08

There really isn't anything that will keep a 1 yo occupied during a long journey (iPad or otherwise). With all of my 3 when they were tiny we regularly (by which I mean every other w/e ) did 3 - 3.5hr journeys back and forth (complete nightmare really looking back, but no choice at the time). The only real option is to do your best to time the journey so that as much as possible coincides with sleeping. We always left either straight after lunch to catch the afternoon nap or at about 7pm (this was best) so they would fall asleep for the whole journey. We would do bath, milk and into PJs / dressing gowns then carry them up to bed when we arrived, they would usually stir and fuss a tiny bit on arrival before dropping straight off to sleep again.

When eldest was about 2.5 we did invest in DVD player that straps onto back of the headrests and that was a great success (for all of them, littler ones too, wished we had bought it when DD1 was 1 yo). It was a particularly useful distraction as the only thing I grabbed out of the car when sitting down a bank off the hard shoulder in the pouring rain next to the motorway on my own with 3 tinies waiting for the police after a blow out in the fast lane! Once they are slightly older story CDs are also v good but I can't imagine a 1 yo being that interested in them really.

fairylightsandtinsel Thu 13-Dec-12 13:52:44

you do realise a book is technology don't you? Its just OLDER technology, as is the wheel come to that! Sorry, being facetious, but I dod think you are going to find life increasingly if you take such an absolute approach to things

preemiemummy26 Thu 13-Dec-12 13:27:56

Also disagree with not allowing your child to experience technology before the age of 3... I'd rather give my daughter a DVD than crash the car trying to play games with her. Obviously your lucky enough to have another adult there to drive whilst you entertain your daughter with Stone Age techniques. Over exaggerating a bit there lol, as are you with your statement however,I do take books, snacks, colouring books and crayons etc. but also play nursery rhyme CDs, give her DVDs and my iPhone with age appropriate apps on it. Travelling at night also good smile x

Gigondas Thu 13-Dec-12 13:16:34

grin At twelve legged walk.

The only real option is stupid o clock travelling or someone next to child to sing / entertain but be prepared to stop a lot.

I also assume you will be refusing modern technology if you are in an accident cos of screaming child/distracted parent.

Posts like this get me angry- use your judgement. A bit of in the night garden or similar is hardly wiring your kid up to play cod 24/7 FFs.

TwelveLeggedWalk Thu 13-Dec-12 13:10:34

Well looking at the horse should keep them entertained for a while.

I assume you are travelling by horse and cart, given that pesky internal combustion engine technology is off limits.

BlueChampagne Thu 13-Dec-12 13:07:31

Totally agree about leaving at stupid o-clock. How long is the journey? CDs and a decent break every few hours.

mycatlikestwiglets Thu 13-Dec-12 09:33:54

Agree 100% with ISeeSmallPeople. We travel long distances regularly with 23mo DS and the only thing which keeps him settled during day time journeys is the in-car DVD player. His brain hasn't rotted yet. We also try to travel at night when possible - just get him ready for bed as usual and put him into the car seat instead of his cot. He usually stays settled all night and barely registers the transfer from car to bed once we've arrived.

What will work for you really depends on how long your journey is going to be - I personally can't imagine singing to my DS for the 4 hour journeys we do, but perhaps you have a wider repertoire.

ISeeSmallPeople Thu 13-Dec-12 09:24:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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