Are you going on vacation with your toddler this summer? We recently took a 3-hour road trip with Allison, and are getting ready to do another 8-hour trip. Anyone who has a toddler knows how short their attention spans are, and one wrong move could lead to a meltdown in a really cramped space. It’s not fun. I did my very best to make sure this didn’t happen by creating a toddler road trip survival kit. It was cheap, simple to make, and provided the entertainment we needed!
It’s filled with items I knew my toddler would enjoy, and I could just rotate the toys every so often throughout the trip so she wouldn’t get bored. Here’s what my kit consisted of; feel free to mix and match whatever you think your toddler likes best!
The first thing I used was this cleaning supply basket from the dollar store. It has 3 compartments with a convenient handle, and it was the perfect size for fitting everything I needed. Re-purposing items is awesome, and finding it cheap at the dollar store is even better!
Seriously, never go anywhere with your toddler without some kind of snack. Snacks are like the magic key to creating a happy toddler when things go wrong, so don’t forget them! Ideas include:
- Granola bars
- Veggie straws
You can also bring fresh items like string cheese and fruit, if you have a cooler nearby. I just think shelf-stable snacks are more convenient!
Imagination/Fine Motor Skill Toys
Allison likes to keep her hands busy, so I made sure to give her plenty of options. Here’s what was in her kit:
- Two books
- Colorforms re-usable stickers. These are the best! I got this Frozen one from the Dollar Tree.
- A plain notebook to put regular stickers in. The picture above shows a pen with the notebook; I made sure to take that away super fast, as she’s prone to drawing all over herself!
- A mess-free marker coloring book. If you want a clean road trip, get this book! These markers only work on the pages, it’s so beautiful.
I told Allison to pick three of her favorite smaller toys, and this is what she came up with. One of my old phones, a Little People horse, and a snap bracelet. Can your toddler come up with something as random as this? Three toys are just enough to keep her entertained without taking up too much space, and they fit right in the smaller hole of the basket.
We also included movies because, seriously, there’s no better way to capture a toddler’s attention for hours at a time. If you have a portable DVD player, I highly recommend bringing it to pull out when things get tough. Just make sure you bring movies that you can tolerate, too; otherwise it’s going to be a looooong trip.
This toddler road trip survival kit basket is coming with us on every single trip from now on! Allison liked having so many options and it was a real life-saver when she started to get bored. With a quick trip to the dollar store, you can make your own basket and save money and sanity on your next long car ride this summer. What other things would your toddler enjoy? Share in the comments and give us ideas!