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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2003, 11:20 AM
hawaiiangirl96's Avatar
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HELP! Traveling with a 3 year old

Okay, gang. Here is the deal. I am really psyched that we are going on a road trip in a couple of weeks, but here is the kicker. My daughter has gone into "why and what" stage of curiousity. Meaning she is fullof questions and curiosity, and it has gone into overdrive in the past couple of weeks. We will be on the road for 2 days, stopping for one night. Now, of course, we will be making frequent stops and what not, but kind of activities can keep her entertained in the car besides coloring, puzzles, and the standard road trip staples. Has anyone made games for this age group that they found works? Please share!
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Old 06-07-2003, 02:31 PM
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We drove from Ohio to Disney World when my daughter was 4. I had read the idea of recording some of her favorite books on tape, so we did. I even had her grandparents read some of the books to her, and also just record some messages. It was an absolute trip-saver. She loved the stories (make sure to bring the books so your child can follow along. Have the reader ring a bell when it is time to turn the page) and never tired of listening, all the way down and back. We, on the other hand, did tire of listening, as we did not have a walkman set up and we used the car tape player. It was worth it.
My daughter continued to listen to her tapes at home for years. We still have them, and even though my daughter is now 18 and in college she still remembers and talks about the books on tape Grammy and Papa made for her.
susanna >^..^<
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Old 06-07-2003, 02:36 PM
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Been there, done that! Traveled with the kiddies a lot when they were toddlers and preschoolers!

Three year olds are hard - they can't read yet, so the "license plate game" is out! But they are pretty amenable to direction (unlike the twos and fours! LOL).

Make some "bingo" cards with pictures of things like:

various brand gas station logos
various fast food logos
common animals you can see from your car (cows, horses, etc)
different kinds of buildings
different kinds of vehicles (pickup trucks, sedans, coupes, vans, etc)

Then have her use a WASHABLE marker to check off items. When she gets a "BINGO" give her a treat - you decide what kind - could be a little toy, a pre-reader book, snack, etc.

Bring along some of her favorite "hand" toys to play with, too.

Check out "" for activities for that age group.

And be prepared to simply do a lot of "chatting" along the way - answering all the "why's" and "what's that's" that you can!

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Old 06-08-2003, 01:14 AM
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I can't be much help with games but here is something I can contribute as a way of a helpful tip....If you have never taken a long drive with your little one this may be something to keep in mind. I found out the hard way that my kids get car sick! One moment they were fine, the next minute we were pulling over and airing out the minivan and cleaning a mess...LOL You might want to give a bit of dramamine (there is a kid's one) before you start out just to be safe

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Old 06-08-2003, 12:06 PM
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I have a 4 year old & we drive my 14 yo step son every other week to meet his mom. This is about a 5 to 6 hour round trip w/ stops. I have several hand held games & things we have gotten over the last 2 years. A Leap Pond alphabet game, a Blues Clues press & guess game & planets game, a magna doodle type drawing board, etc. Make sure this type of item doesn't make noise that will grate on your nerves. Also, last Christmas we got a VCR in a bag. It hangs b/t the front seats. We play the eye spy game... I spy something green. At his age I usually let whatever he guesses be right, making it easier & more fun for him. Of course, picture books, snacks that aren't to messy. I guess that's all I can think of now.
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Old 06-09-2003, 06:42 AM
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Amusing a 3 year old

I kept a "busy box" in my car at all times while my children were small, as well as a back pack with a full change of both cool and warm clothing and extra underware and socks. The busy box consisted of a variety of small items, besides the note pad, pencils and crayons (coloring books limit creative potential, markers don't develop small muscle strength like pencils and crayons can) I also included picture books (books without words), so my children could read the stories to the adults. There is also a wonderful series of tapes by Rabbit Ears, which are stories read by famous actors, enjoyed by children and adults, my family's favorite was "The Fool and the Flying Ship" as read by Robin Williams. There are many wonderful educational toys available through stores like Imaginarium, Golden Apple, and Lakeshore here in California. Children, just past toddler age enjoy lacing cards, which you can purchase or make yourself using photos of animals from magazines, pasting them onto card stock or the centers of paper plates, cutting around the picture leaving 1/2", then placing holes with a hole punch every inch and lacing with long colored shoe laces. (Lacing builds small muscle cordination and prepares your child for a more positive experience when it comes to learning to tie their shoes). With the mini etch-a-scetches and magna doodles, you will still have plenty of room for small storage boxes to put cotton balls, glue sticks, popcicle sticks, colored yarn, pom-poms, glitter pens, and small lunch bags for your child to create paper bag puppets to entertain both themselves and you with. Keep in mind children under three, will put small items into their mouths and may choke! So, if you have younger children, opt out on the craft box, inside the busy box. You can get as fancy or as plain as you want to be either purchasing; giggly eyes, feathers etc... or filling your craft box with found items around the house; bottle caps, buttons etc... I found putting the crayons in bar soap travel containers kept them from melting all over everything else in the busy box. When in resturants with my children, my husband and I would empty our change out onto the table while waiting to order and recieve our meals. At first we identified the different coins for our children, and as they learned them, the children would identify the coins for us. Then we moved onto the value of the coins (five pennies equal one nickle, 10 pennies equal 2 nickles or 1 dime etc... Our children loved stacking coins) Another item which was always a huge hit of our children was a small photo album of their own in the busy box with pictures of themselves, the family and pets. When traveling on a long trip, I would freeze juice boxes and alternate them with refrigerated ones and water in a small cooler. The frozen boxes kept the refrigerator boxes cold and would be thawed out in time for the trip home. (Remember what goes in must come out! Stop often, and have your child use the rest room. If they tell you they don't need to use the rest room, ask them to "practice". Often once they are on the toilet the urge will follow. I noticed juice causes more restroom stops than water.) I packed healthy snacks; Cherrios, raisins, Rice Checks, Goldfish crackers, Kix, raw carrots, celery sticks, and apple slices. In the summer time, I had a large beach bag with sand castle building molds, spray bottles, shovels and pails, with towels in the car, for stopping at playgrounds and the beach. Klutz books also has many wonderful travel games and activities for children of all ages. My fondest memories of traveling when I was a child was paper dolls, they are very difficult to find these days. Children also enjoy having either a doll or a stuffed animal to cuddle with in their busy boxes for when they are tired. An activity I had for short walks to stretch our leggs during our stops was to use masking tape turned sticky side out as a "bracelet" and as my child found items (leaves, feathers, small rocks) they stuck them to their bracelet and then used them to decorate their craft projects. Good Luck with your trips! Remember you are making memories with your children.
"For I kept my heart from assenting to anything fearing to fall headlong but by hanging in suspense I was the worse killed" St. Augustine
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Old 06-09-2003, 07:54 AM
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shocking WOW!! I am lucky!!

WOW! I just realized how lucky I am to have such a low maintenance step son. He is 7 now but when he was 3 we drove to my parents in Cape Canaveral, FL. (1hr east of Orlando) from Dallas for Thanksgiving and to visit Disney! It is a 24 hour trip and we did not stop to sleep because we didn't want to waste the time. We only had a week and wanted to spend as much time as possible with family. SO dh and I drove straight thru.

Before the trip we put his US floor puzzle (these were huge puzzle pieces) together so he could see our route and learn the states between TX and FL. The we got a kiddy map so we could have it in the car. I am lucky in teh fact that he can't stay awake more than an hour in the car so he slept almost the whole way!!!! He would wake up, eat, color a little ask if we were in FL yet then back to sleep! We even have pictures of him falling sleep in his car seat with a crayon in his hand!!

We took toys he liked to play with, color books and crayons, a few books, pillow to prop him from getting a crik in his neck. He gets really hot so he traveled in his pj short and a tee with no socks or shoes. We did have slip on shoes for when we stopped. We did some research on each state and some locations we planned to take a pit stop. So we were able to tell him some things about where we were. He still talks about our trip and learned so much about the south east US. Now for a trip to somewhere else so he can learn some more states!!

He is now 7 but still put that puzzle together and says remember we stop for McDonalds in this state and we saw a dead racoon in this state, etc. It is quite funny how they remember.
Until we "meat" again, break an "egg"

TX Chef Fran
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Old 06-10-2003, 10:37 AM
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Traveling by car with little ones

Taveling by car isn't as bad as you are thinking it will be, especially if you do what we did and what my folks did before us. Travel at night as much as possible. Dress the kid(s) in their pajamas and they will soon be in dreamland. Let them wake up on their own if possible, or wake them for breakfast. We brought them into the restaurant in their pj's, and changed them afterwards. It really works out quite well, and you are accomplishing this without putting strain on their schedules, nor are you stressing the kiddies out too much. The closer you leave to their bedtime the better. You'll be surprised as to how nicely it works, and as an extra bonus your not traveling in the hot sun all day long. Enjoy! Stop in a hotel during the day if you must, rest and play in the pool for awhile, then rest a bit more and come the evening prepare for the remainder of your journey. We often made 13 hour car rides in one night's time without the need for a hotel at all. Most of all though rememeber that you are on vacation. Relax and enjoy this special time together. Come next year you will have a child willing and excited to travel.
Mary Kaye
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:15 PM
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traveling with kids

ALOT OF GOOD advice out there!!!!!!!!!!!! We took my son from NJ to Florida twice he is just now 8!!! and he did good!!! I went to the local thrift shops...or dollar stores...and loaded up on things he hasnt seen before!!!!! and gave him a bag of a little bit at a time....LOTS of snacks...maybe a few stops but pretty much all he needed in the car!!!!! they have that paper you draw on now that doesnt get on anything else!!! things like that!!!!HAVE A GREAT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!! and take your time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:p
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:40 AM
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We travelled across the country with our five children many times. As well as Magic slates, books, etc. we always packed skipping ropes. We stopped at city parks for meals. The skipping ropes helped to work off a lot of energy. We encouraged the children to run around. After some active play time, they were content to ride. We also found it better to have regular meals rather than snacks.
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