Friday, April 5, 2013

Boredom Busters for Toddlers While Traveling

We recently took a trip by car to Florida to visit family for Easter. It is about an eight hour drive for us. Now that Daniella is two, I really wanted to keep her as occupied as possible (i.e. I did not want her watching DVDs the whole ride!) Since we left at about 7:00 am, I knew there was a good chance that she would sleep for about 1.5-2 hours of the ride. (Luckily, we have discovered that one of the perks of homeschooling is that Brandon could bring schoolwork along on the ride!) My general thought process was watch a movie (most were about 45 minutes to an hour long), then choose a ticket. When she got bored with the ticket item (which ranged from about 15-45 minutes), then she watched another movie.

I found a really cute idea on Pinterest (original credit given - here is the Pin - Travel Ticket Game). I just had to try this with Daniella. So I prepared pink and purple tickets and to use it as a way to review her alphabet with her, I marked each one with a letter - A-J. Brandon would hold out the tickets for her to select one and for her to "cash it in", she had to tell me the letter that was on it so that I could dig through my bag of goodies for her. Some of the ideas that were in the bag -

A friend suggested a Look & Find book. Much easier said than done for a toddler. But I did find one at Toys R Us (Which excited me because I had some store credit to apply towards it!). Daniella has recently discovered Thomas the Train and loves him and his friends so I was super excited to find her a book with him in it. This is the Thomas and Friends Look & Find book that I bought. I love that this helps teach visual discrimination, following directions and it does it all in a playful way!

Then next item that I had in the bag was another idea that I found on Pinterest - I did not do all of these, but simply did the one that involved a can and straws, although I substituted pipe cleaners because I wanted the extras for another idea that I found on Pinterest that I did not make for this trip, but plan to make for a future trip. The pipe cleaners did need to be trimmed to fit inside the can (which is fine because the other idea has you cut up the pipe cleaners anyway!). I also did not use ALL of the 100+ pipe cleaners that came in the bag for about $1.25. VERY cheap, very cool toy that Daniella LOVED!

However, Daniella played with this toy right before her nap and when she got too tired to play anymore, she threw the can and this is what happened. (So then, Brandon played "Pick Up Sticks"! lol)

Other items in the bag included stickers and paper to apply them to, Minnie Mouse notepads and markers, her new "schoolwork" binder (more about that in a future blog post!), an alphabet pocket style book which has attached items that begin with each letter that get tucked in the corresponding pocket, interlocking building toys, a Minnie Mouse book, and more. All quiet activities that she could do by herself or with very little help.

Overall, Daniella loved the Travel Ticket Game. It was great fun for her to be surprised with an item instead of just reaching in a toy bag and digging around for something to play with. I think that was key to each item entertaining her for as long as it did.

We will be traveling again in a few weeks and I will definitely be doing this again! I will add the pipe cleaners bottle item for that trip!

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! I am a PT and recently attended a CEU course about the "Power of Play" which also had lots of fabulous ideas for homemade, accessible activities with kids. I will definitely keep these in mind for my little one once she is old enough!