Car Time

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Categories Toddlers, TravelTags

Like most families, we spend a LOT of time in the car. On a daily basis, we average 1-1.5 of driving time. A trip to the park (20 minutes both ways), grocery store (10 minutes), church (20 minutes) or the great-grandparents (25 minutes) means we have to drive everywhere we go. Nothing is within walking distance in our Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Like most moms, the HDYDI mom’s are always looking for new ways to keep the peace in the car. Personally, I am a bit of a pushover in the car. I simply can not drive well or concentrate when there is a lot of screaming going on directly behind my head. That said, I was eager to poll the other moms and pass along our suggestions to the army of mini-van-driving MoMs!

"Keep the snacks coming, and all our eardrums will be okay!"
"Keep the snacks coming, and all our eardrums will be okay!"

LauraC has a little storage bin that fits between her car seats that houses various toys for her boys to play with. What she does not recommend in cars: Stickers, markers, two recorders that you
stupidly bought for an extended car trip and the boys now think should ALWAYS be played in the car!

For music, they really enjoy the Backyardigans CDs. Also, XM Radio plays an assortment of all kinds of kids’ songs. For long trips, all bets are off-whatever keeps them entertained.

"I may look happy now, but just wait 'til I drop my cup!!!"
"I may look happy now, but just wait 'til I drop my cup!!!"

Goddess in Progresshas the Curious George/Jack Johnson CD in her van, along with the Bare Naked Ladies kid cd and the Music Together CD. Also, she uses the auxiliary jack that plugs into her iPod as she has a kiddo playlist on there, too. And while she does have a DVD player in her van, she says “I have yet to use it. I refuse to, unless we find ourselves on a trip longer than an hour or two. Because I know, in the minds of young toddlers, if I do it once…. they’ll want Elmo or whatever on every trip to the grocery store. And I just want to avoid that battle for as long as possible. I also find that sometimes the only way to keep them awake in the car before nap time is to take “requests” for songs (usually Wheels on the Bus), or try to engage them in looking for cars/trucks/buses/dogs/colors, etc.

The magna doodle is a big hit with my kids right now, but I don’t use it in the car much, because mostly they just like me to draw animals for them. And clearly, I don’t want to struggle with drawing an ugly dog while driving. :-)”

Synchronized Sleeping.
Synchronized Sleeping.

My own CD player houses our Bare Naked Ladies “Snacktime” CD, which I think I like better than the kids. Maybe once they learn to count they will understand the humor of “7 8 9.” We also really like Junior’s Bedtime Songs by Veggie Tales. Unlike most Veggie Tales music, which can be rather jarring, this one is very soothing. Our other current favorites are the audio books by Eric Drachman. I think I have listened to “A Frog Thing,” and “Leo the Lightning Bug” 800 times. Yet they are so successful at entertaining our kids, that my husband ordered the other three book (they come with an audio cd read by the author) this week! We are anxiously awaiting their arrival.

On long car rides, we hand out comfort objects like they are candy!
On long car rides, we hand out comfort objects like they are candy!

If anyone has any car-entertainment suggestions or stories, please leave them in the comments section. And for heaven’s sake, if anyone know of a snack cup that would keep millions of bits of cereal from being spilled all over my van, please let me know!

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8 thoughts on “Car Time”

  1. “Raisins come from grapes, people come from apes, I come from Canada!.” I just can’t get over that Snacktime CD, the hub and I thoroughly enjoy it. Especially the Ninja Song! I can’t wait to see what everyone elses favs are….

  2. My daughters are all about Little People and received a Little People CD for their birthday. They INSIST on listening to it whenever we’re in the car. It’s nursery rhyme songs so they picked up on the lyrics pretty fast and love to sing along. Since they’ve seen the Little People DVDs that come with the Fisher Price toys they can also pick out the voices of their favorite characters. After I dropped them off at preschool last week I was half way home before I realized I a)still had the Little People CD playing and b)was singing along. I’m a huge Barenaked Ladies fan so I’ll have to check out Snacktime!

  3. Yeah, my kids don’t know yet that their music can be played in the car….

    We just do loveys and pacis—and often some commentary about what we’re seeing. Abigail’s new favorite is to watch for traffic lights and yell out the colors. Red! Red! ‘Top! ‘Top! (Stop! Stop!). Seth’s distressed I’m teaching her to be a backseat driver before she’s two. We also do a lot of watching for dogs.

  4. When researching for our 13 hour road trip with twins aged 15 months (at that time), I found a great website called which has great ideas for babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages….even for my husband! :)

  5. I play alot of different things. My kids are usually happy to just be going somewhere. (They are almost 3) We usually look for tractors (bulldozer types on the road) or flags. Lots here in Austin. I let my kids take 1 toy each on the ride. Other than that my kids are very good in the car. Although I do hate it when they have “Let’s see who can scream the loudest” contests. When we travel to Tulsa, I wouldn’t DARE leave the house without the DVD player. No way.

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