Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picnic Table Talk: On The Go With Toddlers

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My children do not like the car. Both screamed in the car as infants, and Emma threw up on every car ride until we switched her to a forward-facing car seat. As toddlers they tolerate the car as a necessary part of life, but they definitely don’t enjoy the ride. Luckily I’ve learned a few tricks to help us survive car trips, doctor’s office waiting rooms, and airplane rides:

  • Music: For toddlers, songs that have actions to do with their hands seem to work the best. We spend a lot of time listening to Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays and the Signing Time CDs for this reason.
  • Draw attention to their surroundings: Emma likes to count trees – very easy to do in Massachusetts! She also likes to look for certain stores whose logos she recognizes. Johnny likes to look for various construction vehicles, and both kids love looking for animals.
  • Bring car-safe food: I like the (expensive) freeze-dried yogurt melts, because I feel like they are virtually choke-proof. My kids love them, and it’s a treat they only get in the car.
  • Coloring books: I always keep crayons and a coloring book in my bag. Sometimes they color, sometimes they tell me what to color.
  • Surprises: I’ve wrapped small toys for kids to open on long plane and car rides. They enjoy unwrapping toys they already own, so you don’t even have to buy something new.

What are your best car/waiting room/airplane tips?

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