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 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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Car Travel Activities for Babies
(Toddlers might like these too !)
by Laurel Smith (Road Trip Mom)

The good news is that babies looooove to sleep in the car.  The bad news is that when they want something, they want it NOW!  The best advice to follow is that as long as baby is sleeping, just keep driving and don't stop unless you have to. You'll need to stop every 2-3 hours to feed and change a baby, so try to plan accordingly to make the stops fun for your older children while you are taking care of baby. 

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Child's Portable Air Bed
This portable travel bed is wonderful for toddlers!

 Travel Games, Ideas and Tips for Babies:

Bubbles
Keep some bubbles in the non-spill container in the car, and blow some bubbles for baby when someone else is doing the driving. This calms a baby right down, and the big kids think it's pretty fun too. Tiny bubble containers sold for party favors are fun for this purpose.

Read a good Picture Book
Even very young babies will respond to a good book. You don't have to read the entire story word for word, but baby will enjoy hearing your voice as you point out objects in the pictures. The best books to hold their attention are books with photos of everyday objects, such as DK Counting Books, ABC Books, and especially pictures human faces.

Play Classical Music
Recent studies have indicated that classical music may help boost baby's intelligence. That remains to be seen, but babies and grownups can both enjoy a little Beethoven or Mozart now and then. You can even find classical music like Baby Mozart just for babies.

Peek-a-Boo
An all time classic baby game that's perfect for the car. Hide behind a book or your head rest and pop out while squealing "Peek-a-boo!" and watch baby's delight. Then cover baby's eyes for a moment and let her pop out to see you!
 


This Little Piggy
As long as you're stuck in the car, you may as well get some good toe-time in with your baby. Just in case you don't remember this one: Start with the big toe and say "This little piggy went to market...(next toe) this little piggy stayed home... this little piggy had roast beef... and this little piggy had none... and THIS little piggy (pinky toe) cried wee wee wee all the way home (as your fingers run up baby's leg for a quick tickle).  Is there really anyone out there reading this who DOESN'T know how to play this one?  :-)

Baby Music / Mother's Heartbeat on a CD
Get some tunes just for babies such as Happy Baby Sounds To Delight your baby.  This one also includes sleep sounds for babies and mother's heartbeat.

Sing to Baby
If possible, sit next to baby and make eye contact. Even if baby can't sing along, she will really enjoy your tunes, and nothing beats those old classics like Row your Boat, Rock A Bye Baby, or Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Or if you want to start baby on some classic car songs a little early, be sure to check out this printable page of car song lyrics!  Don't like to sing? Then try some lullaby CD's.
 
Car Seat Links
Fun toy links to keep baby busy in the car. Babies love these link toys because they easily attach to the car seat so they won't keep getting lost. They are also great to play and chew!
Car seat link toys

 
Car Seat Activity Center toys
An activity center attachs to the seat in front of your child or to the carseat. There are many kinds. For example, look at this one.  Great for travel, this soft play surface easily attaches to a car seat handle or the front seat of your car, within baby's reach. 

Where is Thumbkin
This is a little song game that you can try to get baby to play along by imitating you. Hide your hands behind your back and sing "Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?" then bring one thumb around pretend the thumb says "Here I am!" (now the other thumb), "Here I am!"  (now the thumbs are talking to each other) "How are you today sir?" "Very well I thank you".  Then sing "Run away" (Hide one thumb) "Run away" (hide the other thumb)  You can repeat this with all the fingers (Pointer, Tall Man, Ring Man, and Pinky)

Baby Mirror
A mirror set mounted on the back seat lets you safely see your infant while driving your car. Baby can also look at himself while riding in his rear-facing carseat and get a glimpse of you too. Try the baby backseat mirrors available at Amazon

Where is your nose?
An older baby can practice learning all the parts of the body. Ask baby to show you where they are starting with his nose. Then help him find his head, mouth, cheek, ear, chin, hand, foot, tummy, shoulder, neck, teeth, etc.

Babies love Puppets !
Have a puppet "talk" to your baby. Let the puppet nibble her toes, and hand her things. Babies love to hug puppets too.

Recommended:

Baby Einstein Puppets
Melissa and Doug brand Puppets

mouse puppet

Travel Tray
Child Travel Tray
I also found this travel tray called "Snack & Play" Travel Tray for car seats. It's a softer-sided version of the above travel tray, and it helps keep their things from sliding off the sides. Fits most car seats.

Be sure to check out the section on travel freebies. You can find some great free phone cards that are wonderful to use from any phone, free driving directions, lots of good magazines, travel catalogs, shopping catalogs, and books to read while on the road all for free.
 

For games for preschoolers and older children - Click here.
 
 

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Reader favorites:
Child Travel Tray
Car Seat Travel Tray

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Toddler Travel Bed
Kid's Travel Bed

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Laurel Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom.  Visit her website for more than 101 travel games and activities for kids at MomsMinivan.com

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Roadtrip Mom Recommends:
Ultimate Road Trip Games!
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It's loaded with printable car games!

Download it now!
   
 

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