Do you have a trip coming up soon?  Then this post is for you!  This week’s question came from one of our writers, Ambre French, who asked… 

“What are your tricks/ tips for keeping your baby or kiddies busy/quiet/happy during a long trip?”

Here are some of our writers’ responses …

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:
“Little bits of food in tight spaces work well – add bits of cheese to a packet of raisins for example. It takes them a bit longer to get the things out, but they’re motivated because it’s food!

We also play car-cricket, where each type of vehicle has a value and a truck or trailer means it’s the next person’s turn. Sometimes I read a chapter book in installments.”

Tara B. of Washington State, USA writes:
“I find it is not so much the stuff (books/toys) as it’s the way I offer it over the trip. While I do try to get something new or special for a particularly long flight or car ride, I find I can get by with pulling out older books, toys, or CDs that we haven’t heard in awhile and slowly revealing them as we go. The key is not giving up the best stuff too early. I wait to almost meltdown phase (because on a long journey, it’s inevitable), and then I bring out the super cool book with 50 flaps or new music CD. It buys more time and turns things around. If there is room, I also like to do a craft on the way (“let’s draw a picture for Grandma,” etc.). Lastly, to fill in the gaps in between, you can’t beat the old standby games of Eye Spy & 20 Questions. They work everywhere!”

Asta Burrows of Norway writes:
“If in the car we put music on – that works sometimes. If in a plane we just have to keep entertaining him, walking up and down the aisle with him, or as a last resort we give him a snack…”

Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA writes:
“Comfort (blankies, soft neck pillows, special animal or doll, snacks and juice), entertainment (DVDs, books, cars, dolls, music) and breaks (playing at a McDonald’s indoor play gym, running in the grass, stretching legs, potty)….that is what gets us through any long trip. We just got off a 10 hour car ride successfully!!”

Valerie Evans of Pennsylvania, USA writes:
“When my son was younger, we brought play dough, crayons, coloring books and picture books along for long rides or plane trips. We later bought a portable DVD player and that really helped out a lot. Now that he is older, I bring along puzzle and mind game books that we do together. However, he also likes to read independently. While he used to complain that he got car sick when he read, my doctor suggested buying these bands with a little magnet attached to them that you put around each wrist. I thought the idea was crazy, but it actually works! You can buy these bands at most pharmacies.”

Kyla P’an of Massachusetts, USA writes:
“I just got back from an 8-hour, solo plane trip with a 5 and 2 yo. I bought and wrapped in tissue paper 4 “gifts” under $5. In addition, I packed coloring books, markers, watercolors and stickers. As a last resort, I had a few DVDs.

Once the preliminary activities lost appeal, I let each kid open a “gift.” The most popular item, by far, were Wiki Stix, colored, wax-covered twine that can bend and stick and loop and twist (they didn’t loose their appeal for the entire vacation). Also, Silly Puddy was pretty popular. We never even made it to the DVDs.

Last but not least, especially on planes, I try and remember to pack a few Dum Dum lollipops (smallest ones I know of). These have saved my arse (and the sanity of fellow passengers) during ear popping ascents and descents.”

Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“I visit the $1 bins at Target before any trip – there are sure to be goodies in there to keep my 4 year old entertained.  An activity book and a DVD player are also essential.”

What about other parents out there…how do you keep your child(ren) entertained on long trips? 

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers?  If so, email us at to see what they have to say.

Come back on Sunday to see where our stories will take you next week!

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit to Andrew Scott This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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