In general, Veronika is an easy child to travel with in the car. She loves to “read” books to herself, or listen to music, or even just look out the window. But I also like finding new ways to keep her entertained in the back seat! Here are a few fun suggestions that will engage all of your toddler’s senses.
Taste & Smell: Make a snack necklace. Remember those candy necklaces from the penny candy store? This is like that, only healthier. Thread o-shaped cereal onto string or a shoelace, and knot into a necklace.
It was a little difficult for Veronika to understand the mechanics of biting off one cereal piece at a time, but once she figured it out, this was a big hit. And it’s way less messy than handing a bag filled with snacks into the back seat!
Sound: Ahead of time, enlist other family members to help make a voice recording on your phone. When you then play the sound in the car, your little one will look around for where the voice is coming from! Big brother Travis was my cohort to record a few knock-knock jokes. Then we recorded ourselves humming Darth Vader’s theme song. Poor Veronika looked so confused when we played the jokes, not understanding why Travis’s real mouth wasn’t moving. But she grinned when the song began!
Sight & Touch: For a whole new view of the world (literally!), make mini toddler binoculars. I cut empty toilet paper tubes a little shorter than actual length, and then hot glued two pieces together for each set of binoculars.
Cover the front of the tubes with a sheet of colored cellophane.
The world could be pink! Or purple! Or green!
These were the biggest hit of the day, and I could hear her little fingers crinkling along the smooth slippery cellophane with interest, too, adding an element of touch to the game.
Note: These cellophane sheets are great for changing up the “view” at home, too, You can have your toddler peer through just one color…
…or overlap two colors to see color mixing. Veronika likes to look from object to object. “Orange Baby!” she might say, or “Orange Mommy!” Be sure to supervise this game closely so cellophane doesn’t obstruct breathing.
After all that sensory play in the car, you might just get this:
Does your toddler have a favorite car game? Please share in the comments!