I've found some things that really work to keep him (and us!) happy on the long drives and I thought I'd share them today for anyone else who finds themselves in the car with their little ones for long periods of time.
1. Remember to pack your child's favourite cuddly toy/comforter
This is the first thing I pack for the boys when we get in the car. Usually they'll end up falling asleep on the drive and comforters/cuddly toys are perfect for calming them, snuggling up to and acting as a pillow - in Tyler Lee's case anyway! After all, these are the boys 'best friends' at the moment and who wouldn't want their best friend coming along for the ride?
2. Pack some snacks and drinks
Usually as we're driving along I'm hit with a bombardment of "I'm hungry!" and "I'm thirsty" and instead of stopping every time to get something in the shop, I make sure I have a bag packed with snacks that can easily be eaten in the car (with minimal mess!) and a drink that'll fit in the cup holder of his car seat. I always pack flavoured rice cakes, fruit sticks, carrot cake bars and little apple biscuits.
*Top tip* If you're worried about the mess your kids might make in the car while eating, pop a large towel under their car seats along the back seat. This will collect all the crumbs and you can just take it out once your home, thus saving your car from all the mess.
3. Download their favourite cartoons/tv shows onto the tablet/Ipad
This is something I also do for plane journeys. I just download some of Tyler Lee's favourite cartoons onto the tablet - the longer the episodes the better and let him watch as we're traveling. He may get bored after awhile, so it's a good idea to have some different cartoon choices, but it's a good way of keeping him entertained as we drive.
4. Play a good old fashioned game of eye-spy
This was favourite car game as a child and one my Dad and I used play a lot on our car journeys together - long before the age of Ipads, etc! This is a good one for all the family to get involved in and in my experience it can all get quite competitive, but that just adds to the fun. I'm still the eye-spy champion in our family!
5. Put together a travel pack
This is such a lovely and rather thoughtful idea and one that's ideal for entertaining little ones when they're traveling. Tyler Lee was recently gifted with a fab travel suitcase from the lovely people at icarhireinsurance.com - an essential website to look up if you're planning on hiring a car abroad and don't want to pay any excess in case of an accident while traveling.
They put together a lovely cardboard suitcase full of goodies for Tyler Lee and the mix of things was actually perfect for entertaining him in the car. The case included a Tamagotchi - when I posted a picture of this on my Instagram and Facebook all the parents wanted one, a real case of childhood nostalgia for us all! It also included a space sticker activity book, a blow up pillow, markers for colouring in the suitcase itself, a disposable camera (I loved this addition!), a sun shade and a bubble wand and a 'games to play in the car' booklet - this was a lovely addition to the suitcase.
Putting together a pack like this, full of different things to keep your child entertained and happy on the drive is a great thing to do and it's quite exciting for them to have something special to open while traveling.
6. Sit in the back of the car with your child for awhile if you can
This can be hard to do if you have more than one car seat in the back, but if you can sit in the back of the car on a road trip, even if it's just for half an hour, then it can really help to keep the little ones happy. They'll find it such a novelty to have mum or dad riding along in the back with them and it's also a good way of playing some games or having storytime with them whilst traveling too.
*Tyler Lee was very kindly gift with the travel suitcase from icarhireinsurance.com, however, as always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.