You know those moments where traffic is way worse than you expected and you don’t have a single toy or snack in your bag, and your toddler is starting to get pretty crabby there in the backseat?
I’ve been there. Today, actually. And many many times before that.
I try to avoid lots of errands and endless afternoons in the car with my little girls, but when it can’t be avoided, here are five ways I keep everyone happy while the car inches along.
- Tell a Story. My daughter LOVES hearing stories. My husband usually makes up his own, but I’m terrible at that, so I stick to retelling classics. Right now, she’s into Hansel and Gretel, but Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood are also favorites.
- Sing songs together. For some reason, singing together is way more engaging for my kids than just turning on a CD or the radio. I run through every nursery rhyme I can think of and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra awesome, I make up a song of my own or change the words in a familiar song.
- Color Spotting. My little girls are too young for the alphabet game, of course, but I can ask them to find colors out the window. A blue car? A black truck? A red sign? They can go for a long time!
- Call a Grandparent. Talk about a lifeline. My sweet mom is great about talking to my girls on the phone, singing them songs, asking them about their day, and telling them little stories.
- Animal Sounds. Like many toddlers, mine are really into animals, so they can go forever making animal sounds. I’ll make an animal sound and have them guess the animal for a while, then switch and tell them an animal and have THEM make the sound.