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How can I entertain my 1-year-old during a long car trip?
By Kathleen Alfano
Q: I am hoping for some suggestions on how to make a long car trip (18 hours) with my 1-year-old. What types of games, stories, and toys will keep him entertained?
Kelli Edmonton
A: I’m sure it’s going to be quite an adventure to take an 18-hour car trip with your 1-year-old son! Since your son is in the midst of accomplishing major physical milestones such as walking, running and jumping, he’ll need to be active after sitting for a couple of hours, so be sure to make frequent stops along the way for him to stretch and exercise his legs.

Of course, making sure your son’s car seat is safe and installed properly is of utmost importance. And dressing him in comfy clothes and bringing his favorite blanket and cuddly toy will help him feel more at home in his car seat. Fisher-Price has several other children’s products for the car that will help you create a comfortable environment for him as well as making things more convenient for you. These include sunshades for the windows, a car caddy to hang on the back of a front seat, a toy box with seat protector to place next to your child’s car seat, and a snack tray with a bottle/drink box holder that attaches to the car seat.

You asked about games, stories and toys for the trip. At your son’s age, games should be very simple, such as identifying what you see outside…“I see something red. What do you see?” Or, you can look for things of a certain color: “Let’s count how many blue cars we see.” Make up games as you go along. Many times it’s the spontaneous games you invent together that are the best and most memorable. Bring along some of your son’s favorite stories and songs on tapes or CDs because that will certainly make the trip more enjoyable for him. Take a few self-contained toys (so you don’t have lots of loose parts) for him to play with while in the car seat, and some books for him to look at. In addition, pack some surprises to give him along the way, such as a new toy, book, or favorite snack to add excitement during the trip.

I hope you have a terrific trip full of wonderful memories! Some of my favorite childhood memories are from long car trips we took as a family.