If you have one or more kids, you would know that sometimes long car trips (or even short ones!) can be a challenge in terms of keeping your little ones entertained. When mine were babies, I had a stash of soft toys and rattles, but as they started to get older, they needed something that was exciting for more than 5 seconds. Here's my strategy...
I decided to pack books in the car instead, as I figured it would keep them entertained for longer. When I first came up with this idea, my children were around 8 months and 2.5 years old, and it is still working well nearly 18 months on.
I bought a tall basket for around $4 at the dollar store, which fit perfectly between the 2 car seats. It is actually really wedged in there so there is no chance it could move if we were to stop suddenly. I filled the basket with a few of the touch-and-feel board books and pop-up books that couldn't be easily damaged by my youngest.
I also put in a packet of Dr Seuss letter cards and a mini magna-doodle for a bit of creative drawing. At this age I find the magna-doodle works better than crayons & paper as my son would often drop the crayons or find the notebook tricky to balance on his knees, but it's definitely something I will try again later down the track.
I try to swap the choices around every few months so there is a variety and they don't get bored with the same books. My son will often select a favourite story to take with him ('The Very Cranky Bear' is his current fave - such a cute story!). Here's what the basket is filled with at the moment, some pop-ups, board books and longer picture books:
I have found this to be such a great solution for keeping the children entertained in the car. Even on long trips to the family beach-house (around 1.5 hours), we just take a new selection of books and they are happy [pretty much] the whole way. Audio books are another fantastic solution for keeping the kids entertained, and relatively quiet.