Car Trip Best Electronics/Toys for 5 Yr

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2005
Car Trip Best Electronics/Toys for 5 Yr
Fri, 11-07-2008 - 12:24pm

Our family is getting ready for a cross-country car trip. I am looking for advice on the best toys to keep a 5 year old occupied in the car. We have good old crayons/coloring books and movies but other than that.... do you have advice? I also have made some fun car BINGO cards.

- Does anyone have/use the LeapFrog Leapster for their 4-5 year old? Was considering this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Fri, 11-07-2008 - 3:26pm

We don't have the LeapFrog Leapster, so I don't know anything about it. Some other ideas:

* Pipe cleaners

* Stickers

* Crayola's Model Magic clay (it isn't messy; it's a kind of dry-ish, foam-like material that can be molded)

* Music to sing along with, esp lively songs; music DVDs are also good, but they don't seem to provide the same change from DVDs as music with no pictures.

* Treats that take a long time to eat and/or can be played with (mini M&Ms, raisins, HandiSnak cheese-n-crackers w/ the red stick to spread the cheese, etc). You could mix pretzel sticks, mini marshmallows and raisins, and let your dd build herself a snack.

* Magnetic storybook tins (I've seen them at Walmart for about $6). You create your own stories by moving the magnetic characters around.

* My dd has Hooked On Phonics' Touch Screen Learner I'd initially read good reviews about it so got it for my dd. I wasn't initially impressed, but now that we're more familiar with its quirks (for one thing, it's geared to work at a really fast pace), my dd likes it well enough. I esp like that it's compact.

* My dd also has this Dora handheld game It's a bit on the easy side, but she likes it and it's compact.

* Sewing with a plastic needle, yarn, and that over-sized plastic cross-stitch form thingy (ha-ha, I'm so bad with crafts I don't know what it's called -- I've seen it in the crafts section of Walmart)

* Activity pads or workbooks

* $1 store toys

* Mini flashlight or glo-sticks for when you're driving in the dark

* Information sheets about each state you're traveling through (picture of shape of state, picture of state flag, picture of state animal, state plant, how many hours to drive across it, etc)

* You can also play brain games:
---look for all the ABCs on road signs or car tags,
---play 20-questions,
---play "hodge podge" where you pre-determine some items to locate (semi-truck, water tower, horse, etc), and the person who finds the most wins.

That's all I can think of for now. Have a great time!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2008
Fri, 11-07-2008 - 10:02pm
We have a Leapster for our ds.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 11-09-2008 - 12:19pm

If it is a truly long car trip get the Fisher Price kid cd player. You will get tired of the kids songs and that will allow your child to listen to music while you listen to your own radio/music. A headset designed for children works much better than those designed for adults. The adult ones drive Lindsay crazy. Headsets are great because then you can talk and they can hear their music or movies.

Lindsay has the Leapster and she likes certain games and others she could do without.

When we drove to Denver Co, from California I put together a car bag for my then 4.5 yo to have in the car. It included color books, plain paper, crayons, colored pencils and regular pencils. I included some small toys. He actually had a gameboy so I packed that. I got two games that I wrapped up for giving on the road. Philip was missing some fun days at his preschool so I packed some stuff so we could have our own version. Like one of the days he was missing was a water play day that was Haiwaian themed. I packed leis and fancy umbrella straws and pulled them out at lunch time and even got dh to wear one of his haiwaain shirts. Another day was an animal safari day so I wrapped one of those tubes with the plastic animals and a book about animals. I gave him binoculars to use and we had animal crackers for snack. I got some small cars/trains and wrapped them up for surprise gifts along the trip. We made lots of stops to look at the scenery (or lack there of it in some areas). I also brought games so we could play them when we stopped and have something to do during our week in Colorado when we weren't doing the family wedding stuff or sightseeing.

We made it a point to do something active after we stopped so that both kids could get some of their energy out before bedtime. It was hard. because we were both tired from driving and just wanted to sleep. But it was worth it to force ourselves to go for a walk, go swimming, play some games, etc. The kids went to sleep faster, slept better so we were able to as well.