For my family, late summer means road trip time! We love going to new places and seeing new things before the kids are back to school and strict schedules. Today I’m sharing some of my best toddler road trip kit ideas to keep your little ones happy and settled through a long car ride.
Toddler Road Trip Kit Ideas
1. Diapers & Medical Supplies
This is the first thing that’s always packed in a travel bag for my little one. Diapers and wipes, and I suggest taking about 10 more than you think you’ll need. If your child has any medical issues, make sure to take any supplies they need or medication necessary. I also make sure to pack sunscreen, children’s pain reliever, bandaids, neosporin, and sanitizing wipes.
2. Extra Clothes
Always, always, always bring extra clothes if your child is 5 or under. Spills happens, accidents happen, and a fresh change of clothes can work miracles when a 2 year old upends a full water bottle on themselves.
3. Snacks and water
Never rely on being able to pick up snacks along the way, especially if your trip takes you through the mountains, desert, or countryside. Make sure to have water and your child’s favorite cup, along with an easy to eat snack. I recommend water as spilled juice or milk can quickly stink up a car, and can go bad quickly. I also like having travel snack containers that help prevent spilling. Also, if you have a car breakdown or end up in a bad traffic jam, this way you can keep to snack and mealtimes until the situation is resolved. A hungry toddler means everyone is unhappy.
Have a collection of fun activities ready to keep your little one entertained. Even a DVD player in the car can get old after a few hours, so make sure to have some favorite activities available. First thing that I love are color wonder markers and paper. I typically never use these, preferring to let my kids experience the mess that comes with creative art. However, I always bust these out for road trips because they won’t damage care seats or upholstery, and if the markers drop and roll uncapped, they don’t dry out for hours. I’ve left these uncapped for 6 hours before and not had them dry out. That’s a win in my book.
Some crafts and activities we have on Woo! Jr. Kids Activities are:
Mess-free finger painting project – you can even take it in the car!
Easy preschool shapes & colors game – make ahead out of felt!
Print our summer preschool worksheets – you can put them into sheet protectors & use dry erase markers to play with them over and over again!
I LOVE flashcards for road trips. They’re great for reinforcing already learned topics, and you can have older kids teach the little ones to keep everyone busy. We have printable colors flashcards, too!
Felt food! I like having primarily soft toys during road trips for safety reasons, as anything hard or heavy can become a dangerous projectile in a crash. I have several easy felt food tutorials and templates for you, like these felt food donuts and cake slice.
Small stuffed animals. I love the ones that double as security blankets, because large blankets often get too hot in the car. This way your little one has a stuffed animal and security blanket in one. I do recommend not bringing their absolute favorite stuffed animal with you. I’ve read thousands of stories of lost favorite friends that have upset a child to the point of ruining a trip.
Hand puppets! You toddler can make up their own play, be entertained by older siblings, or even by an adult who isn’t driving at the time.
And lastly, one of my very favorite toddler road trip kit idea. My secret weapon for an ultra grumpy toddler who has had quite enough, wants out of the car NOW, and you aren’t able to let them have a rest break just yet… I like to keep a small bag hidden up front with some small new toys in it. These don’t have to be big or expensive. My son loves the cars series, so I found some small cars characters on clearance for a few dollars. Pulling out a tiny new toy that’s especially for them can turn those tears around, and help you keep your sanity for the next hundred miles!
You might also like our Travel Games for Kids.
I hope all my favorite toddler road trip kit ideas help you in planning your next road trip. If you have any special tips or tricks of your own that you use to keep your little one occupied and happy, please share them with us in the comments down below!