also known as “What I did to try and keep Elaine happy on a 12 hour car seat ride” by Andrea Hamilton
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple of new blogs with great ideas for teaching toddlers and keeping them busy. I discovered Busy Bags and Tot Books.
One blog, My Delicious Ambiguity, showed how to make Busy Bags. These Ziploc bags contain different activities that stimulate and teach your toddler, as well as keep them busy (you know, so you can fold the laundry or something). Many of the ideas were a little above Elaine, but I was able to modify some of them to be on her level. I put together sorting pom-poms into an ice cube tray, a fishing game, a shaker bottle, Elaine’s magnetic Fridge Farm, and some coloring materials.
The other blog is 1+1+1=1, and the mommy behind the blog has created many different Tot Books to teach toddlers and preschoolers things like shapes, counting, colors, and ABCs. She offers the material as free downloads so you can just print, laminate, and go. I made the Brown Bear, Brown Bear Tot Pack, the Farm Tot Pack, and the Princess Tot Book. I used my Mother’s Day cash to buy a laminating machine from Amazon and put it work right away!
I not only had teaching Elaine in mind as I worked on these projects, but I thought they would be excellent car ride activities for the looming road trip to North Carolina.
Here’s how it went…
This is how Elaine looked after coloring her Farm Tot Pack coloring book in the car. Of course, she preferred markers over crayons!
I introduced Elaine to dum-dums. It kept her quiet for a decent amount of time! I was thankful for the plastic bib Mom had just given me. When we arrived home I actually read that paper the pediatrician gave me at Elaine’s checkup. It says, “Candy and Lollipops should never be given.” Oops.
We did have to make a stop to let Elaine stretch her legs. we happened to be at the Cabella's exit, so we walked around the store. Elaine loved the fish and the “stuffed” animals!
The rest of the time we fed her, held her hand, prayed that she would sleep, and sometimes we just let her cry. That was our road trip!