Stash travel distractions into the car's seat-back pockets
Here's how Christine's keeping her daughter entertained in the car:
My 18 month-old daughter is often quite tired and grumpy by the time I pick her up to take her home from child care. I often need to have something in the car to distract her. I have found that things clipped onto the car seat straps get in the way when putting her in and out. I have taken to slipping about 4 books in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of her. After she is clipped in, I offer her the books and she chooses one she wants to read. She loves turning pages, so I make sure they are books with real pages (rather than board books). She usually "reads" the book out loud for the rest of the trip. It has been a great sanity saver.
Those early toddler months were the trickiest for us when it came to keeping the peace in the car. The kids are old enough to want to play, but still novices when it comes to manual dexterity, and frustration tolerance...well we all know about how much of that a toddler can manage. Music and audiobooks helped us. Any more tips for keeping toddlers happy in the car with a minimum of parental involvement?