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Tips for the drive to Disney with 2.5 year old...

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by BraythansMom, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. BraythansMom

    BraythansMom SAHM that loves making bows & going to Disney Worl

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    We are leaving for Disney in June and I am trying to find tips on things to bring or buy to help entertain my 2.5 year old son for two 10 hr stretches. I checked the forums and couldn't find anything current.

    We have a portable DVD player and have lots of DvDs he loves so I'm hoping that will help for some of it. He loves Mickey, Jake from the neverland pirates, Handy Manny...

    Is there anything you bought or took (or wish you had taken) that were great at making a happy kiddo?

    Any tips are much appreciated, thank you!
     
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  3. mommy-3

    mommy-3 Mouseketeer

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    We did that a couple years ago. We drove from northern Indiana to WDW. I will say, we left at 2:30PM and drove straight through the night. We pulled into ASSp at 7:30AM

    I would not allow the kids to start a movie right away, they had to find something else to keep them busy. A couple hours in we stopped to eat and potty and played some ball to get them moving. Then we stopped and potty. I had popped some popcornpopcorn:: and turned the movie on for them. They loved movie night in the van!

    I had a tote of snacks and a cooler for drinks. They could have a treat once an hour. Otherwise we would have been out before we got to Kentucky.

    My littlest one liked little characters to play with, stickers and paper, and pipe cleaners the best. :)
     
  4. Cobern

    Cobern DIS Veteran

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    I don't know how responsible your child is but I saw at Target some window markers. They say they come right off with soap and water (I am assuming windex). I debated for my almost 3 year old daughter, but she doesn't listen very well on drawing boundaries (hence sharpie on our wall). Also my 13 month old son would pitch a fit if sister had something he wanted.

    I also give my daughter my iPad, there is a jake app she loves on there and some other ones. We also talk about what we see out the windows, she naps some. Check the dollar bins at Target. My kids love just opening and closing things and putting stuff in containers. Maybe some pencil type cases and beads (if he isn't a chewer). My daughter could do that for like an hour. She also takes her Jake figurines and plays in her car set with them. She has a large one with dual cup holders and she has a blast!
     
  5. Mrs Green

    Mrs Green Mouseketeer

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    We've done several road trips with our now 4yo DD. Your child may entertain him/herself quite well for portions of the trip. Might even fall asleep! But my DD really wouldn't fall asleep if a movie was on, which made for some tired whiny moments. We would play games to find things outside the car. DD also loves stories daddy tells. Snacks are important of course. Coloring books, like those color wonder things work well in the car. Buy a few new things to surprise him/her with along the way for new distractions. Good luck with your drive; I hope it goes well!
     
  6. Freesia123

    Freesia123 DIS Veteran

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    Do a search for busy bags. You can make all kinds if little activities that can pass the time , from beading to Popsicle sticks with Velcro to coloured clothespin that you have to match or sequence. Very handy!
     
  7. Freesia123

    Freesia123 DIS Veteran

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    Stories on cd are also a huge hit with my girls!
     
  8. brhalstea

    brhalstea The Dismeister

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    We gave our 2 year old blank sheets of paper and about a thousand stickers! Could not believe how entertained it kept her!
     
  9. BraythansMom

    BraythansMom SAHM that loves making bows & going to Disney Worl

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    Amazing ideas everyone!! Thank you!!
     
  10. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    Both of ours used the draw and erase doodle boards like crazy for years.
     
  11. samacita

    samacita Mouseketeer

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    I second this idea. Magna Doodles are life savers on road trips!!!
     
  12. Claire&TheBoys

    Claire&TheBoys The Queen of the Castle!

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    My youngest liked having a cheap MP3 player with "his" songs on it - he'd sit there and listen for awhile before getting bored with it.

    I second the "magna-doodle" suggestion - get a decent one, though, not the cheapo ones - they don't work worth a flip.

    You can get a lap table that goes over his legs and draw roads and such on it and give him some new Matchbox cars.

    When my kids were little, I bought "shower organizer" type baskets that are meant for college kids toting to the dorm bathrooms and wrote their names on them. They could put whatever they wanted to play with in there and it kept the items fairly contained. These particular ones came from Target and had solid bottoms, were oval and had a handle across the middle.

    Our kids watch a lot of movies when we travel; the oldest gets a headache when he reads in the car and the youngest doesn't like reading enough yet to want to do it in the car. They play on their iPods and DS-es some, too, but a lot of movies get watched. Thank goodness for headphones!
     
  13. justthe6ofus

    justthe6ofus Earning My Ears

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    Pipe cleaners are a great idea! My 3-year old gets pretty antsy in the car and is best occupied by things he isn't normally allowed to do much - like play games on an old iPhone. :) We also have more learning-related games on a Leap Pad and a MobiGo (he has three older siblings and these are hand-me-down toys).

    My oldest two get very carsick if they try to read in the car (huge bummer) so we will watch a good amount of movies. I found DVD's of older 90's Disney Afternoon cartoons (DuckTales, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers) for about $9 a season on Amazon. I've bought those and will hide them until we go. Then it's brand new but still Disney-related! (I will be shunning all non-Disney music and movies while on vacation, ha.)

    Things that take a long time to eat, like lollipops, can kill some time, but I know those can be a safety concern especially in the car. A great idea I saw on Pinterest was to make a "necklace" by threading lots of "circle" foods (cereals, dried fruit) onto a yarn or string. The child can wear or just hold it, but the process of biting the food off the string takes more time. It sounds kind of crazy, but might work really well!
     
  14. rjb123

    rjb123 Mouseketeer

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    our trip is much shorter, but we always drive to Disney. In total it is about 9 hours door to door. I do the DVD player and movies (maybe do a movie schedule and "countdown" of sorts- like plan the number of movies, put them in a certain order and then when he hits "cars" for example he knows this is the last movie before you get there!) We also do coloring books and crayons, special surprises from the dollar store (get something every few hours). Snacks are a must do, along with leap pad, books, etc. the last time we went we actually left home at 6 ish and drove over night until we got there. It was long and late but I was working nights at the time (I am a nurse) so I was used to being awake then and it was easy driving. plus the kids slept!
    Anywho, good luck and best wishes for a safe and easy trip!
     
  15. BraythansMom

    BraythansMom SAHM that loves making bows & going to Disney Worl

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    Thank you! I love the dollar store treats every hour!
     
  16. BraythansMom

    BraythansMom SAHM that loves making bows & going to Disney Worl

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    Ooo great ideas! I'll look that up! Thank you :)
     
  17. BraythansMom

    BraythansMom SAHM that loves making bows & going to Disney Worl

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    I love the organizer idea! That would go over really well with him too lol... He loves packing his own bag! Thank you :)
     
  18. Disney2013Girl

    Disney2013Girl Mouseketeer

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    We have a 17 hr drive from here to Tampa (we're visiting a friend prior to WDW) and our plan is to drive from 7 or 8p, through the night. DS (2.5 as well) sleeps usually until around 7ish in the morning, so we're hoping we only have to fill a few hours.

    I've planned to get some color wonder books, the old iphone with games, and his leappad2 (complete with some new games) to fill the remainder of the time.
     
  19. kbnmommy

    kbnmommy Dreaming of DW...

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    We drive every trip (7 hours or so). We first went when my youngest was 2 as well. I start packing a "Disney car bag" months in advance. Anything I find at the dollar tree, target, or walmart goes in here. It is almost all Disney themed and can entertain them both ways of the trip. It's a pretty big bag, lol!!! Some things I have inside are color wonder marker sets, colored pencils and new coloring books, play doh (a little messy, but...), stamps and paper, stickers (which I later had to peel off my car and windows...), snack (many, many snacks), DVDs, Nintendo DSs, iPods, books (for me to read out loud), these little Disney activity packs from Walmart that cost $1 and included a book, a couple crayons, and some stickers (we tossed the crayons after use at a bathroom stop before they could melt), those magic reveal books, magna doodles, mini travel games, go-fish and old maid, etc. You get the idea. I have control of the bag at all times so the girls aren't getting everything out (my husband drives). We have also left home at 3:30 am our time, and 7pm our time. That way the girls can sleep most of the way. They also bring a pillow pet and a blanket each. The wear pjs in the car too. The car trip has never been a huge issue. :)
     
  20. klavven

    klavven Earning My Ears

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    We drive every June from Michigan with our two children. This year they are 2.5 and 4.5. The best piece of advice I can give is to be patient! A normal bathroom stop may take 30 minutes.

    We do a lot of things that others have already suggested. Baskets for the car with toys, coloring, etc. We also gather special "prizes" for the car - we give them out every two or three hours depending on how their behavior is, etc.

    We have a DVD player in our car and they watch a lot of movies. We also try to stop for lunch/dinner at places that are more kid "Friendly" and/or those that have a play area. We keep a blanket in the car - for an impromptu snack break at a rest area. I'm not going to lie - we eat at McDonalds/Burger King/Chick-Fil-a - anywhere that they can get out and play for an hour. THe more energy they burn off -the better the car ride.

    In previous years we've left between 1-3pm. We try to stop around Cincinnatti (about 4-5 hours) - have dinner and get ice cream (our favorite ice cream place is there). We then get pajamas on and hope for them to fall asleep after their movie. My husband loves to drive at night -so he'll drive until 2-3am. We find a reputable hotel - sleep, shower, eat breakfast, and try to be on the road again by 9 or 10am.

    It ends up being two full days of driving for us. Good luck with your trip!!
     
  21. Disney2013Girl

    Disney2013Girl Mouseketeer

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    Graeters? (Sp?) If so, delish! We go to Cincinnati at least once a year and that's a must-stop.
     

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