Surviving the toddler road trip with Stickers.

Spencer has logged quite a few miles for a tot not yet 3 years old, almost 10 thousand traveling miles, and that is excluding daily driving and local trips. He is a relatively easy car rider, but does get the car seat blues. We choose to make our car trips pretty low-fi; I don’t want to share my phone and I don’t have a safety case for the iPad. I worry he would toss it around a bit too hard in the car. Also, he uses you tube a lot and it isn’t 3G. I can only imagine that you tube not working would make the iPad more trouble than benefit. So, how on earth does a tech savvy toddler endure a road trip? The same way they did 10 years ago, the liberal application of books, toys and stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.

Cookie has some stickers on his bum.

I can’t stress the stickers enough. That is really what saved us the last few trips. Stickers are just so versatile, for just a few dollars or less, multiple sheet packs can be purchased at Target, Michael’s, Walmart or the dollar store. I particularly like the animal packs that Target carries in the party supply section.  Variety is key.

There are a bunch of different ways Spencer uses stickers in the car. Well, mostly sticking them on things, but DIFFERENT things: stuffed animals, books, faces, hair. My personal favorite is the desperation sticker attack. Toddler being fussy or just plain loud? Stick a sticker on him somewhere hard to get to, shoulder blade, back of the neck, upper arm behind the elbow and the toddler becomes magically quiet while trying to get the sticker. Also fun is just letting the toddler stick stickers on your hand or whatever.

You know when else stickers work great? Restaurants. Stick them to the table. Peel them off the table. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. After about the 3rd restaurant meal in a row, crayons and a paper menu don’t hold very much interest. Bonus: stickers are light. It is really easy to keep a sheet or two in my bag. And much better than crayons at a restaurant with tablecloths.

An easy way to build up a stash of stickers is to ask for them every time you are at a place that hands them out. Target gives them out, so does Trader Joes and sometimes other grocery stores. I found out that my Payless has them. TJs is the best because they normally give a strip with about 6 or 8 stickers, I rip it in half and give some to Spencer and stash the rest in my purse for an emergency.

Even if your child is difficult in the car, stickers are worth a shot. It might just buy you 5 minutes of peace. And sometimes, when driving in tricky traffic, a few minutes of quiet is a sanity saver.


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3 Responses to “Surviving the toddler road trip with Stickers.”

  1. Cole says:

    What a great idea! Mommy does not want me playing with techy stuff in the car either… I have a mini-magnadoodle that we found in Wal-Mart for about $5, and that provides a while of silence, too.


  2. Kim says:

    Love it! I have stickers stashed in every purse, diaper bag, car compartment, stroller pouch…they are priceless!


  3. Amanda says:

    Maddie is 5 and I still keep a stash of stickers everywhere!


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