Toyota asked some Mommy Bloggers to explore a topic of interest – I thought that a good “business of motherhood” discussion would be (Are we there yet?) keeping kids busy and happy on long car rides – or even on long carpool days. I log mega miles daily going here and there, and think of my own car as an office on wheels, ready for a meal, chat, or whatever. But for the kids, and especially young kids buckled tightly into car seats, long rides can be challenging. Are we there yet?!

So, how can moms keep the kids busy, happy, and out of our hair so we can focus on safely driving? Here are some ideas…

–> “A to Z” Games – Go from A to Z spotting license plates, road signs, or whatever! Also, another favorite is going through the alphabet and adding a word — “I come from Arizona, and I eat apples.” Or, an animal version, “…and I like alligators.” Take turns (clockwise always easiest), and keep the kids engaged.

–> Color Fun – Have one kid be the record keeper, and let them take turns spotting colors. Each person has to name a color that has NOT been named, or they’re out!

–> Portable Games – We’ve recently discovered, thanks to Jackie O., Mom Since ’98, some addicting games that I can’t keep my own hands off of! Certainly, in the car, I can’t play, but these small, self-contained games are loads of fun, and we keep them in the car. Double Shutter is a great dice game that also reinforces some math skills in a fun, strategic way. Love it!

–> Magnetic Games – There are tons of small magnetic games you can get that keep the pieces contained – chess, checkers, etc.

–> Bookshelf – We keep books in each seat back so the kids can…(are we there yet? 🙂 ) READ!

What ideas do you have? Feel free to leave a comment, and keep the dialogue going!

This post was sponsored by Toyota.