Phoenix With Kids

On the Go Toddler Activity Ideas

Chris and Jana Tingom

For Part 2 of on the go activity ideas, click here. New ideas for toddlers, and older children as well!

Have you ever tried to keep a toddler entertained in the car? It’s a challenge, even for short trips. So, when we decided to drive to Denver, a two-day drive, we knew we’d need to come up with some new car activities.

At almost 3, our daughter is extremely bright and eager to learn, with a budding imagination. And lots of energy! She did absolutely fantastic on the trip, thanks to some new inexpensive toys and activities we gathered ahead of time.

My wife Jana is the one that organized everything, and here’s how she described the new activities:

So below is what I pulled together for our road trip, a mixture of steady favorites and new ideas, some twists here and there. This is an addition to bringing the trusty iPad with games and movies.


Top Row:

  1. Cookie sheet (fits nicely over car seat arm rests) for general play, coloring, magnets, whatever is needed; felt mat is for keeping play items from slipping
  2. Favorite Little People (6 total) with furniture, they’ve been conveniently stores away for 4 days now, so should be “new” 🙂
  3. Duplos
  4. Binder with various activity sheets in plastic sleeves to be used with dry erase markers (some sheets from Amazon, a Dollar Tree shape booklet, printable sheets found on Pinterest, and themed coloring sheets for regular crayons like Pooh, space, Hungry Caterpillar and the latest favorite, The Lego Movie)

Second Row:

  1. Jumbo popsicle sticks with Velcro on each end for making shapes
  2. An old wallet with various cards, stickers, some coins, flavored Chapstick
  3. Favorite stuffed unicorn (which has been missing for over a week, and when found, it went right to the activity box, heh)
  4. Two new dollar tree 12 piece puzzles
  5. An old working digital camera
  6. Felt strips with Velcro on ends for making “paper” chains
  7. Zipper pouch for crayons, markers, tape, kid safe scissors, glue, etc (for easy locating and grabbing when stuff might be sitting in a hot car)

Third Row:

  1. Hello Kitty activity booklet from Walmart (reusable stickers, coloring, etc)
  2. Dollar tree pony
  3. Paint with water activity pages
  4. New coloring book for crayons
  5. Letter/number magnets
  6. Blow up balloon
  7. Half sized construction paper for coloring, cutting, etc
  8. Hungry Caterpillar activity theme packet I found at Target
  9. Noah themed foam stickers for whatever

Bottom Row:

  1. Mini Magna-Doodle
  2. Animal magnets with changeable backgrounds
  3. Princess dress-up magnets (available on Amazon)
  4. Dollar tree stamp set
  5. Glow sticks for travel after dark
  6. Dollar tree lacing cards
  7. Aqua-doodle mat


  • Chris and Jana Tingom

    We live in Scottsdale, AZ and have three children, ages 10, 7 and 3. They are full of energy, and so we're always looking for new things to do. Come join our family adventures!

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