Keeping Kids Calm In The Car With A Car bag

It seems like I am constantly on the go. If I’m not dropping my kids off somewhere I’m picking them up or running errands with them. We spend so much time in the car! It’s no wonder that kids get restless and fidgety in the car – feelings that often lead to itching – and that’s something I really worry about. I also worry about them wasting time they could be engaged in play, learning, and communicating. If you’re like me and spend way more time driving around than you’d like to, it may be time for you to create a car bag! These on-the-go resources make it easy for you to provide your child with anti-itch distractions while also keeping their minds engaged. A car bag gives them control over their experiences and provides them with simple and effective choices to occupy themselves. I love using a car bag, and I’ve actually started having fun putting them together and switching them up as a surprise to my kids.

What’s A Car Bag?

Basically, a car bag is a small, light tote that you stock with good stuff for your kids. Toys, self-contained puzzles, books, dolls, idea cards, flash cards, questions, and more.

You can use just about anything for a car bag but it should be small enough that your child can rummage through it easily while also being light enough for them to move onto and off of their lap.

You can use a pre-made bag like a small knapsack, a reusable shopping bag, a mesh lingerie bag, or any other durable bag – chances are you have the perfect thing in your house already!

What To Put Inside

Here are some of the things many kids love most in their car bags:

  • Dolls and action figures
  • Toys that only have one part so that things can’t get lost between or under car seats.
  • Self-contained puzzles like linked chains, labyrinths, or other games. You can find tons of ball or cube shaped puzzle games at any game shop or online.
  • Flash cards
  • Dry erase boards with one water-based marker attached by a piece of yarn so it won’t get lost.
  • Index cards that you’ve written questions on. Have your children practice reading them, or let them choose one you can read them at a stop light. This is a great way to start a conversation!
  • CDs they love- singing is so therapeutic!
  • A surprise snack
  • Challenges: count 10 red cars, find 5 people walking, read the names of stores as we drive by them.
  • Books
  • Audio books

Basically, you can toss anything into your car bag that can be easily held by a child in a car seat and that won’t cause too much ruckus in a moving car. Small toys or anything that has just one part are perfect.

One fun thing you can do to keep your kids interested in the car bag is to switch it up when they aren’t around. Remove one thing from the bag and put something else in there. Keep it fresh and novel so that your children will keep relying on it.

What’s In Your Car Bag?

Do you have some great ideas for things to put in a car bag? Share with us in the comments below!

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