By ClubMom Member Katy, Naugatuck, CT

We moved across the country last year. My mother and I drove my 14-month-old son, two cats, and about $200 worth of toys from Dallas to Connecticut. We learned a few things that hopefully will help you with a long-distance drive, especially a move.

Bring books, old favorite toys, and new surprise toys. We set aside our biases, selecting noisy toys, push-button toys, and manipulation toys. Balls are not a good idea. Best buys included Etch a Sketch-type toys with simple mechanisms and a four-key piano toy (which was such a success that we replaced it midtrip when we lost ours).

More on books: Sticker books are great for the toddler set. They don’t know that they can peel them off; they are glossy, making the pages thick and thus easy to turn; they are bright colors and high contrast; and they come in endless subjects. They’re a nice break from the other books your child might be tired of, too.

Put aside fears of setting poor eating habits, and bring on the snacks! I told JJ, “Welcome to the world of boredom eating.” Goldfish, pretzels, fruit leather, Cheerios — if you give him a small lidded cup, it’s 5 or 10 miles worth of entertainment for your toddler as he digs them out and fingers them. Toy bars meant for stroller use are a big help in the car, as they often feature toys plus a snack cup, and are big and easy for you to grab from the front seat for refills.

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