7 Ways to Keep Your Sanity in Traffic with a Toddler

There’s one thing that us Houstonians know a thing or two about … traffic. While traffic costs us a lot of time, fuel, and money, I’ve found that there are a few ways we can make commutes with kiddos more enjoyable.  So today, I’m sharing my tried and true tricks for maintaining sanity while stuck in traffic with a toddler. {Hint :: They don’t include an iPad or DVD player either!}

7 Ways to Keep Your Sanity in Traffic with a Toddler

1} Food :: Try to time eating around when you will be driving. We do breakfast on the road. A Bento box with breakfast items helps pass the time. Consider these ideas, and include several food groups for a healthy breakfast on the go :: fruit {apple slices, grapes, peach slices, melon, kiwi, banana slices}; grains {granola, oatmeal, toast, waffle sticks, pancakes}; protein {nuts, hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter}; and dairy {yogurt, cheese}.

2} Audio Books :: Our local library is a treasure trove. Every other week we take a trip to the library to check out 3-4 books on CD. Most libraries have digital audio books you can check out. Also, for a monthly fee, Audible is a great resource.

3} Music :: Find a Spotify or Pandora station with contemporary kids music that doesn’t make you want to poke yourself in the eye with a carrot stick.

4} Reading Material :: Books are great, but magazines are even better. Gather up your old issues of Travel & Leisure, Southern Living, and Parenting, and put them in a little basket in the back seat. Also, catalogs are great.

5} Creative Outlets :: White board with dry erase markers; black paper with chalk; Etch-a-Sketch; Doodle — you get the point. Provide your toddler with a space to get their creative juices flowing. Ask them to draw something you just passed on the road or something at your destination.

6} Travel Bags :: This takes a little more planning. Fill a quart-sized Ziploc bag with small items from around the house and from your toddler’s toys. Store a few of these travel bags in your console to pull out when needed.

7} Conversation :: The long lost art of face-to-face communication! Talk with your toddler! Use this time to communicate with your little one about the day, the traffic, and the things you are passing on the road. This is a good time to talk about where you are going, what they can expect, etc. On the commute home, ask open-ended questions to provoke a conversation. Ask about the highlight of their day, the most challenging moment, what feelings they were faced with, etc. It’s important we connect with our children and the close proximity of a car is a great place to do this.

Traffic is part of our day-to-day reality in Houston. What do you to survive the commute?

7 Ways to Keep Your Sanity in Traffic with a Toddler | Houston Moms Blog

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Erica is a New England native who moved to Houston with her family in June 2014. She and her wife Christina live in Pearland with their daughter Quinn {Dec 2013}, dog Charley, and two cats Phoebe and Oliver. Erica is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where she teaches classes on strategic communication and social media. When Erica isn’t busy teaching, researching, or being a mom, she enjoys getting her yoga on, creating culinary delights, scoring deals shopping online, and exploring Texas with her girls.

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