We live quite far from most of our family, both of Clems grannys are in North Devon and we live in Surrey. I don’t drive, and although Jesse does we don’t currently own a car so we travel a lot by train. When we go and see family it can take anything between 2.5hrs and 5.5hrs depending on connections and where we are actually travelling to! It was definitely a lot easier when Clem was younger but now she’s at the stage where she doesn’t sleep for most of the journey I need to think of ways to keep her entertained.
Two weeks ago myself and Clem headed down to North Devon to visit my mum for the week. If anyone has ever travelled to North Devon by train before you will know that the line from Exeter is a single track in most places, meaning the trains don’t go very fast and there’s about one every hour. Luckily my mum and her partner picked us up from Exeter which saved a long wait for the connection to Barnstaple. In fact we arrived at hers just as we would have been getting on the next train! Here are just a few ideas of what you can pack to keep a toddler entertained on a long train journey.
· An iPad. Now I know what you are thinking, I’ve probably had the exact same thoughts. However it came in handy. Not only are there a few apps/games on there that can at least keep Clem amused for 5 minutes but I recently downloaded quite a few episodes of Peppa Pig for her to watch. We have an Amazon Prime account which lets you download episodes/films to watch offline. You get 48 hours to watch it, if you reconnect to wifi then that obviously resets. This is great, Clem absolutely loves Peppa Pig and it kept her amused for quite some time.
· Books/magazines/stickers. I packed a few of Clems favourite books to read. I found a really cool sticker book in Wilkos the other day for £1.50. It has over 500 stickers in it, and various different scenes to create. We didn’t even get to using this so it will come in handy on the return journey.
· Colouring pad/pencils/crayons. Clem absolutely loves colouring/drawing and it can keep her busy for a while. Unfortunately this time our train was mega busy and we didn’t even get a proper seat so it made colouring a bit difficult. But if you are lucky to get space then this is great.
· Games. We played spot the cow/tree/field/train whilst looking out of the window. At the moment Clem is amazed and interested in literally everything so she enjoyed this. It’s also good because she gets to learn/practice words and see different things.
· Sleep. Now if you are lucky your child might nap, when Clem was younger she slept for most of the journey. This time she didn’t actually sleep at all, there and back, and she was starting to get pretty grumpy by the end. I find the sometimes the movement of the train can help her to sleep.
· Pack a picnic. It makes lunch/dinner a bit more exciting. Obviously pack things that are suitable for trains, cut sandwiches into fun shapes, make a bento box.
Does anyone travel long distances by train? Do you have any other ideas on ways to keep a toddler amused on a long journey.