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Ideas for entertaining kids in the backseat

It’s Thanksgiving week, which means you’ll probably be in the car with your kids at some point. It’s rarely a peaceful journey door-to-door, but these tips from the StrollerTraffic Scouts should help keep ‘em quiet—er, happy—in the backseat.

Harlan Saroken, NYC
“Our trick is to keep certain things in the car that we don’t have at home, so that he looks forward to playing with them . . . like his Etch-A-Sketch, certain books, and of course DVDs.”

Jamie Rubin, LA
“The best thing I ever did was to give my 15-month-old a metal cake pan and a bag of magnet letters and numbers from Toys R Us. She dumped them all over the place but was able to reach a lot of them from her car seat to continue sticking them on the pan.”

Caroline Lubbers, Chicago
“We love car bingo.”

Tara Mandy, NYC
“I ordered a CD called Name Your Tune—they customize all the songs (Wheels On the Bus, Happy and You Know It) with your kid’s name. My 2-year-old never gets tired of it.”

April Larken, Greenwich, CT
“I gift-wrap old and new toys in wrapping paper, and hand them over my shoulder to her as prizes for spotting things out the window. Half the fun is unwrapping, and she doesn’t even notice that it’s something she has at home.”

Amy Swift-Crosby, LA
“Fill up a Snack Catcher with Cheerios or whatever. Babies have to work to get the snack out.”

Betsy Goldberg, NYC
“My go-to is ring pops—the novelty is fun and they last longer than regular lollipops.”

Carolyn Sutton, Dallas
“Bring a lap desk so they can color, draw, or play with stickers on paper.”

Karly Klein, NYC
“Disney’s Karaoke Series has both the vocal and the instrumental versions of songs. My daughter likes to belt out her favorite tunes while we drive and when she can’t remember the words she makes ‘em up.”