Dear Diary.

This weekend, my daughter and I hit the highway and took a four-hour trip. Since it was just the two of us, I had to keep her occupied and keep my eyes on the road. She loves to take an adventure, but doesn’t love to take a nap. So, I couldn’t count on her sleeping from Pittsburgh to Baltimore. Heck, I couldn’t count on her sleeping from Pittsburgh to Breezewood! Here’s how I kept my little one busy in the back seat.

1. Sticker Book: Stickers are fun and more importantly safe. Unlike crayons, parents won’t worry about their kids getting hurt if the car comes to a sudden halt.

2. Picture Books: Even if your child isn’t old enough to read, they can look at the pictures and make up their own stories. Take turns telling tales.

3. Magnets: Use an old cookie sheet and a set of magnets. You can put the magnets in a Ziploc bag. You child can practice counting, saying the alphabet or spelling his/her name. The cookie sheet can double as a tray for to play card games.


Click here to check out the full list of ideas to keep your little one busy while driving.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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