If we know anything from The Traffic Badge it is that to get this badge you need pineapples! Nobody likes being stuck in traffic but the Squirrels make the best of it.
Playing with Cars
Strangely the only cars in this episode are the ones the Squirrels arrive at Squirrel Club in. The vehicles in the traffic jam are all animals laden with suitcases and bags for the tropical lake. You can recreate the traffic jam from Hey Duggee with a toy alligator and a few tiny pineapples. Or, if you don’t have those to hand, a toy car and some lego. Surprisingly, alligators were easy to find in our house.
A road mat is a must for any toddler, and they will inevitably end up with cars to play with. I prefer wooden ones over plastic, so here are my recommendations:
Fruit Cars and Pineapples
I spotted this gem on Pinterest, and it went down a treat with my two. I will admit, it was a little trickier than I had anticipated but not too bad. My kids were also OK to carefully remove the wooden cocktail sticks that held on the wheels, but you would need to be careful with younger children. Check out this ehow for full instructions:
We also tried out a few pineapple recipes for our Traffic Badge. In the summer I made frozen chocolate pineapples which tasted amazing. However, I have to use dairy-free chocolate for my dairy-free child. It is wonderful in many ways but does not do well with high heat. Even using a bain-marie, it went grainy. Here’s the recipe if you want to give them a go:
Check out my Get Your Being Quiet Badge post for a super easy Pineapple Bread.
I also found a few good recipes for pineapple drinks. I enjoy a piña colada, and a virgin piña colada was almost as good. Here are some recipes I found online:
Keeping kids entertained on long car journeys is difficult. Especially if they are pre-schoolers with limited concentration and dexterity and no ability to read. We are big users of activity books for long trips. We have everything from classic colouring books to the full range of Hey Duggee sticker books to cheap ones picked up on a whim. My main requirement when choosing these books is that they can be accessed without me turning round from the front of the car to give instructions continually. I’ll be doing that anyway to give out snack rations and pick up lost pencils.
The options for preventing the 3-year-old from saying those dreaded words on repeat (see book recommendation below) are limited. She is only able to master the colouring sections of activity books. Stickers are too tricky, and instructions are lost on her. Likewise, toys are always dropped beyond reach before we’ve even left our driveway. We have one of these Easy Xplorer colouring trays with pockets for pens. Everything still ends up on the floor but at a slower rate.
Yes, our car is full of lost toys and pens. They are tucked into every nook and cranny, along with discarded snacks. On the plus side, we have never listened to children’s music in the car, except by grown-up’s request.
We find these Melissa and Doug books really useful for travel. They keep the kids entertained for hours in the car and at the other inevitable times when they have to wait around when travelling. They are entirely mess-free.
My 5-year-old also loved the velvet flipbooks. I wouldn’t let the smaller one near them though.
If you are looking to make something yourself, then there are lots of games and printables online. Here are a few that I’ve found:
- 11 Games to Play in the Car from Press Print Party.
- Travel Printables for Kids from In the Playroom.
- Travel Bingo from Molly Moo Crafts – has printables suitable for kids of different ages.
Read a Book
Are We There Yet? is a really cute book about a little bear who goes to the beach with his dad fits in well with The Traffic Badge. Just like Duggee and the Squirrels, it takes a long time for them to get to the seaside but just like the Squirrel club, their day out is worth it when they finally arrive. Unfortunately, this book does not appear to be available in many shops but it is worth keeping an eye out for it.
The Hey Duggee Badges App is pretty good. It is not free but it is low cost for the amount of time it kept the kids entertained. The Traffic Badge is a bonus game that you get if you sign up to the newsletter.