3 Ways to Keep The Kids Busy (And Keep Your Sanity!) While Traveling During the Holidays
Here is something I dread during any time of the year: traveling with young children. By plane, train, or automobile, the are-we-there-yets and fighting and arguing are all enough to drive even the best parents bonkers! But I have a few ways to help you keep your sanity and fun ideas for keeping the kids occupied (and they just might keep you entertained too).
To Help You Keep Your Sanity
Try To Stick To Your Children’s Normal Schedule: Ah, in the perfect world right? But you don’t want to try to start a long car ride during your children’s normal play time, or during meal time when everybody will be hungry and grouchy. Keeping your children on their normal schedule can help you feel more in control of the travel craziness. And if you are traveling for long periods of time, you may want to fly or drive during the night when they will all be sleeping.
Bring Snacks: Seems like the kids are always hungrier when we are traveling. Maybe it’s due to boredom? Whatever the reason, make sure you have easy to eat snacks that won’t make a mess. Fruit snacks or dried fruits, little finger foods, cheese sticks, and the like are all good suggestions.
Know That Something Probably Will Go Wrong: Prepare yourself for the fact that something will be forgotten, someone might get sick, or that a flight might be delayed. When you aren’t expecting everything to run perfectly smoothly, you’ll be less surprised when the unexpected happens. Or you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it all goes off without a hitch!
How To Keep The Kids Entertained
There are some fun products that will keep the kids busy (read: quiet) during long hours of travel. And some of these will keep the whole family entertained!
Although the kids can’t read yet, they do know their colors and can look for the “pictures” on the license plates. They keep their eyes busy by looking at passing cars to identify states on the license plates. It’s magnetic, so no loose pieces to get lost in the car.
I’m a big fan of searching Amazon.com for fun, educational products for the kids. And if you search “travel games”, you would be surprised by how many of them are! From card games to old fashioned board games made for travel, there are so many great ideas to choose from. Choose one or two based on your family’s tastes.
There are some fantastic apps out there that will keep the kids busy for hours. The only problem is that they will all want to play! While one child has the iPad, give another child a travel game, while another has a snack.
Check out Animalia, for kids of varying ages, which involves finding hidden items or identifying shapes within the pages. Another is Pictureka, the kids spot and tap objects hidden within pictures crammed with crazy cartoons. It also has a Pass ‘N Play option for up to 3 other players.