In many cases when it comes time for travel it means it’s a time to get away from it all, like for a vacation. Often this is a family affair and everyone is bursting with excitement and can’t wait to get to their destination. At the same time it can mean everyone is in store for several hours of travel, and for the kids this may not be all that pleasant. To make this holiday adventure a great one from the time you step out of your front door till the time you return you need to implement a few ideas on how to keep the kids happy while in the travel mode or how to travel happily with kids (even if they turn into little devils).
It doesn’t matter whether you are going to be travelling by land, sea or air, if the travel is going to take over an hour the kids are likely to become restless. No matter what the mode of travel is make sure you plan ahead for the travel entertainment. You should know approximately how much time it is going to take to reach your destination. Knowing this will help you plan a “keep busy” schedule for the little one. The type of activities you are going to rely on are also going to depend on the age of your youngster, and also if you are travelling with more than one child.
The travel planning stage:
For a week or two before your scheduled trip observe your young one at quiet play and get a feel for the amount of time they spend on any one activity. For example if they are reading, how long do they stay at this? Or if they are coloring, how long does this keep them busy. This way you will get a good handle on their attention span for various activities.
Packing the entertainment bag:
Chances are some reading and coloring is going to take up some of the travel time, but most likely not all of it. Plan on picking up some inexpensive items from the dollar store that are small and compact yet will hold the attention of your youngster.
These travel activities will work well by air as you aren’t going to be jostled around as much as you would be if you were driving, but they will also work quite well for other modes of travel although you may have to assign the activities a little more carefully.
Try to find coloring books that relate to your holiday theme. For example, if you are going to Disneyworld then pick up some coloring books that have some Disney characters in them. Then during your trip ask your youngster to color a picture of each of the characters they hope to see when they arrive. This will extend the coloring time by quite a bit.
Sticker books are also another great activity. You may want to vary this with the coloring activity as they are similar in nature. What you may want to do here is to buy sticker packages instead of theme orientated books. Also buy a blank notebook to be used for the sticker placement. Let the youngster make up a story book with the stickers and notebook. Once the stickers are in place, then you assist by writing the story-line as they narrate it to you. You can either get them to write it or you do it for them depending on their age.
A mp4 player or iPad will come in handy, or at the very least your cell phone if it will allow for the downloading of some game apps for the little ones. Any of these are items they may have used before but may not always get the chance, so it should be a novelty to them. Vary the use and times for using these. Otherwise they will tend to get bored easy.
Watch the snacks:
You can even use up some minutes with snack times. Instead of giving the kids something to snack on while they are working on an activity, plan to use some time strictly donated to this. They can stop their activity, or snack time can be fit in between activities. Make sure that the snacks that you have planned on giving are not high energy snacks. You don’t want to be dealing with an energy burst in small places.
Once you start planning the activities for your travel you will find that you come up with a lot of different ideas, and the time will fly by.