Traveling with small children can be a considerable challenge. How do you keep small people that love to wriggle, move and make noise, still and quiet for an extended period?
Many parents feel justifiably anxious when they are planning to take a road trip or other long journey, but there are several things you can do to make it more peaceful for the whole family.
Small treats, carefully timed
A very successful strategy to keep the little ones distracted during a long journey is to have a stash of small little treats that you can pull out at opportune moments. Raid your local dollar store for lots of small little things that will capture their interest. Do bear in mind, however, that you should select little items that are age-appropriate for your child and will not present a choking hazard.
Many toddlers are beginning to take an interest in coloring and doodling, particularly if they have older siblings who they have observed drawing.
One alternative is to stock up on paper coloring books or print some pages from websites. Another possibility is to download some apps where your child can digitally play with color on the tablet. There are many coloring books for toddlers that would cover many of these children’s interests, so find one that your child wants to do.
Snacks…all the snacks!
Everyone knows that a road trip is not a road trip until you have included snacks. Conveniently, snacks also have the side benefit of keeping the children distracted for a while.
Try to pack finger food snacks that your toddler can eat one by one. Again, it is essential to ensure that these are appropriate for the age of your child.
Cut up fruit in small containers can be easily whipped out to offer to a restless child – cut grapes and blueberries are easy for little fingers to grasp and are easy for them to chew. Dried fruits are also a good option.
Be careful with liquids, or you will need to make several roadside stops to change your child’s clothing. Little sachet pureed foods may seem like a good idea but tend to end up being squeezed out all over their onesies and smeared through their hair.
Apps for kids
Fortunately, technology is on parents’ side these days, with a whole range of apps and activities to help the minutes and hours tick by quickly.
Of course, you want to ensure that, as a rule, you limit small children’s screen time. However, if you are going to be on the move for several hours, charging up the tablet is a wise move. As well as digital coloring books for toddlers, you can find story and games apps that are educational as well as entertaining. There are puzzles, matching games, and even songs that will entertain your children.
With a little planning and good timing, you can keep your toddler easily entertained for the duration of your road trip: small surprises, lots of little containers of finger food, coloring books and various apps designed for small children will help you get to your destination with all the family relaxed and happy.