A road trip with toddlers sound like a nightmare, since children require constant entertainment and attention. Not only do you have to think about packing the entire family for the trip, but you also shouldn’t forget to bring every possible source of entertainment to keep your children occupied during the ride. Sitting in a car for a long time will eventually make them fussy, and crying is inevitable at some point. Therefore, it’s good to know how to keep your kids busy during the trip.
Pack on Games
Drawing boards, magnetic storyboards and sticker books can serve as a very useful distraction for your kids during the trip. If you play some music that they love, you’ll keep them occupied for hours. What’s more, bear in mind that you can bring any toy they love playing with, but make sure it doesn’t make a gooey mess, or has a billion little pieces. Also, since your children must be buckled up in their seats at all times, any toy that ends up on the floor will cause crying, and you’ll have to stop the car and give the toy back to them.
Make Frequent Pit Stops
Travelling with a toddler is nothing like travelling on your own. You’ll have to organize your trip to suit your kids, and make more frequent stops than you used to. Therefore, prepare yourself for multiple 30-minute breaks that will allow you to feed the children, stretch a bit and change diapers as well. This will mean that you won’t get to your destination as fast as you thought you would, but at least the trip will be more comfortable. The less pit stops you make the bigger the chances are that your children will become restless. It would be a good idea to make a stop at the place that has an outdoor playground or an indoor playroom, so that your kids can run around a bit. This will make them tired, so they’ll take a nap during the ride. Therefore, don’t forget to bring some of the necessary Go Travel accessories. The sleeper pillow or carry cushion will make your and your toddler’s travelling naps much more comfortable.
Keep them Company
Sometimes no toy in the world will be enough to keep your little ones down, so you’ll have to be the one who entertains them. Sit on the back seat with your kids and play games, until they calm down. They may want you to colour with them, draw them something, or maybe even tell them a story. If nothing of that works out, try reading to them or maybe describe the scenery and talk to them about the place where you’re going.
Bring Various Gadgets
Tablets, portable DVD players and music players are the travel essentials, so be sure to bring them as well. Keep the devices fully charged and bring as many cartoons, audiobooks and music as possible. Popular TV shows and kid-friendly movies are also a great way to entertain your kids, so be sure to bring them along in case they’re not in the mood for cartoons. Play them an audiobook with fairy tales, or singing games, and all the fussing will be over shortly.
Chances are, the minute you start driving, your kid will start whining that they are hungry. They won’t be actually hungry, but they’ll only need something to keep them distracted, and snacks are the perfect option. Dried and fresh fruit, raisins, granola bars, carrots, bagels, pretzels and rice cakes are perfect for road trips.
Going on a road trip with children doesn’t have to be exhausting. All you have to do is keep them entertained and you’re in for a long and calm drive. Just bring plenty of games, make regular stops, give them some snacks and they’ll enjoy the ride as much as you will.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)