How can parents keep young children occupied on a long trip? After all, travelling can be very frustrating to toddlers. It helps to plan the travel schedule to coincide, as much as possible, with the young child’s natural schedule. Here are 10 tips to keep everyone happy on your next road-trip;
1. Keep nap time normal
This may require thinking ahead. When will the entire car need to be quiet to get the child to go to sleep? Does this affect what time you leave? How will you keep the child awake until nap time? You will want to fill up on petrol and also make food and bathroom stops before it’s time for the child to nap. Then you won’t need to stop while the child is sleeping.
2. Bring your own food
This will ensure fewer tummy aches. Also, children don’t need to sit still in a restaurant. They will do better at a picnic place where they can run around and get rid of energy.
3. Bring music and sing along
Suggest motions that kids can do in their carseat. Kicking, stretching, clapping, and bouncing can use up lots of excess energy.
4. Use learning games to pass the time
Bring a list of ideas so that you can keep going even if you are tired. If children keep busy, they forget to whine and complain.
5. Tell stories
Children love The Three Little Pigs and many other tales that you probably know by heart. Mix stories together and make it funny. Make the children part of the story. A simple story that is easy to personalize is a magic carpet ride with stops around the world. Stopping places should be easy to describe such as the ocean, mountains, and the pyramids. Include favorite people such as grandparents, cousins and aunts/uncles and favorite animals such as kangaroos, pets or exotic animals.
Don’t be afraid to repeat music or stories. Some children like to hear things again and again. Since the whole point is to pass the time, this can work to your advantage.
7. Surprize treats
Bring some inexpensive new toys, books or other surprises. Save them until your child needs a significant distraction.
8. Negotiate the peace fast
If siblings argue, find ways to stop petty bickering without adding to the noise. Short time-outs where no one can talk may stop fights. Rotate which child can choose the activity, song or story.
9. Hold the technology
Don’t be tempted to start the trip with cartoons or video games. These can actually increase boredom. Wait until late in the trip to provide this distraction. You can use the promise of a movie or a video game as a way to get children to behave better.
10. Be open to exercise stops
Children may become unruly due to the need to move. Their young bodies aren’t designed to be still. Letting them run around for 15 minutes may save you from hours of aggravation.
Finally, having an adequately sized car can go a long way in keeping young children happy on long drives. Vehicles such as those from Suzuki QLD will ensure your kids have enough personal space and ultimately keep every member of the family happy for the entire journey.
Guest Post written by Jared Bennet