One of the biggest questions for family travel is, “What to do with the kids?” Older children have their music and games systems to keep them busy. Younger kids can become very independent, or some young kids want constant parental interaction. Both of these types of kids can make it really difficult to travel with ease. As for babies, they (hopefully) sleep most of the time. But when they turn into toddles and children it becomes much more difficult. A skilled parent needs to know how to handle young kids on these longer road trips.
Distraction is Key
If you can keep a small child distracted while traveling, you have got it in the bag. Easier said
then done. Electronics are not always the answer for children. But when you are going on that dreaded road trip they can be very helpful. It does not have to be an animated movie; television shows on DVD are great. A great option is those that focus on learning new things, such as their number, color or shapes. Try these out at home first and see which one they like better. If they are watching them at home, they won’t notice that they are now buckled instead.
Make it Fun
Children often respond to you how you respond to them. If you smiling and having a good time while on a trip, they often will as well. It is important to keep a positive attitude with them as you travel. Children can sense stress and frustration. If your young one would rather talk then color there are some things that you can do. Depending on the age of you child you can make up different games. Pre-school aged children can name the colors of things you are driving by. For those in kindergarden you may have them count tress. Or you can have them find the alphabet in signs or other things you may pass. It can also be fun to make a competition out of it. Some children like rewards. If your child can find 5 trees then they can have a treat of some kind. These are all small activities to keep their minds busy while you drive down the road.
There is no fool-proof method to keep a toddlers happy while you travel. Remember, distraction is key. Keep their mind off of being buckled in a seat. Make sure and keep the trip as light and fun as possible. Think of games to play in the car. Bring snacks to keep their mouth busy. All of these are different ideas that you can try. Not every child is the same. Find which one works best for you and your child.