Now that summer is coming, there is time to go on a family vacation or road trip. While you may enjoy vacationing as a family, long trips in the car are hard for anyone, especially little ones with short attention spans. Make the trip easier and more enjoyable with these four kid-friendly tips.
1. Pack Activities: Think of several different activities that children can do in the car. Many kids will enjoy listening to music, listening to a story, and watching a movie. Pack a kid-friendly CD player and DVD player with his or her own headphones. This way they can stay occupied and you do not have to hear the tunes of their favorite kid’s show. If you have more than one child, multiple headphones can be used.
Other fun activities that can be done in the car are coloring or activity books. You can set up a hard surface for them to color on or complete activities on. You can even make your own activities, such as giving them a list of things they need to find while they look out the window. Such items can be a sheep or a yellow car.
2. Pack Snacks: Instead of stopping for several food stops for junk food, pack several healthy and filling snacks. Granola bars, fruit, and even sandwiches can help keep everyone’s mood up and prevent hunger meltdowns. Also keep cold water bottles in a cooler for a refreshing drink, even if you are out in the middle of nowhere. A bag full of small candy can also be taken as an incentive for good behavior and to keep kids from getting too cranky.
3. Plan for Potty Outings and Stretches: While every stop you make adds to the trip, planning out potty trips and stretch times will help keep you and the kids sane. Bring a few outside toys, like a ball to throw or a jump rope, to make the most of your stops. Allow kids to run and jump around to get out pint up energy. For warm days, changing your child’s clothes can instantly lift their mood. A fresh pair of clothes will feel good on their skin when they have been sitting and sweating in a car seat for several hours.
For kids still potty training, bringing a portable toddler potty will keep the drive stress-free. Since when they are young, they cannot best judge when to tell you they have to go to the bathroom, you have to be prepared to let them go right away. Being able to pull over on the side of the road and let them use the toddler potty in the car will make the whole trip more smoothly.
4. Play Games: Get everyone involved with a few car games. This will help an hour or two pass effortlessly. You can find several easy game ideas for the road online.
A bad car ride can really set the mood for the whole vacation. These four tips should help everyone stay in a good mood, no matter how long the drive is. Just remember that your little one is not trying to be naughty, they are just out of their normal routine and perhaps bored, so they are more likely to act up.
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