This is the time of year when many of us are packing up our bags and headed to one destination or another. Often times this means packing along children as well. For those of us who have traveled with little children, we know how stressful and uncomfortable this can be. So, if this is the time of year when we are supposed to be happy and enjoying theÃ‚Â moment, how can we make traveling with our children run more smoothly? There are several ways that parents can keep their children occupied when traveling during the holidays; whether by car, plane, or train. Below, I will explain different ways that you can keep your children occupied while enjoying the travel time to your destination.
As an overview, music players, DVD players, video games, coloring books, crayons, and books are all great ways to keep children occupied when seated for a long period of time. All of these things are great for all ages as well. At no fault of their own, children can become restless during a long ride and they need something to do to occupy their attention. Often this is something that is already fun to them and that piques their interest.
Not only does keeping children occupied make the holiday travel time easier for parents, but the time also goes by more quickly for the children if their attention isn’t focused on whether we are there yet or not.
When you are planning on traveling with all ages of children during the holidays, take some time ahead of the travel date to load some of their favorite songs onto a music player. If your children are older, they probably already have a music player loaded with songs of their own, but it is important to prepare one for younger kids as well. Being able to listen to favorite songs passes the time by more quickly as they look out the window and watch the scenery pass by. If you do decide to go this route for entertainment, make sure that each child is fully equipped with earphones and that they do not turn it up too high. Not only is this an entertainment option for the children, but it will keep them out of your hair as you travel.
Another great way for children to be occupied during long holiday travel excursions is bring along a portable DVD player, preferably one that attaches to the back of a head rest, so that the player isn’t being passed around and broken. Before traveling, load up a bag full of your children’s favorite movies and allow each of them to take turns picking a movie to watch. When the player is attached to a front-seat headrest, it allows each passenger to have a clear view of the screen. The great thing about movies is that most of them last between an hour and a half to two hours, and a lot of traveling can be done in that amount of time. It also gives children something other than time passing by to focus on.
It may be worth it to invest some money into purchasing a hand-held video game system for your children. Allow your children to pack a few of their very favorite games, and you will be surprised at how much easier holiday traveling is when they are occupied with this. If it is a game with different levels, the kids will be occupied with beating the game and they will forget about the time that it is taking to travel to grandma’s house. If you only purchase one game system, but you have more than one child, make sure that equal time is given to each child. While one is playing a video game, the others can be listening to music, watching a movie, or coloring in a coloring book.
Coloring Books and Crayons
For children that are below the age of about seven or eight, coloring books are great ways to occupy their attention. Before traveling maybe head over to the dollar store and allow each child to pick out their favorite coloring book and a set of crayons so that they each have their own. This is an inexpensive way to prepare the children for holiday traveling. Children can color for long periods of time, so this is a great way to keep them entertained. As an added bonus, by the time you reach your destination your child may have many pictures finished to show off to family and friends and this will boost their self-confidence.
For older children, make sure to pack along some good mystery and adventure books, or just their favorite book to read while traveling. When your child finds a good book, they can be enthralled for hours, which is great for you as parents. Reading is such a great way to take children on fun adventures and allows them to solve mysteries, discover new truths or beliefs, and find themselves surrounded by fantasy.
Whatever form of travel you take this holiday season, make sure you are prepared with many of these tips. The fun of the holidays will disintegrate if the children aren’t occupied during travel time. Not only is it important to make the holidays fun and bearable for the parents, but it is important to make it enjoyable for the children as well. By following these simple steps, you’ll find that you arrive at your destination feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated than when you left.