Will your family be traveling before the official end of summer? Here are some tips and ideas for helping little ones cope.
Keeping snacks and activities handy for little ones is always a great idea. Why not use a tacklebox as a unique road trip accessory? (Courtesy DisBoards.com)
Don’t just rely on screen-time for your little ones during the trip. Playing car bingo and other scavenger-hunt games are a fun family tradition that will help pass the time for all travelers. Here are some examples (click on each image to see full-size version):
More printables are available at the DisBoard site.
Audiobooks are also a great option and can be found for free at your local library. The whole family can enjoy stories such as the Magic Tree House series, Junie B. Jones, or Harry Potter. Our family can personally recommend “Whales on Stilts” by M. T. Anderson (I found it bizarre and hilarious), “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” and “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo,
Experienced parents provide some excellent travel tips at MiniTime.com FamilyTravel website.
For example, when flying:
Ziploc bags are an essential in-flight accessory. Pack a complete change of baby clothes in a two-gallon Ziploc bag. In case of an accident, you’ll not only have clean replacement duds but a place to put the dirties. Give yourself 10 bonus points for packing a clean tee-shirt for yourself. Also, pack your toddler’s full sippy cups (even the “no spill” kind) in large Ziplocs, since changes in cabin pressure can turn them into bubbling fountains. – Carmen from Asheville, NC
It really helps to prepare your kids ahead of time for what the security check will be like. Here’s a terrific example:
Before our last vacation, my sister, a flight attendant, suggested that I prepare my 3-year-old son for the airport security line. So while we were waiting, I told him that he would have to put his backpack, his stuffed monkey, and his Buzz Lightyear and Woody action figures in a box so that the airport police could take a picture of them. Then he would have to walk through a special magic doorway and he would get everything back right away. Talking about it beforehand really helped to ward off a meltdown when it was time to let go of his most beloved stuff! So my tip is to prepare your kids in advance for what could otherwise be a very unsettling experience. –Caroline from Dayton, OH
There are more great travel prep tips at DeliciousBaby.com. If you have a child with special needs, you might enjoy this series by FriendshipCircle.org that recommends specific books and activities to prepare your child for the experience. Happy & safe travels!by