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How to Travel with Kids


Before we dive in today, I wanted to give you a quick update on the site’s redesign. We are tenatively shooting for a launch in 4 weeks. That has me both incredibly excited and more than a bit nervous about all the work to be done. So I’ll be stepping back a bit for the next 4 weeks. Don’t worry though, between contributors, guest posts, and a few roundups – I’ve got you covered with tons of fresh stuff while I’m away. Now, back to the topic at hand…

Many of you with kids probably remember how freeing that first summer was when they were no longer babies. At ages two and three, S and C still get their fair share of car restlessness but travel now is SO much easier than it was a year ago. We’ve been taking advantage of our new freedom and hitting the road quite a bit lately. Last week we took a long weekend and the kids were in the car for no less than 12 hours round trip. Needless to say, these kind of ventures do take a bit of planning and today MPMK contributor Kim is here talking all about it…

Some of us luckily still have some vacationing and road tripping to do this summer. Although vacations can be a blast, getting there can be a hassle. Here are a few old school ideas with a fresh new spin to keep everyone happily truckin’ down the road.

1. Great Stories

 

For our recent (very) long car ride I recorded some of our favorite books onto CD and my daughter couldn’t stop smiling. I used a digital voice recorder, but you could easily use the voice recorder app on any smartphone. Steph’s digital audio library for the iPad is another fantastic solution. 

Also, if you’re traveling to visit family, you could ask family members to record their favorite tales, so that your child can take a little piece of that person back home with them. However you do it, you are taking the time just once to create something special your child can enjoy over and over.

How to Travel with Kids

2. Stay-Put Play

We love magnetic figure scenes by Mudpuppy. They offer a broad collection, from dinosaurs and robots to ballerinas and fairies, to get everyone in on the dress up fun. The storage tin is perfect to spread open and use as a lap desk and the magnets keep everything right in place.

 

I have also created my own stay-put play scenes out of a clipboards, small objects, and Velcro dots. For one scene I used this dog set that is sold as an add-on for a dollhouse and for the other I used baby feeding supplies (like a bottle, bowl, and spoon) to go along with my daughter’s doll. My daughter loves being able to manipulate the parts and thinks the Velcro is fun. I love it because it allows her to get some great pretend play in without yelling about the pesky little part that fell just out of reach.
How to Travel with Kids

 

3. The Right Focus

Helping your child focus on the journey instead of the destination will allow your whole family to find treasures along the way. Heather of Wordplayhouse shares a beautiful idea of planning farmer’s markets into your road trip so that you can stop for local treats, a fresh family picnic, and much needed outdoor play. 

I also love the idea of creating a scavenger hunt, with pictures for younger children and a list for readers, so that they can keep their minds focused on all of the great sites that are part of the journey. Moms Minivan has an example of a scavenger hunt you can print right out or use as inspiration for your own.
Those are my go-to travel tips, what are yours? Please share with us below and happy trails!

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen July 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Great tips! I just wrote a post about flying with kids; your readers might find it be a helpful companion to your thoughts on road trips with kids. Thanks for another insightful piece. http://shewhodelights.blogspot.com/2012/06/flying-with-kids.html

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JDaniel4's Mom July 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I love the idea of adding Velcro to object to hold them in place.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com July 30, 2012 at 11:30 pm

So smart, right?!

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Shaleah July 31, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Adding velcro to keep toys in place is simply genius!

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Kim @ Little Stories July 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Thanks, Shaleah! It works great with laminated pictures for older kids too!

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Megan July 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Love this! I just wrote a similar one about our adventures in Puerto Rico. Great blog :)

http://Www.artbymegan.com

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Joyce August 1, 2012 at 7:53 am

I love this post!! Those homemade travel toys are genius!

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SusanCK August 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

We take a 20 hour trip to visit my side of the family plus another 5 hours to go visit my husband’s side of the family every year. We start out in the evening so a good chunk of the trip happens while our son sleeps. He is 4 1/2 for this up and coming trip. My husband and his Mom swap driving while I entertain and spend a lot of time with our little boy. We try to make lots of stops at rest stops to walk around, fastfood places with play areas, and parks. Once we even stopped at a big pet store just to look around. I also pack Mr. Potato Head, books, magnadoodle, and this year we’ll have the added bonus of our Nook! I really like the velcro idea!

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