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.
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.
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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