Keeping Kids Occupied on a Long Journey
Whether you’re travelling by plane, train, car or ferry a long journey with children can be especially challenging. Even the best behaved children will struggle with the monotony of being trapped in the same place for hours on end. If possible, one solution is to schedule the trip during the night, allowing the children to sleep away the trip; but that’s not always and an option. Especially if you’re travelling by car as obviously you need your rest too and nighttime driving in areas you’re not familiar with can be stressful. Parents who think ahead will be better prepared to deal with the situation.
Technology can provide one answer. Although many of us try to discourage the kids from spending too long on electronics, when you’re on a long journey they can be worth their weight in gold. The kids being able to play on their hand-held video games will provide at least a few hours of entertainment for the kids (and peace and quiet for the parent
However, for those children too young for the gadgets, and for all children when the gadgets get boring or the charge runs out, make sure to have other things on hand.
A stack of books is always welcome on a long trip. Pack a variety of books appropriate to the ages of the children, from picture books for the youngest to magazines or novels for the oldest. An added advantage of books is that one book can occupy more than one child – all of the children can listen while an adult reads aloud, or an older child can read a book to a younger one.
Some children can feel a little travel sick reading a book so why not try an audio book? You could choose one that the whole family would enjoy or give the kids some headphones and let them listen to their own choice.
What do they play with at Home?
Make sure to bring your child’s favourite toy (preferably non-noisy). Younger children can entertain themselves for quite a while with a stuffed toy to cuddle or chat with. Art supplies are one thing most parents don’t consider, but for a child who loves to draw, a notebook and some colouring pencils are a great option. If you’re children enjoy crafting, then a put a little box together with beads, string, etc. and everything can be kept neatly together.
Most importantly, don’t neglect the value of “quality time.” Just catching up with each other or making plans for all the things you’d like to do on holiday can see the time fly by. Sometimes the journey can be half the fun of a trip.