Vacations are a fantastic way to bring the family together. Just think of your favorite childhood memories. Some of them are sure to be from those family trips.
I’m sure you also remember being young and the famous line “Are we there yet?” If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard this once, twice, or too many times to count.
Kids are full of energy and tons of fun under the right circumstances. However, they need the right activities to keep them engaged and happy. There’s nothing worse than a temper tantrum in the car or a meltdown at the airport. A little extra planning and the right tools can go a long way. You want your kids to be comfortable, have fun, and avoid boredom. After all, a happy child equals happy parents.
To create these beautiful family memories and a bonding experience, you need to keep your kids entertained. Whether it’s on a long drive, a cross-continental flight, or sightseeing, there are some valuable tips to keep your little ones occupied.
1. Travel Journals
Travel journals are an excellent way for kids to stay busy while documenting their trips. Kid-friendly journals are available nowadays and are specifically designed to keep a young one’s attention. They can get them excited about the location as they write, draw, or detail the holiday. As a bonus, they’ll end up with a handmade souvenir!
2. Art Supplies
Art supplies are a fantastic tool for kids of all ages. Paper, coloring books, or crafts can keep them entertained for ages. A clipboard may also come in handy when hard surfaces are hard to come by. Just make sure to have bags for colored pencils, markers, and the like. You wouldn’t want some turbulence sending those crayons flying!
3. Kids Games
Kids games are essential for holidays. There are options for children to play solo, with siblings, or as a family. Many popular games even come in easy-to-pack travel versions. Bananagrams and Mobi Math Whale are family favorites that come in cute on-the-go sachets.
Kids love puzzles, and they come in many shapes and forms. Puzzle games might be the best option for traveling. Think sudoku, Tetris, jigsaws, or word searches. These can be on books, boards, or electronic versions. They can help kids practice problem-solving and reasoning skills in creative ways. Most importantly, they’ll be focused on something productive, taking the pressure off you to entertain.
5. Old & New Toys
Sometimes novelty plays a vital role in entertainment. Kids love the shiny new appeal of a brand-new toy. Use this to your advantage when going on vacation. Wait to buy that toy, doll, or game they’ve been eyeing until your trip. Or pull out an oldie but goodie from the back of the closet. The time it takes to tire of these toys might be just as long as you need.
6. Podcasts & Audiobooks
Children’s podcasts and audiobooks can keep them engaged for hours. Download some podcasts or books before your trip so you won’t need to rely on Wi-Fi. Be prepared with various genres for different moods; a compelling story for when they need to stay alert or a soothing one for those moments of much-needed calm.
7. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are an excellent tool for long road trips or a day of sightseeing. It can also add some excitement to those museum excursions. Preprepared scavenger hunts are online. Don’t be afraid to make your own based on the locations you’ll be visiting. For an extra challenge, have your kids develop their own scavenger hunts for the family.
8. Tablet or Phone
Most parents don’t want their kids glued to a device for hours on end. However, the entertainment value of colorful, interactive screens is undeniable. Sometimes it’s just plain necessary. It’s a good idea to keep a tablet or smartphone charged and ready to go for emergencies. Stock it with kid’s games, audiobooks, and shows. If you’re brave, turn your phone over to your kids and let them play photographer for a day. Don’t forget an external battery for longer trips and more remote areas.
Traveling with kids is a rewarding experience when you’re adequately prepared. Bored or unruly children are sometimes just a result of not having the right entertainment on hand. Pack ahead and come equipped with snacks, games, books, and electronics. With the right tools, you can go home relaxed and with lifelong memories.