5 Tips To Keep Your Preschooler Entertained During Long Car Trips
As many families visit relatives in the provinces and other cities for the holidays, long car trips are definitely in store. Here are clever and practical ways to keep them from being bored as they travel.
The holidays are fast approaching, and many families will be travelling by road to visit their relatives in nearby and far-flung provinces. Having been used to long road trips while on mission in East Timor with their 2 young kids, Teachermama Tina Rodriguez shares five tips on how to keep little ones occupied during such times. With a little planning, creativity and simple resources, one can help make the trip an enjoyable ride for the whole family!
Tip No. 1 – Make a list of activities to do and things to bring before the trip This is where your planning skills will come in handy. Try to jot down anything and everything you can think of that may be of use to you during the trip. Of course, this does not mean that you should bring everything but the kitchen sink along with you! Be practical but be prepared for unexpected surprises as well.
Some examples of essential items on your list are: • Snacks for the kids (and the adults as well). Make sure that these are travel-friendly and will not pose as choking hazards for the little ones. Also, avoid bringing food items that may transform your car or van into a messy, sticky disaster area. Also, don’t bring too much junk food or sugary stuff, since you wouldn’t want your kids to be bouncing off the walls of your vehicle! Try going for veggie and fruit slices, unsalted peanuts, dried fruit snacks, and healthier alternatives to your typical chips, such as soya chips and natural potato chips. Look for snacks with less MSG in them as well. Most major supermarkets should carry them. Ask the salespersons in the supermarket for help to save time when shopping for such items.
• Drinking water. Make sure that each kid has his or her own bottle of drinking water (pack extra ones for really long trips), preferably in spill-proof, leak-free bottles. Try to avoid bringing fruit juice or fizzy drinks (soft drinks) as these will just add to your kid’s “sugar high.” Also, spilled fruit juice or soft drinks equals sticky kids, car seats and floors.
• Wet tissue or wet ones. These will come in handy every time – for cleaning up the kids, wiping up spills, freshening up mom’s face, etc. In worst-case scenarios, such as kids vomiting inside the car during the trip (this has happened to us a lot of times! Yuck!), having lots of wet ones on hand has proven to be a lifesaver!
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• Hand sanitizer and hand soap. To keep germs at bay, always practice keeping one’s hands clean. For the kids, it is best to use non-alcohol based hand sanitizer, as some studies indicate that alcohol can be absorbed into one’s skin. You may want to try out Human Nature’s sugar cane alcohol-based organic hand sanitizer, since this is safer for kids and even babies! Human Nature also has liquid hand soap available in handy pocket-sized bottles, which makes hand-washing while travelling so much more convenient! (You can check these products out at Human Nature’s official website.)
• Water for washing. Fill up your old mineral bottles or soft drink bottles with clean tap water and put them in the trunk. Use the water for washing hands, bottles, emergency “calls of nature” (when there are no toilets available! This also happened a lot to us in East Timor!), etc.
• Games and toys suitable for the ride. This will be explained further in this article.
Don’t forget to estimate how long the trip will be so that you will know how many or how much of each item you will need to bring. Peapod (http://peapodbaby.multiply.com) has a nice product called the Trippy Travel Tote that helps organize your kids’ things for use in the car.
Click here to read more tips on how to keep your preschooler entertained during long car trips.