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26th July 2014 07:20 AM #1
Entertaining Small Children on Long Journeys
Have you ever had a holiday planned or a visit to a relative organised but the journey to get there filled you with worry and dread? Small children and long journeys can be a worrying combination, however, there are things that you can do to make it easier and even enjoyable. Here are some ideas our forum members have shared to date about ways to make those long journeys a little smoother:
- Read books with your children in advance about going on a long journey (there are some nice ones at barefoot books with sing-a-long songs too). Talk to your children about what to expect on the journey; explain what stops you will have on the way and what they can look forward to about the journey.
- Go to the library beforehand and stock up on tonnes of new books and listening books. Try to save them for the journey.
- For particularly long journeys, plan ideas, games and activities for the time in 30 minute slots. Being well-organised and planning ahead in this way can help you to feel confident and quickly come up with new ideas if your children start to get bored or restless.
- Try to plan your journey around the best time to have a nap if your child still sleeps in the day. Even older children who have dropped a nap may want one on a long, relaxing journey.
- Pack lots of food and drink. Food in small packets or containers can be useful as it keeps a young child's attention and gives them more variety. Try to avoid over-processed snacks which are high in sugar because these will eventually lead to a sugar (energy) low.
- Make up a little fun bag for each child. Fill it with inexpensive small toys (for example, from charity shops) which will be interesting for your children. Bubbles are excellent if this is practical so are travel puzzles and card games. Sticker books are always a winner and many children will spend a good couple of hours on a journey enjoying a new sticker book.
- If all else fails then don't feel guilty about your children watching some films on a long journey. You can break up the screen time with stops, snacks and other activities.
Do you have any tips to share with parents about to make a long journey with small children?
2nd August 2014 12:42 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
I think we have had our fair share of long journeys as we bused through Peru and Chile on some very long trips.
We've also drove 1500 miles back and forth to Mexico on several occasions.
Our bus experience were 22 plus hours and the last one through Chile was 31 hours.
I made sure that we had quite a few activities to keep them busy, from coloring books to play dough, to small race cars, legos, bubbles, ipads....
I also brought several favorite snacks to pull out when times got hard to bare.
Our food bags always contain each child's "favorite" food as well as fun snacks to eat along the way.
I brought along a nice sized towel to put down on the bus floor so that the little's could sit down and play on the floor.
We made sure to take several bathroom breaks and have good smelling hand soap to help break the traditional soap the bus offers. I always bring along a bag of baby wipes for any accidents etc.
Id say our experiences have been pleasant for the most part.
Watching out the window is always an option, counting new things along the way.
2nd August 2014 04:47 AM #3
Thanks sunnymumof5 - these are great tips. I especially like the idea of bringing a towel for the bus floor and some nice soap to feel refreshed.
16th September 2014 10:16 AM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2014