5 Tips For How To Travel With Kids

Baby sleeping in car seat
It’s hard to know how to travel with kids sometimes, especially when the trip is long. They so easily get bored and cross, especially when they are stuck in their seat for a long time in a car or airplane.

It’s difficult for kids to stay in one position in one place for a long time. They’re naturally so active, and they have a short attention span. They also get hungry suddenly and want food fast. So the answer to how to travel with kids happily is to keep their stomachs full and their minds (and if possible, bodies) entertained.

Use these 5 tips to prepare for your trip and you should find things go much better next time!

1. Take A Bag For Each Child

It’s a good idea to pack a separate small bag for each child so they have their own things. They may like to pack it themselves, but you’ll want to check they haven’t forgotten anything important.

Vital things to take along are each child’s favourite stuffed animal toy and/or comfort blanket, a few toys, snacks and water in a spillproof bottle. Bits of food may end up all over the car and you have to weight up whether you prefer that or stopping and having them get out of the car each time they want to eat.

2. Find Some Toys Designed For Traveling

It’s worth getting some toys that are specially designed for long car journeys, like Seat Pets. There’s now a Seat Pets UK supply. These stuffed animal toys fit around the child’s seat belt to stop them complaining of discomfort and they even have a cavity inside so kids can keep their other toys or a water bottle inside them.

For older kids who can play together, you might want to purchase travel versions of Scrabble and other classic games. These have pieces that stick or hook into the board so the board can be passed around without all the pieces falling off.

3. Pick Up Some New Movies Or Activity Books

Getting some new activity books for your children to colour pictures or figure out problems and puzzles can be a big hit with kids who like doing these things. Make sure they are new, so it’s more exciting for the child. Surf through the toy reviews here: www.10topchristmastoys.co.uk

Be sure to remember the pens (or crayons, if you have light coloured car fittings) and something for each child to lean on, like a tray or a hard book. If you take trays they can double as a table for meals and snacks.

Just keep in mind that activities where kids have to look at a page or screen for a long time may be more likely to bring on travel sickness in children who are susceptible to it.

4. Give Each Child A Camera

A cheap disposable camera can be hugely fun for a child. You’ll want to make sure they understand it before you set off, especially if the driver is the only adult in the car. You may want to encourage them to save some for when they’ve arrived, or take pictures of things they’ve never seen before rather than having 20 pictures of their own toes … but in the end, whatever they want to do with it will be fun.

Of course you’ll need to have the pictures developed so the child can see how they turned out. Another option is a cheap digital camera for each child so they can edit out the repeated pictures and keep only the best ones to post online or print out.

5. Electronic Options

Of course, there’s also technology. Kids can entertain themselves for hours with a handheld video console or an in-car DVD player. Even their favourite story or songs on a CD in the in-car sound system can help stave off boredom.

Don’t forget the accessories that these items need: spare batteries, a charger, leads, headphones or whatever.

In summary, it’s really not so difficult to keep kids happy when you’re travelling. You just need to plan ahead. Let kids have plenty of different activities within their reach, and don’t forget their favourite comfort toys to remind them of home. With luck and some good planning, they won’t notice how long they’ve been stuck in the car and you’ll have found the solution to how to travel with kids.

Are You Smothering Your Child?

son and mother photo
Are you guilty of over-parenting? Sure, things that your child needs can be done by you. After all, you are the adult! However, there is a fine line between meeting your child’s needs and smothering them to the point they have little independence. A child who has had everything done for them can struggle with finding independence as they grow. How can you tell if you’re smothering your child? And what can you do about it?

First off, don’t be too hard on yourself! Just because you find that you either consciously or subconsciously “smother” your child doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. It only means there is room for some adjustments that can benefit both you and your child.

The “It’s Easier to Do it Myself” Attitude

Consider this situation. Your child has just learned to tie their shoelaces, however, hates doing it and is ragging on you to do it for them. You know for a fact he/she can do the task themselves, however, when you’re running late for work, it’s easiest to give in and do it yourself. Although you are correct that it is easier to do it yourself to save time, in some cases it’s better to be late than to take the easy way out. If you anticipate this delay or end up running late without tying the shoelaces, your child will get the hint that it’s up to them to get their shoelaces tied.

Keep in mind that this technique only works if your child knows how to do the task. Whether it’s tying their shoelaces, making the bed, or fastening their seatbelt, the child must be able to execute the task at hand. Of course, you’ll need to check they’ve done it right, at first. If the child is unsure of or completely unaware of how to do the task, take some time to teach him/her to avoid frustration from both ends. This brings us to the next point.

Equip Your Child With Tools

No, this does not mean giving your child a hammer and nails! Equip your child with tools to develop the knowledge to complete a task. You can’t expect your child to do something he/she doesn’t know how to do and get frustrated because they can’t do it. That’s unfair to both of you! The middle ground is met by giving kids the tools they need to complete a task then getting out of the way.

In this case, “tools” are “how-to” detailed instructions to complete tasks such as putting away toys, sweeping the floor, preparing dinner, and going on job interviews. For example, if you have a younger child, you can show them how to put their toys away by using a toy box. If you have an older child, give him/her instructions on how to use the microwave to prepare dinner.
Be advised that your child should practice these tasks with you present at first. If you step aside too soon, your child might give up since he/she is unsure of how to proceed. If you step in too often or too soon, your child may become dependent on you thus presuming he/she “can’t do it” and give up. Teach your child the skills involved in completing the tasks and ensure that you know he/she know how to do it.

Foster Internal Motivation

Experts have said that motivation comes from within for true independence. If you make broad requests such as “do your homework” or “clean your room”, the child may feel overwhelmed (how does “clean the house” sound to you? daunting!). Break the task down into simple steps. Experts say that coaching and encouraging the child are both fine, however, is not the same as stepping in.

Make a checklist for your child for each task they need to complete. For example, a “do your homework” checklist may look like this:

1. Get a drink and snack
2. Find a comfy place to set up books
3. Write out spelling words and study the list
4. Complete science worksheet
5. Read chapter of book and write a summary for it

Feel free to break the list down further to cater to your child’s age/needs. Be patient in your attempts and really listen to what your child needs. Have your child write a list to avoid having to tell him/her what to do over and over.
ing to tell him/her what to do over and over.

Science Toys to Encourage Your Child to Learn About Science

Science toys
It can be hard for some kids to appreciate the importance of learning. They may see education and school as something that they are obliged to do and relating it to the world that they are living in will most likely be the last thing on their mind because they are more concentrated on getting high grades.

This is true especially when it comes to subjects such as science and math. Most kids don’t see how they can relate these subjects outside of the school. Because of this, it will be difficult for them to have the motivation in learning more about science even in the future. However, you can help them by doing some things such as these great ideas.

1. Be Involved

You can have the power in setting the tone for your child when it comes to encouraging them to learn about science. Your child’s teacher can teach him or her at school but you should enforce this when your child gets home.

You can help them in doing science projects or support them in joining science competitions. The excitement and interest that you will provide will motivate them to learn more. The presence of a child’s parents is very encouraging. You can even talk to your child about careers which are related to science for him or her to have a different perspective. This will give them an idea as to how cool science really is thus, encouraging them to want to learn more.

2. Buying Science Toys

There are a lot of science toys which are made for different ages. These toys are not only educational but also fun. Items such as science kits and microscopes will provide your child with a hands-on approach to science even when he or she is outside of the classroom.

One great example of a fun and educational science toy is the Snap Circuits range. This type of toy will give your child the chance of making circuits for certain items such as doorbells and alarms. This will reinforce what your child has been learning in school and it will even take him or her knowledge about science to a whole new level.

3. Taking an adventure

Make a schedule to spend time for your child such as on weekends or when they are having school breaks and bring them to an outdoor adventure. See our tips on how to travel with kids. The beauty of nature can be a perfect environment for your child to learn about science. Places such as zoos, wildlife preservation areas and nation parks are great examples as to where you can take your child to encourage him or her to learn more about science.