Monday, December 31, 2012

After Holiday Reflections of Traveling With Children

Is it ever NOT busy?  Add children and traveling to the mix, and then it is a whole new kind of busy.  I am looking forward to slowing down a bit after the holidays and getting back to our rhythm. How did you deal with all the changes and transitions that came with that territory? Gosh, how are you transitioning back to home life?

When it came to traveling with the kiddo, I found it helpful if to be a little prepared. If he is content, this mama can take a moment and breathe. I've gathered some mighty helpful pins you will find on my "Traveling With Children" Pinterest board.

I also want to underscore it REALLY helps when children are approaching a new situation; to walk them through it and talk about some of the things you will be doing.  Since we were flying, we knew there was going to be a lot of loud noises and things that would scare him if he didn't know what to expect.  YouTube was a great resource to search out examples of planes and people taking off in planes.  We talked about how it was going to be very loud, possibly bumpy at times and this was to be expected.  Books are also a great way to open kids up to a new experience. Lil Guy loved his book, Airport by Byron Barton.  Reading it gave us the opportunity to talk about what we would be seeing on our adventure to see family.  It does not talk about going through security, but you could "play" at what that will be like.  Have everyone take turns playing different parts.  Then you can point to the picture of a family walking through a metal detector.

For some compact entertainment, card games are great to take along when traveling with children.  My toddler loves cards, even if he doesn't know how to "play" the game.  When preparing for a trip to visit my sweet's family, I found Big Trucks and Diggers Matching Game to help with the entertainment.  The game is a little old for Lil Guy but I know he would enjoy lining the cards up and make-up his own way to play with them.  Plus, if you have multiple children that are into machines, it will entertain children ages 3 to 7.   For older children, Crazy Mates would be nice to have when you find out your flight has been delayed for a couple of hours and you need something to help with the airport fever the kids are developing. For children 5 and up. 

What else was in my travel entertainment arsenal?  I thought a stitching block might come in handy.  Best part is.. the wooden "needle" is attached.  It is like this toy was meant to travel.  A great first lacing and threading toy for ages 3 to 6. Kept my wee one's hands busy while building fine motor skills and dexterity. For older children 6 and up, a knitting tower might be something you would want to pack along with a bit of yarn.  Make long ropes of yarn and see what sort of quiet fun can ensue.

I  also picked out stickers of some of Orlen's favorite things.  You can't ever go wrong with stickers.  If you have a book of some sort to put stickers in, even better.  I found Little Airport Sticker Activity Book that was small enough to stash in my purse and came in handy during our layover while grabbing a bite to eat. Would even work with older children, as you get to make your own scenes with the stickers.  I have also found that band-aids and tape will keep smaller one's entertained for a nice bit of time.

One of my all time FAVORITES for when you will be traveling by car when it's dark.. GLOW STICKS.  Seriously, tube of sticks that you can snap together are the perfect thing to give the kiddos to buy you that extra hour before you reach your destination.  Glow in the dark stickers could be fun too. 

I hope you can utilize this life-inspired post and it helps inspire your own traveling arsenal for future adventures.  I would love to hear what you can't live without when hitting the road.  Or better yet, FOOD?!?   That is one of the best things to keep kids and adults happy.  What are some of your favorite on-the-go eats? 

Next post will be all about what I have been doing while I disappeared from the ol' bloggy blog, pictures galore and some reflection fo'shore.  Let us ring in the New Year riding the wave of a consciousness shift and work towards a healthier society and sustainable future.