Whether you’re going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house or perhaps hopping a flight to a warm weather destination, families traveling for the holidays have one thing in common: the struggle of keeping kids entertained while they’re contained on a plane, train or automobile.
We moms who’ve made a trip or two have a trick or two up their sleeves. When our family takes a vacation, there are a few things I always make sure to pack:
Mini White Boards
These pack a double-dose of child entertainment! First, kids can draw and erase their white boards over and over to their hearts’ content. Second, they’re magnetic. Try packing a bag of letter magnets kids can arrange into words. If they’re younger, find some magnets of their favorite characters so they can create and act out scenes.
Mom’s Bag of Tricks
I always keep a bag packed with little forms of entertainment: age-appropriate books, puzzles and Play-Doh. The trick is to keep switching out your distractions before the kids start getting antsy. You don’t have to break the bank here. Little coloring packs from the dollar section will work great for a short amount of time.
The TrayKit is handy for keeping kids entertained. It’s a backpack that also provides a place for kids to play on an airplane tray table or on their laps in the car. When you open it up, it makes a tray with raised edges, so nothing falls on the floor when you’re traveling. My girls like to pack theirs with little toys, markers and other coloring gear. You can watch their YouTube video to learn more about TrayKits.
These won’t keep kids entertained, but they sure will be helpful as you travel. Whether you’re using the tray table on a plane or stopping at a restaurant, it’s a great idea to have some portable placemats to keep kids from eating off a dirty surface. Not to mention, it’s much easier to clean up!
Don’t forget to pack extra clothes, in case of an accident or for kids to layer if they get cold or hot. And, of course, the essentials like diapers, wipes and plenty of snacks – for the kids and for yourself. No one likes to travel hangry!