Screen-Free Travel With Kids Is Easier Than You Think
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Sometimes keeping the kids occupied while maintaining your sanity is the hardest part of traveling. Although tablets are a trusted companion for most parents, here are some great alternatives that only take a tad more effort than screen-time.
Water WOW! Books
This is a great activity for little ones who are just starting to grasp a pencil. These books are also the perfect mess-free solution for traveling. A small brush that you fill with water allows your kids to “paint” on the in-book pages, revealing colors and forms. What I love most, is that once the pages dry, they are reusable.
Information About Your Destination
Before you leave, grab a few books about your destination. Reading the books out loud and allowing your kids to have a say in the travel itinerary, will get them even more excited about the trip.
A Wish List
Here’s an easy way to occupy the kids for at least a few minutes, and all you need is a pen and paper. Have them get started on their holiday or birthday present wish list. It will take them some time to narrow down the list to their biggest “wants”, allowing you to have a few undisturbed moments.
There are some great audio books for kids out there that will keep them engaged for a while. Audible.com has a great collection of children’s and young adult books that will suit every age and every interest.
If your little one is into drawing or practicing their letters, check out this Boogie Board that can provide hours of fun and creativity. This smart electronic notepad allows you to draw, scribble, doodle, and erase easily without the mess.
Go Old School
There is nothing wrong with going old school during that extra long road trip. Singing songs, playing ‘I Spy’, tic tac toe, or hangman, or even just telling stories, worked for us back in the day, and with a little effort and enthusiasm on your part, should work for your kids as well.
This one works wonders for the younger kids. Before your trip, head to the dollar store and grab a bunch of cheap knick knacks in which you can fill a small backpack. Think everything from magnifying glasses to small toys or even an old school calculator for the smaller kids. When you get on the plane or start your road trip, take out the surprise backpack and let the kids rummage through the bag of goodies. The surprise and excitement of new things will keep them entertainment for quite a while.