For many families summertime means travel, and travel means extra screen time for their children. There is a time and place for conscious screen use when traveling, but it doesn’t have to be the default. When it is, we can miss out on valuable opportunities for learning and connection. If you are interested in getting from point A to point B with no or minimal screen use read on for some tried and true tips.
Tune into the learning environment: There is so much to see when you are traveling! Enjoy the sights and sounds and explore everything. Take time to talk about what you are seeing while you travel. You may find yourself talking about aerodynamics with your three year old!
Pack food that is a process: You know how lunch can take ninety minutes with a toddler sometimes? This is a bonus when you are enroute! To buy yourself more time, bring along foods that need peeling and processing, like pistachios or clementines. Try to avoid sugary treats. It’s hard enough for your little one to sit still on long travel days without sugar!
Bring activities for the ride: If it is a long trip, your little one will likely need more to do than eat and explore the traveling process. Bring along lightweight activities/toys for them to explore with you while you travel. If these are things your child has never seen before that will be a bonus. Wrapping them adds to the fun, and adds a little time to each activity. Pull them out one by one, and wait until your child has totally lost interest to introduce the next one. If you let us know you are traveling during your exchange process, we can make sure to send you small lightweight toys that will be perfect to use this way.
Be ready to play: Singing, reading, and playing games out loud together can make for a delightful trip experience. “I spy” and “20 Questions” are great games for the car or plane. For young children, play 20 questions with limitless questions.
Manage your expectations: As with most things, managing our expectations is a key ingredient for success. With children under six years of age, you will likely spend your entire trip connecting and playing with them. The trade off is that the trip will be a time of connection, exploration and learning. While it may feel like a marathon now, you may just miss these kinds of travel days when your child gets older.
Let us do some of the work for you! If you want small, lightweight, packable travel toys in your next kit - just let us know when you exchange!