It's officially the holiday season. For many families that means it's time to take planes, trains, and automobiles to visit family and friends. While time spent with loved ones is undoubtedly worth the effort, getting to them with young children can be stress-inducing. Make your life easier with some tricks and tools to ease the pain.
Lee Scott, Educational Advisory Board Member for The Goddard School has some recommendations for making travel more fun, less stressful, and educational.
First, start by preparing your child as early as possible by explaining how long the trip will take and what you will do when you get there. If your child is old enough, Scott recommends creating a trip journal with a list of things to pack, a map of your route, and pictures of where you will be going. Leave space for notes and keepsakes you will gather along the way.
This helps with creative expression, organization, and planning and can help your child anticipate having fun on the trip.
Second, you can help your child learn how to make choices by voting on things
along the way. Examples are voting on where to stop to eat and the nicest color car you see along the way. If you are keeping a journal you can add the results. Learning to make choices and decisions are important executive function skills.
Third, you can help your child prepare a bin to take along. The bin can be filled with books, puzzles, markers or crayons and paper as well as something new. The process helps your child in organizational skills, reading, math, and creativity. There is also some gear that can help keep everyone comfortable and sane:
Bag: When it comes to travel with kids a large bag with tons of pockets is essential to staying organized. I am a huge fan or the Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F. because it holds just about everything. It has tons and tons of pockets making it easy to stay organized. Although technically a diaper bag the B.F.F. will last far longer than the baby stage as a travel or weekender bag.