Travelling with Young Children

When grandma and grandpa live in another state or your family wants to travel on a summer vacation then a road trip might be what you plan. If it is and you are traveling with preschool age children you will need your own personal arsenal of things to keep their little minds busy. Your arsenal or 'bag of tricks' should first and foremost start with the comforts of home. Pack your child's favorite blanket, pillow and toy for sleeping. These will not only come in handy at the hotel or grandmas when it is time for bed but also food if you get stranded along the road for an unforeseen reason. Your child can snuggle with his or her blanket while the adults are dealing with the situation.

The next thing you need in your bag of tricks is a DVD player with lots of movies. If you are lucky enough to have a child who will watch movies for hours this will be a blessing when you are on the road. The second way that movies help is you can explain how long your drive will be based on movie length.

For example you can say 'it will be two movies and then we will be at our hotel'. The third trick in your bag is activity workbooks. Pack coloring books, dot to dots, mazes and letter and number books. Then keep them safely stowed away from the kids.

When they are in the need of a pick me up pull out a book and give them a crayon. Fourth in your bag of tricks are magnet shapes and cookie sheets. Before your trip go to an office supply store and purchase sticky back magnets. These are often times used to make magnetic business cards or magnetic posters.

Then peel back the magnetic label and stick on colored construction paper. Then cut the magnets into shapes. The kids can then use the shapes to draw pictures on the cookie sheets.

Your fifth trick in your bag of tricks is books. Bring plenty of books to read aloud to your children. Think about how much time you already spend reading to your kids.

This is a great way to pass the time, while one parent drives the other parent reads. Your sixth and final trick will be the scent game. Clean out and save 10-12 film canisters. Then place one cotton ball in each dry film canister.

On each cotton ball place a couple of drops of different scents. You can use vanilla, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, anise oil, perfume and even dads' cologne. Then label each canister and have your children try to guess what the scents are. With your bag of tricks full you should have a great road trip with even the fussiest of preschoolers.

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