When traveling with kids, it can often feel like getting anywhere requires a herculean effort. Just trying to keep them entertained in the car for even a short trip can feel like an uphill battle. However, there are some simple tricks and tips that you can use to make car rides with kids more enjoyable and fun.
Install Car Seats
If you have small children, it is important to have them in the appropriate car seat for their age and size. Car seats like those at Diono can help to provide a more comfortable ride by limiting movement and vibrations. Additionally, if you opt for booster seats or other attachment options, your kids will be able to get a better view out the window, perfect for sight-seeing or exploring new places along the way. Not only is this the law in most states, but it will also help keep them safe in the event of an accident. You should also make sure that the car seats are properly installed and that your children know how to use them correctly.
Play Soothing Music
Nobody likes being stuck in traffic, but it can be even more frustrating when you have screaming children in the backseat. One way to combat this is to play some soothing music in the car. This will help keep everyone calm and relaxed during the ride. Invest in some high-quality headphones or earbuds so that your little ones can listen to their favorite songs or watch videos on your phone or tablet without disturbing everyone else in the car. Just be sure to set some ground rules about device use beforehand.
If you’re going on a long road trip, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you take some breaks along the way. This will give everyone a chance to stretch their legs, use the restroom, and get some fresh air. It’s also a good idea to bring along some snacks and drinks for the kids so they don’t get too cranky during the drive.
Create a selection of fun games that kids can play together in the back seat. This will distract them from all the tempting store displays along the highway and help build their social skills as well as their motor skills. One great game to start with is “car bingo,” which involves having each player look out the window for certain sights (such as an engine repair truck) and checking off any squares on their car bingo board once they see one of these items coming up along the side of the road. Other options include I Spy and 20 Questions.
Bring Child’s Favorite Toys
If you’re going to be driving for a while, it’s a good idea to bring along your child’s favorite toy or blanket. This will help keep them occupied during the ride and prevent them from getting too fussy. Just make sure you pack everything up before you leave so you don’t have to deal with a crying child while you’re trying to find their favorite teddy bear.
Pack a variety of snacks that will keep them busy and happy for longer stretches of time. Some great options include fruit leathers, nuts, seeds, granola bars, pretzels, crackers, and trail mix. Try to avoid sugary or salty snacks whenever possible, these can lead to meltdowns or irritability later on in the ride.
Ensure the Vehicle Is in Good Condition
Cracks in the windshield, burnt-out headlights, and loose seats can all make for a bumpy and uncomfortable ride. These issues can be dangerous if they cause you to have trouble seeing or staying balanced. To make car rides with kids fun and stress-free, it’s important to take the time to regularly inspect your vehicle for any problems that could compromise your safety or theirs. Whether you do routine maintenance yourself or take your car in for professional service, taking steps to keep your car in tip-top shape is key to making those long road trips an enjoyable experience for the whole family. You don’t want to break down in the middle of nowhere with a car full of screaming children.
Remember, whether you need to get through a long trip with young kids or simply want some tips for making drop-off days at daycare smoother and less stressful, there are plenty of tricks you can try for keeping everyone safely entertained during car rides. Above all else, always remember to keep things easygoing and relaxed, what’s most important is arriving at your destination safely.