We’re in the thick of swim season!! We are all about fun AND safety; before you start celebrating, take a quick read of the child swimming safety tips we’ve put together. Stay safe and have fun!
Looking forward to vacationing with the kids, but dreading traveling with kids? We hear you, and we’re here to help!
Here are our top tips for traveling with kids based on Pure Play Kids’ extensive road experience domestically and internationally.
1. Attitude is everything. Use the word “Adventure” a lot! The moment you admit traveling with kids is not always fun, you’ve lost! Kids love Adventures, so remember: Every hurdle is an Adventure. And to be honest, that’s true! At least in hindsight, hurdles crossed are what make travel memorable.
2. Involve your kids. The more involved they are, the better chance you have of getting from Point A to Point B painlessly. If they’re old enough, make them responsible for their own Travel Fun Bag (see #3 below). Kids like to know what’s going on and actually like to be responsible and helpful when they think it makes them big boys and big girls – and more like their heroes: you parents.
3. Travel Fun Bag for each child. Our kids have monogrammed backpacks, and the bag is only used for trips (to retain specialness). We pack the travel bag for them and include a selection of favorites and usually a new item or two. Check Pure Play Kids’ Travel Toys section, but here are some of our favorite items by age group:
- babies (grab toys, rattles, teethers – especially for plane takeoff and landing);
- toddlers (picture books, felt play boards, small wooden cars, hand puppets, cloth dolls, magic wand, wooden lacing toys)
- preschoolers (small wooden cars, magnetic board play sets, coloring books, magnifying glass, finger puppets, wooden camera – to be just like parents.)
4. Travel games. The best travel games are the ones that don’t require boards or pieces – just engaged, creative kids and parents.
- We play lots of “I spy with my little eye…” in train stations, airports, restaurants and from the car.
- On car trips, we love to play “Jeep!” – you see a Jeep first (classic Wrangler styles only, people), and you yell it out. Counting kids can keep score. For older kids, get creative and work on some math skills! “White Van!” +1 point; “White Van with Ladder” -2. “Mini Car” vs. “Jeep” so that kids aren’t competing. See a “Police Car” and you lose all points; Dad likes this one because it means more eyes looking for speed traps!
- Car Bingo! Before you go, draw or copy images of things you might see (trees, police cars, stop signs, cows, horses, bridges, rivers) and make bingo boards with them. Kids cross off what they find.
- Alphabet game. You have to find the letters of the alphabet, in order, from road signs, billboards, license plates…anything! Whoever gets their “Z” first wins!
5. Healthy snacks. Food quality tends to go down on vacations – especially the travel portion. Sadly, this is pretty unavoidable, but bringing some healthy snacks along makes a huge difference. Plus, a hungry kid isn’t a whole lot of fun.
6. Consider leaving the stroller at home. Baby wearing is hip – and so liberating! A soft carrier makes you faster and more nimble through crowds and long stretches alike, able to use stairs – and your hands are free to carry things. Kids like it too; they’re up with mom or dad and have a better view and feel more connected with you and with the world. We like the BabyHawk (we don’t sell carriers, but theirs are great and made in USA).
7. Bring an accessible change of clothes for kids. Depending on age, accidents and spills are more likely during travel, and that’s not much fun for kids. (And if it’s not fun for kids, it’s not fun for you!)
8B. The “B” is for Baby here. Make sure your baby is either nursing, using a pacifier or drinking as planes ascend and descend; the change in pressure really hits babies hard otherwise.
9. Motion Sickness. Interestingly, babies are somewhat immune, but toddlers and preschoolers sure aren’t. We try to avoid unnecessary medications, so try stopping frequently instead or playing games that involve looking OUTSIDE of cars. Video monitors – we don’t use them for kids at home or on the road – may actually contribute to motion sickness.
10. Allow extra time. Expect the unexpected. We get used to traveling with just ourselves to worry about, but if you’ve ever negotiated a stroller through an x-ray machine or dealt with an emergency diaper change at just the wrong time, you know what we’re talking about. Traveling with kids does take extra time, but just think about what you’re building and sharing: great life experiences, a closer family, and smarter, more resourceful and more creative kids!
We’ll leave the clothes packing to you! Just don’t forget the sunscreen, hats and a recent printed picture of your child/children.
Have a daiquiri when you get there and send us a picture to make us jealous! You deserve it!