June 10, 2019
Whether you’re bound for a road trip, flight, or wilderness adventure, traveling with toddlers can be exciting and daunting. As you prep for your trip, use the “one activity an hour” rule of thumb. Plan one project for every hour of travel to keep things fresh and entertaining. This might include eating a snack, pulling out a new toy or compact art project, taking a nap, walking up and down the aisle to the bathroom, reading a book, and more. Here are a few tips of the trade:
1. Pack Some Indestructible Books
These fun, lightweight books for babies 0 and up are rip proof, chew proof, nontoxic, and 100% washable. Toss a few in your bag for easy reading on the go. They are a great way to use time on vacation to read together and build language skills, without worrying about ruining a favorite book or carrying a bunch of extra weight. Keep in mind that even though these books say they can be chewed, it is still best to encourage respect for books and offer something else for chewing!
2. Refill Your Mystery Bags
The Monti Kids Mystery Bags from Level 8 make great travel buddies. Their cloth composition makes them easy to stuff into a purse or suitcase, and pull out at the beach to put shells in, on a hike to collect rocks, or as a receptacle for souvenirs. Your little one can practice her haptic sense all vacation long with a new assortment of items you find on the road.
3. Travel During Nap Time
It may seem obvious, and it can of course be difficult to maneuver, but if you can set off for your drive or board the plane during nap time, you will save yourself an hour or two of entertaining en route!
4. Use It as an Opportunity for Language Learning
Point out the things you see in this new environment and name them. For example, if you drive through an area that is more rural, you might say: “Look, there’s a cow! Cows say moo.” If you’re flying, you might point out familiar landmarks that your little one can recognize, or some of the interesting new features you can spot from this birds eye view: “There’s the runway, and there’s a big lake, and a mountain!” Be sure to book a window seat where your baby can observe all of the action on the runway before and after takeoff.
5. Bring Some Portable Art Activities
Keep it simple. Depending on your child’s age, a small jar of Play-Doh or a sheet of stickers and crayons will do the trick. Water coloring books are also an easy, mess-free way to keep your older toddler occupied.
6. Keep Calm and Snack On
Bring plenty of healthy snack options for your little one and store a few of her favorites where she can reach them. You’ll also want to make sure to have bottles (or sippy cups) for take off and landing. Sucking on these will help ease the pressure in her ears. Nothing is worse for a fussy toddler than running out of milk before landing!
7. Find Your Zen
Babies and toddlers are unpredictable, and travel can be overwhelming for the little ones. Even the most prepared parents will face mid-air meltdowns once in a while. Your child can’t always control his emotions, but you can! Remain calm and remember that you are both doing the best you can.
8. Don’t Forget Your Favorite Ball
This may sound simple, but it’s a must! Bring your child’s favorite Monti Kids ball from Level 3. It will provide hours of fun once you arrive at your destination.
9. Be Mindful of Screen Time
When you plan ahead with activities like these, you won’t have to rely on screens nearly as much (after all, screens didn’t even exist when many of us were growing up!). Screens are, of course, a tempting way to entertain your little one, and you know what’s best for your family. Even if you allow some special travel screen time, the above tips are good habits to form just in case the batteries run out or you have trouble accessing data, etc. If you have a book, activity, and snack accessible, you won’t have an upset toddler when your iPad goes to sleep!