Travelling with kids can be stressful especially on long car or plane trips. Their active little bodies are forced to sit down for hours and they are not allowed to do this and that. Travel boredom for kids can become a serious problem and turn into the much-dreaded screams. Boredom itself is not a bad thing, but when kids are restricted and not allowed to fight boredom in their own terms, frustration builds up and they eventually throw a tantrum or have a complete meltdown.
The Difficulties of Traveling With Children
It’s hard to explain to a 2-year old they are not allowed to run up and down the aisle during take-off, so the best is to capture their attention with something else first.
Finding activities to keep kids busy and stimulated can be difficult at any time, but things are even more complicated when traveling. You don’t want to have to take anything that is too bulky to fit into a suitcase or too large to take in your carry-on luggage.
Forget About Tablets
Tablet devices are great to have on hand but you don’t want kids to stare at them for hours. Imagine you have an 8-hour trip ahead – are you OK with children being glued to the screen the whole time?
Furthermore, screens are not recommended under the age of 2 and they are also harmful for older children as well. They create addiction and they just delay the foreseeable consequences – the moment you take the tablet out of their hands, they will start screaming and fighting to get back their source of entertainment. So, you end up with your kid using the tablet the whole flight just to make sure you don’t bother the other passengers onboard. Chances are they will watch screens for too long at home too, with negative effects on their development, social skills, and concentration.
Fun Screen-Free Activities
There a number of screen-free activities that is guaranteed to entertain the kids for hours and help with their development at the same time:
Puzzles have been the favourite of children for decades and one of their main advantages is that you can get difficulty versions for any age, from baby to adult. Puzzles are a valuable learning tool that helps children acquire essential skills, such as concentration, spatial awareness, shape recognition, topic-specific knowledge, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and memory. They also increase your child’s self-esteem as they will feel satisfied when they manage to complete the puzzle. Puzzles are also a great opportunity of interacting in a positive way with your child and make your bond stronger by completing a task together.
- Colouring in
The benefits of colouring in have been the object of study in the last few years; at the same time that colouring books for adults have been created. Colouring books had been neglected for a while as some claimed that colouring someone else’s designs was not creative enough. For a long time, parents were advised to encourage children to draw their own pictures, until the colouring craze was revived.
Offering colouring books to children does encourage them to be more creative, as every child will colour the same design in different ways. Other benefits of this activity consist of reducing anxiety, calming down both kids and adults due to its rhythmicity, and being available anytime and everywhere without much preparation and clean-up.
- Card games
Card games are another activity preferred by people of all ages and requiring little effort to organise. You just need to take your favourite set of card games with you and the fun can begin at any time. Consider a set that is also attractive to children, such as the Character Combat Collector Card Game from Busy Nippers, available separately or in bulk activity packs.
Benefits of card games include:
- Developing motor skills suck as memorisation, matching, number and pattern recognition, and learning math concepts at different levels;
- Strategic thinking, as the child will have to find different ways of winning, depending on how gameplay evolves;
- Improving concentration because card games are an activity that requires players to involve at various levels and focus on what is happening in order to create winning strategies;
- Improving emotional intelligence as the interaction with multiple players during a friendly competition teaches your child new social skills and how to behave in the company of other people. Kids will enjoy the satisfaction of achieving a goal but will also have to cope with losing, and learn how to handle those negative feelings.
- Puppet show
Puppet play for children is one of those activities that can be organised anywhere, from your home to the backseat of your car. Give them a try as they are used by many educators worldwide to help with learning in young children. Puppet show play is so beneficial to kids for the following reasons:
- Stimulates imagination, as children come up with stories involving their dolls and engage in personalised play;
- Helps with emotional development – puppets enable shy children to express their feelings without the discomfort;
- Improving motor skills – simple actions like picking up and holding objects are easier to practice when the child is motivated by the idea of giving life to a puppet;
- Learning good manners – valuable messages coming from parents may be rejected, but when a puppet teaches you to say “Thank you” when you receive a gift or get help from someone, the child is more likely to learn etiquette.
You can find all the above screen-free activities in the Busy Nippers Kids Activity Packs. These kids’ activity packs tackle travel boredom for kids and have a positive impact on their development, while you will be enjoying a stress-free road trip or flight. They are not only great whilst traveling, but also suitable to keep kids happily entertained during the holidays such as while eating out at a restaurant, downtime at your hotel, or even at a kids’ club. Make sure you have enough for each child; don’t bring one to share between two if you want peace of mind.
The Busy Nippers Activity Packs are not only for parents, but a perfect option for hospitality and tourism businesses to create a family friendly environment that contribute to the overall experience had by all of your customers. Our Activity Packs for restaurants, hotels, clubs, bistros and more are distributed through a diverse, national network of clients, operating in multiple sectors.
Other Tips On How To Have A Stress-Free Trip With Kids
Activity books and other materials are very effective with preventing travel boredom for kids, but you will need to take other precautions as well if you want to enjoy a pleasant trip. Some of the aspects to take care of include:
- Avoid overpacking
Almost everything you need is available at your destination, so don’t over pack with unnecessary items.
- Try planning travel around naptime
A sleeping child during flights is easier to handle for everyone. Children often fall asleep while travelling by car, so get ready to hit the road when the little one is already exhausted.
- Be prepared for the worst
Write a list of what could go wrong during your trip and how you can handle the situation. Imagine a meltdown while driving on the highway or missing a flight – how will you cope in these situations?
Get prepared for your next family holiday and tackle travel boredom with fun screen free activities that will keep the kids happy and entertained. Busy Nippers help more than 3,000 clients nationally every year providing the biggest and brightest range of kids activity packs. Selling to parents and businesses, our customers can choose between bulk packs and smaller packs tailored to parents. Our mission is that no child gets bored and frustrated during trips or in any other situation when parents need some respite!