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A Heart For Home: Tri-Moms: Traveling with Young Children

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tri-Moms: Traveling with Young Children

Today the Tri-Moms are tackling the topic of traveling with young children.

When Emahry, our oldest, was only five days old we moved across several states, traveling over 12 hours. And so our traveling with children began.

In our short time as parents we have traveled that same road at least four times. When we just had Emahry, we drove over 24 hours (in a straight shot) to visit Tim's mom and step-dad. We have also visited family several hours away numerous times. This Christmas we will be traveling another 12 hours back to Tennessee.

While we don't typically give up opportunities to see far off family because of the drive, but we also are under no disillusion that traveling with small children is as easy as staying home. However, we've found that the difficulties of traveling with children are generally outweighed by the joy of experiencing new things together.

We've had our share of whining, crying, and just plain unhappiness, and that's just from me :) We've also pulled the van over for emergency potty breaks more times than I can remember (usually shortly after having just stopped for gas).

However, there are ways to make traveling with children a little easier.

:: Bring along some new books and small toys. We usually visit the dollar store and get a couple of new items for each child or save away some thrift store or yard sale finds for the trip.

:: Make of buy some magnetic toys. Kids love magnets and I love that all the pieces are more likely to stay in one place. We recently made two sets of magnetic dress up dolls, one for Emahry and one for Jonathan. They both love these and they'll definitely be traveling with us in December. Eliya will probably join in the magnetic fun with these magnetic pom-poms and a small cookie sheet. For older kids magnetic words would be fun to play with. You can find one set here and another here. This story maker magnetic set looks like fun, too.

:: Dry erase activities are also great for trips. You don't have to get fancy here. Simply print out coloring pages, word searches, or seek and find activities and place them in page protectors. Your kids can use dry erase markers, dry erase crayons, or even regular crayons and then wipe them off with a small rag, washcloth, or paper towel.

:: Don't give them everything at once. Spread out what you give your kids. Let them have time with each new item before you give them something else.

:: Feed them healthy snacks. It's amazing how hungry kids get in the car. Sure they ate breakfast only two hours ago, but sitting in their car seat is hard work :) Don't worry they'll burn up all the extra calories whenever you get where you're going. Just make sure you don't stuff them full of sugar or they'll get

Most of all, remember that your attitude influences them. Look on the traveling as a fun part of the trip, a time to make memories together and that is most likely how they will view it as well.

What are your tips for traveling with young children?

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Visit my fellow Tri-Moms, Kristin @ Bits and Pieces From My Life and Christy @ A Living Homeschool and read how they make traveling with young children work for them. 

Up next: November 1
 Thanksgiving crafts and recipes

Fall Schedule of Topics
November 15: Teaching the meaning of Thanksgiving

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Blogger Sarah said...

We've only taken one very long trip so far (about 550 miles I think). We opted to take the train! It was great because the baby wasn't stuck in a car seat, we could get up and walk around and it was very roomy too.

October 18, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the magnetic dress up doll idea! That's really cool.:) Also the last line that our attitudes influence them is spot on! If I'm dreading the trip and grumbling about it, they probably will be too.

October 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Suanna said...

Your ideas are great!

Here's 2 more, when you stop everyone goes potty, even if they think they don't have to and for extended traveling have a small present (toy or activity) for them to open and play with for each day you drive and give it to them when they really seem to start getting bored.

October 19, 2011 at 10:04 PM  

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