5 Unplugged Road Trip Essentials for Kids
Take a road trip? Get your backseat ready!
Screens and road trips go together these days, don’t they? It’s very easy to hand our kids the Kindle, tablet, phone, video game or DVD player as soon as the engine starts. They’re quiet, you control the radio, everyone’s happy.
The Learning Opportunities
But it’s important to learn to entertain yourself instead of being constantly entertained. It’s equally important to learn to appreciate downtime. Kids need the opportunity to stare out the window, get bored, and lose themselves in their thoughts and day dreams. They also benefit from the chance to develop their imaginations and their conversation skills. Long drives are good opportunity to practice those—and to go over your times tables, world cities or state capitols. Some kids love looking at maps and tracking their journeys the old-school way.
The Bonding Opportunities
Screens get in the way of all these wonderful things. When we take them away, sure, kids might be more to manage. But you might appreciate some conversation, a sing-along, a game of 20 questions yourself. These thing make the time go by more quickly for everyone. And when your kids look back on their travels years from now, they are more likely to smile at the memory of your off-key rendition of “Yellow Submarine” than they are at yet another hour of Minecraft.
Next time you get in the car hold off on the screens for the second half of the drive, or the return trip. you might find the longer you go without them the less your kids need them.
5 Essentials for an Unplugged Road Trip
1. Have a car organizer your kids can reach from their car seats. In that bin you want to…
2. Pack snacks kids can open and handle themselves so you have more adult time in the front seat.
3. Pack a pad and pencils or markers (if you pack crayon don’t leave them in a hot car; they’ll melt!)
4. Pack a reading, sticker, coloring or activity book that is age appropriate.
5. If you have two or more kids jave a prize box in the front seat for rewarding things like no whining, no fighting, cooperating, sharing and so on. Hand these out slowly over the length of the ride.
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