Children are fun and often very enthusiastic, which makes travelling with your little ones an interesting and rewarding experience – after all, who doesn’t relish discovering (or, to be more precise, rediscovering) the world through the eyes of their kids? With this in mind then, travelling with your toddler needn’t be something that fills you with dread (how will you keep them occupied? Keep them from being too noisy? Keep them from annoying everyone else on the trip?), by employing one or two well advised tactics you can thoroughly enjoy the experience – and so can they. To that end, here are a few a tips for travelling with a toddler…
Select favourite toys
To avoid having to take the entire contents of your little one’s toy box with you, it’s best to ask them to choose a few of their favourites. While including the same stuffed animal they sleep with every night, you might too try to settle on engaging toys that won’t irritate other travellers with constant noise. In which case, good ideas for toddler play-things that travel well include the likes of interactive books featuring flaps, pop-ups and textures, transport toys that mirror how your mode of travel, dolls or plush animals and thick crayons and colouring books.
It’s easy to underestimate just how exciting a trip on a plane or train might be for a two-year-old (or, for that matter, any young child), in which case, it’s important they don’t use up too much energy during the journey marvelling at the new experience that they’re exhausted and grouchy once you reach your destination – for instance, the hotel at the other end of an overseas plane journey (if you’re holidaying in London, this may well be one of the Hyde Park Paddington hotels ).
The solution then? Try to encourage some ‘quiet time’ on the trip by creating a relaxing environment. This can be easier said than done, needless to say, but you could try to achieve this by falling back on telling a story, reading a book, singing a lullaby together, encouraging the cuddling of a favourite stuffed toy or even playing soft music.
A journey doesn’t merely have to be a means of getting from one point to another and it certainly doesn’t have to be an arduous task. To ensure it passes relatively smoothly and enjoyably for you and your child(ren), take control. How do you do this? Plan and enact some games with your toddler, enabling you to fill the time in a fun but also educational way:
Counting – simple and easy this one: just ask your child to count a certain number of something that occurs to you there and then, such as the number of trees passing by outside the window, the number of passengers in the train compartment or the number of seats on the bus that aren’t occupied
Car colour match – theaim of this game is to improve your two-year-old’s colour recognition skills by searching for and finding particularcolours (or shades and hues of colours) passing by on long car and bus trips; they match the colours of cars to colours you ask them to look out for
Moving on a plane – this isn’t about your toddler having free reign to run up and down a fuselage during a long flight because obviously they shouldn’t; instead it’s about them stretching their legs via movement games. So encourage them, for instance, to touch their toes and wave to birds and clouds outside the window; it’ll help release any pent-up energy.