At HomeTimes we’re all about loving all aspects of your home, and a part of that is travelling so that you can appreciate your space even more.
As exciting as travelling may be, the idea of hauling young children across country can convince the best of us to postpone the holiday another year. Thanks to Tanya Kovarsky mom-blogger at Rattle & Mum, we have you covered so you can stay sane until you reach your destination for that well-deserved break!
- Create an activity tray with crayons, kokis and paper, colouring in books, and even puzzles, building blocks, play dough and cutters.
- Create a scavenger hunt for your kids for the journey. Stick pictures of landmarks or things you’re going to see onto index cards, put them in a folder, and get your kids looking out for the places.
How-to: Glue pictures of the items they’re looking for onto index cards (one apiece), then laminate the cards. Punch a hole in one corner and hook them on a ring for portability. Items will vary with the destination but might include nature finds, landmarks, public art, or eye-catching buildings.
- Try the old favourites such as ‘I spy with my little eye’, ’20 questions’, and thinking of animals and objects using different letters of the alphabet.
- Throw a “party” in the car – dance or move to different types of music, or play characters, acting as different animals or people, while others guess what they are.
- Invest in some magnetic games for older kids such as checkers, noughts and crosses, and snakes and ladders.
- Hoopa City lets your kids build roads and houses when they create their own cities. The app costs R59.99 to download.
- My Little Suitcase is a fun (free) app for younger kids. The child plans their own holiday and what to pack.
- Toca Mini (R59.99) enables the child to create their own character using controls, colours, and stamps.
- Moody Monsters Manor. Downloadable for free, the app is great for easing kids’ fears in new places by allowing them to create their own monsters.
- Road Trip Bingo a free app ideal for long drives, with more than 40 road trip-themed bingo squares.
- A Family Matters – Download the app for R37.99 to access various conversation ideas, questions, and activities appropriate to where you are, for example, on an aeroplane, at a restaurant, or on a road trip.
- Family Car Games this app (R37.99) has instructions for 100 fun and no-equipment-needed games.
- Drawing Pad for R37.99 children can use this app to create art with crayons, paint brushes, markers, stickers, rollers and more. There are also fun colouring-in books as a part of the app.
- iStoryTime: With tons of illustrated children’s books to choose from individually, this app allows kids to read stories to themselves or get narrated to them. The stories start from R18.99 per story.
- Dinsey Storytime, for free kid scan listen to their favourite tales (from Frozen to Lion King) either on their own or with narration.
- The Night Sky is a fun Apple app (R79.99) that tells you what constellation you’re looking at when you hold your iPad to a dark sky.
- Animal Puzzles for Kids is a free app that helps kids work on fine motor skills. Animal or object recognition by photo and name is also developed further.
- Endless Alphabet, downloadable for R179.99 this engaging app is well worth it, and is brilliant at helping your child learn letters and words.
- Bugs and Buttons (R59.99) is one of the best rated and most downloaded education apps. It has 18 games and activities with great visuals and music to keep your little one entertained.
We hope this helps you reach your destination safely and with most of your nerves still intact. Of course it goes without saying that longer journeys and the fatigue that goes along with that is exhausting and dangerous for the whole family if not managed properly. When travelling with a very young baby plan on making lots of stops and consider splitting your journey over two days so that the whole family can recharge their batteries at a comfortable over-night destination for the last leg of the journey.