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5 Tips on How to Keep a Child Entertained While Travelling

February 07, 2022

entertaining children whilst flying and road trip tips

Travelling with kids is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when the journey is more than a few hours long. Children can get bored very quickly when they’re sat in the same spot for hours on end, and this can lead to them becoming agitated and disruptive.

As a parent, you will know all too well how energetic children can be. When you’re at home, you can let them run around and play outside to relieve this energy. But when you’re stuck in a car or on a plane, it’s not so easy. Your children can start to fidget and this can cause you and the passengers around you to have a negative travel experience.

Yes, you could pack a tablet into your travel bag and let your kids play games on the journey but this isn’t always the best option. Nowadays, kids are stuck to electronic devices from a young age, and giving them a tablet for entertainment while in a car or on a plane is only going to promote this technology addiction even further.

If you’re trying to keep your kids away from the bright electronic devices, we’ve got you covered here at KeepEmQuiet! In this article, we’re going to give you five top tips on how you can keep your children occupied for hours, without them staring at a bright screen for hours.

Preparation really is key when it comes to travelling with young children. Bringing some entertainment packs or a travel activity bag along with you on the journey is the perfect solution to keeping your children occupied. When your kids are engaged in their activities, you can enjoy a peaceful and enjoyable travel experience.

There are lots of amazing car travel toys and games that are perfect for kids of all ages! But what are the best things to use in your travel activity pack when you’re travelling with toddlers and young children?

Here are five top tips to keep your kids occupied on a long road trip or flight without a mobile phone or tablet in sight.

Pack Some Fidget Toys

best fidget toys for travel

Fidget toys, which are sometimes called sensory toys, can be found in lots of kids’ entertainment packs and they make the perfect car travel toys. They can keep your kids engaged in sensory play for several hours while you’re stuck in a confined space.

Packing a range of different sensory travel toys for kids will not only keep them occupied on the journey, but it’s a great way to encourage explorative play.

Sensory toys come in a range of shapes, sizes, and types. They are produced in such a way that they promote the development of each of the five senses - sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing.

Getting a bunch of different sensory fidget toys that activate each of the different senses will help your child reach developmental milestones, while also keeping them quiet!

Pack Some Arty Supplies or Homework

car travel lap tray for homework roadtrips

Arts and crafts might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re travelling with kids. Many people think it’s too messy for a car or plane.

However, arts and crafts don’t need to involve lots of glue and loose glitter! Something as simple as a colouring book and some crayons can do the trick.

Get a travel activity bag together that is full of stationery supplies, such as an empty notepad, a colouring book, and lots of pens, pencils, and crayons. Your kids can draw and colour to their heart’s content, and create artwork to be proud of!

Arts and crafts activities make the perfect plane or car travel accessories. They stimulate your children’s creativity and imagination while they write and doodle whatever comes into their minds.

Drawing and colouring can also promote the development of the muscles in your children’s hands and enhance their fine motor skills.

If you’re travelling with young children who are currently in school, you could even bring some of their homework along for the journey. Since you’re stuck in a confined space for at least a few hours, there’s no better time to get through some of the school work than when you’re travelling!

You can spend some time going through simple maths calculations or help them to recite the alphabet, depending on which stage they’re at in their learning.


Bring a Variety of Books

If your kids are currently learning how to read, pack a book in your travel bag and spend some time reading with them on the journey. This will keep your children occupied and stimulate their cognitive development at the same time.

Even though you might need to read the words aloud, most passengers won’t mind hearing you read a book with your kids. Other people would much rather listen to you reading than hear crying or screaming children when they’re on a long journey!

Find a couple of books that you think are most appropriate for your children based on their age and current abilities. You might choose some story books or comics. If you’re travelling with toddlers, touch and feel books are a great option too.


Pack Lots of Healthy Snacks

kids travel packed lunches and healthy snacks for the car

When you’re taking a long car journey (link to blog 12) that lasts several hours, you’re bound to get hungry at some point. If your kids are in the backseat, they will also start feeling peckish after a while.

Snacks can be just as effective at distracting kids as car travel toys. They can also prevent your children from getting agitated and irritable when they start feeling hungry.

Make sure to pack a mini picnic hamper of goodies for your children to eat along the journey. Try to make the snacks fairly healthy and enjoyable so that your children are happy to eat them.

Some great kids’ travel snacks include:

  • Carrot sticks and humous
  • Crackers
  • Cheese sticks
  • Mini flavoured yogurt pots 
  • Dried fruit
  • Chopped nuts and seeds 
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Homemade oat cookies

If you’re travelling in a car, coach, or plane with lots of other passengers, be wary of packing ‘smelly’ snacks. You don’t want any complaints due to the pungent odours wafting around the vehicle!


 Use Audio and Music as a Distraction

best audio books for children roadtrips

Audio can be the perfect distraction when you’re travelling with young children. Unlike adults who often multitask while they’re listening to music or podcasts, children will happily sit still and remain engaged for hours listening to some entertaining audio clips.

Download some music and audio stories to a tablet or phone to keep your children occupied when you’re travelling for a holiday. Creating a number of different playlists that vary in content will help to keep your child entertained for several hours.

For example, one playlist can be relaxing music, another might be some audio learning clips, and another might be some kids’ nursery rhymes. You can set the playlist to automatically play the next audio clip when one has finished so your kids don’t need to manually change anything on the tablet.

Whatever you do, just don’t forget to pack some earphones! 

See our popular car travel activity tray a must have product for road trips: 


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