Drivin' Me Crazy!
As parents of children we know it all too well, our 3-year-old son can be very impatient in the car, in a taxi, on a train, on the plane - the list goes on! I don't blame him either, being stuck in London traffic is stressful enough for adults.
We found that iPads and tablets were pretty useless on the road whilst traveling. Firstly you are unlikely(if at all!) to have any type of decent internet connection like you do at home - have you ever tried explaining to a 3-year-old why his favourite video won't load because we aren't connected to the home super hub wifi connection?! And if you do have 4g your monthly data allowance is likely to be used up in one single 5minute drive! You also need to have remembered to charge the thing!
Secondly, unless you've pre-loaded the iPad with all manner of shows and films, at the expense of your device's storage, you are unlikely to have enough to keep the Little Ones occupied for long enough.
Thirdly, many kids these days are very well versed in switching between the shows and apps, but have you ever had the pleasure of witnessing your toddler lose his mind when he can't find the exact episode he's currently obsessed with? Let's throw in say a, missed nap, a refused lunch, you driving down the M25 towards Heathrow airport so you are unable to help him...and therein begins the traveling meltdown parents of toddlers are well accustomed to.
As parents, we decided to ditch the iPad and opt for a more traditional method of keeping our kids under control in the car.
Here's our go-to list:
1) Healthy snacks. Raisins, crisps, fruit roll ups, cheese strings, mini Babybell. Nothing hard and therefore a choking hazard, nothing that leaks and makes a sticky mess all over the seats and the child's Sunday best. The journey gets easier if their blood sugar levels are intact, a hungry toddler is an unhappy one! Or 'HANGRY' as we like to call it.
2) Music. Songs that parents and children can sing along to together really speeds up the trip. Nursery Rhyme CDs are readily available on Amazon, even with some more modern versions - Snoop Dogg does Nursery Rhymes anyone? All Smartphones should have Spotify downloaded, you don't even need a paying account, but it's recommended. That way you can chop and change songs, playlists, artists, nursery rhymes continually with a click of a button. Trust me, being stuck listening to the same old rendition of 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' is enough to drive anyone insane!
3) Audio Books. Again Spotify is great for this or iTunes. You can stream all your child's favourite stories. Being on 3/4g you won't use up much data either, as much as a song. You can create playlists so your child's favourites are easily accessible.
3) Toys. Obviously, our specialty. Activity books, sticker albums or colouring in books they can place on their lap are our go too. Stickers that are re-usable are the best bet, they can stick them all over the windows and can be easily removed! Also, little toy cars, erasers, dolls and cuddly toys they can roleplay with are much more endearing than their little faces being glued to a screen. Their imagination builds better when left to their own devices instead of being engulfed in an electronic device.
You can of course always head over to our product page and purchase a travel pack to Keep 'Em Quiet too :)
This is part 1 of our tips for Keeping Them Quiet On The Road. Check back next week for more helpful traveling tips to keep you sane!