Summer is here and school’s out! Your kids, no matter how many you have, are wreaking havoc in the house and you are just as antsy as they are to have a break from your office, and the daily drive to your workplace is just feeding your longing for a change of scenery. So, with the whole family’s vote, you decide to go on vacation. And just as any frugal parent, you take everything and plan out a budget that won’t blow up your savings, while still be fun and memorable for everyone, and by everyone, that includes the adorably cute, but tantrum inducing Toddler, whose breakdowns puts a cold shiver down any parent’s spine. Chin up though, here are some tips on how to keep your toddler entertained, while staying with your budget:
There are plenty of inspiration found online for toys and activities that are easy to prepare and would be great to keep toddlers busy while on a long flight or road trip. You can pack up a box filled with cards, cars, legos, and those little dolls, or any other small toys that your toddler can play with. You can also pack another small box for some crayons, coloring books, and papers and some small toys that you can take inside restaurants.
For some creative fun, you can pack up a small whiteboard and some dry erase pens for drawing, just don’t forget to use washable or magic markers that only write on special paper to avoid your young Picasso’s masterpiece on your upholstery. You can even pack a small metal cookie sheet and some magnets (be sure they are safe for your toddler) for more play time. Don’t forget to pack a few small tubs of play dough and silly putty to keep those little fingers busy.
You can also prep your music player for songs that your toddler likes to sing along. There are also apps that you can download to pass the travel time, and for some quiet time for parents. Even an old portable DVD can come in handy in keeping your toddler busy while on the road. Note though, that screen rules should still apply, and while it is tempting to just hand over a tablet to quiet a fussy child, he might see acting up as a means to extend his technology use.
Make stop overs fun
Whether it is for potty break, or for a quick lunch, or for a bit of stretching, or even for a layover between flights, you can make these stops fun and memorable without necessarily spending much. For drives, you can go to local parks and play areas where kids can run around and burn off some pent up energy. Airports are also exciting and fun places to explore, and most have play areas for little kids. Wherever you are, there will always be a place to explore and discover if you only have the desire to do so. Most of the fun is in getting to the destination, so instead of worrying about time “wasted” while waiting, just allow yourself to see the place around you with your child’s eyes, and surely, there will always be something worth discovering and exploring.
Explore local haunts… for kids
When you reach your destination, often, your definition of fun and relaxation translate as boring for your toddler, so it is usually no wonder that they get fussy can even blow up with trantrums worthy of a world record just when you are settling down and enjoying yourself. To go for a win-win vacation, where all members of the family had the fun they longed for, try to include your baby’s enjoyment as part of the itinerary. Go explore some playgrounds and local parks, see what local kids do to pass their time. If you are in another country, let your toddler explore another culture by immersing him with whatever the locals do. In doing so, you will see that it is not only your kids who enjoyed, but also you.
Swimming pools are gold
In choosing a hotel, pick out one with swimming facilities. Check out all options, and if you find a place that fits your budget and has a swimming pool, then go for it. There is nothing that can beat fun than splashing around on a hot day in a pool.
I often joke about how my toddler turns into the Hulk when he lacks sleep. For kids on vacation, the excitement of the trip, add the time change, and the lack of routine, often result in tantrums that reach the highest heavens. When planning for your trip, don’t forget to include sleep in the itinerary. Schedule strenuous activities after your child had time to nap. If possible, don’t forget to bring the favorite pillow, blanket, or soft toy. While it is an added baggage, it is a better option than having a screaming child, looking for his teddy.
Now that we’ve done the list, go ahead and enjoy your break!
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
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