How to travel screen-free with kids

No one wants to be “that” family…You’ve got babe-in-arms screaming with ear pain whilst the rest of the clan are kicking the backs of the seats of the passengers in front of them because their device has lost power! You breakout in the stress-sweat…and the baby won’t stop screaming! Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

As with many things in life we can follow the travel ‘P’s to ease some of the Pain: Positive Prior Planning can Prevent a Poor Performance when screen-free.

Be prepared. Start with the basics. Ensure your kids are well rested the day before and try to avoid timing your journey over the witching hour of early evening when everyone’s blood sugar is at their lowest and children are usually at their worst.

If flying, protect their ears from the changes in air pressure by bringing something for them to suck on (breastfeeding, dummies, bottles, gummies) during take-off and landing.

Try to sit near the toilet to make those last-minute dashes to the loo less fraught and bring plenty of healthy snacks, nappies and changes of clothes.

For parents keen to avoid screen-time induced melt-downs, you’ll be looking for something that will completely engage them, keep them absorbed for hours and which they can get on with completely unaided and learn something at the same time!

  • Giving your pre-schooler a responsibility that requires regular jaunts up and down the aisle can ease the fidgets as well as kill time, as can a bit of fun making up silly exercise routines in wider areas near the doors, or looking for, then drawing the different shapes, faces or things found in the clouds.
  • A pack of cards can be very useful: matching pairs; adding numbers up to…; Snap; Go Fish are simple games for pre-schoolers to learn and manage independently.
  • A large zip-lock bag survival pack for a long-haul flight: make up a plethora of mini surprises individually wrapped and stashed in a zip-lock or small bag. The parcels are fun to unwrap and can be made up of very simple gifts such as cards, novelty toys, packs of crayons/pencils, mini note pads, key rings, mini packets of chips/crackers, mini cereal packs (which can be a god-send if they refuse all other meals!).
  • Another great screen-free travel option is; a Shapeeze activity pack which is already prepared with everything your child will need. Shapeeze is full of brightly coloured, pop-out-and-paste shapes in which, features a wide range of designs to keep your little ones busy for hours and includes coloured pencils.
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