Saturday, 11 June 2016
Traveling with a Toddler - Our Journey Up North!
As your reading this I am already up north and spending some quality time with my family. That means I have done my journey and it all went to plan.
I travel up north about 5 times a year and as Lily gets older and older, traveling on some levels gets easier but on some levels gets harder. One thing that makes it easier is that we don't need to take as much. I remember our first journey we took the car seat and the pram with cot bed on it, as well as a million muslin cloths and lots of bottles, travel steriliser... the list goes on. Now we don't need any of this as my parents have a car seat for her and she doesn't need as much of the essentials she did as a small baby.
But the thing that makes it more difficult is that Lily won't keep still on a journey. When she was little she would happily sleep for most of it or sit on my knee but now she really wants to get up and walk around or one minute she will want to sit on my knee, then wants to sit on the chair, then wants to stand and look out of the window. In the meantime she is climbing on me and using me as a trampoline.
I hate making her sit still for two hours so we do tend to stretch our legs and I let her walk up and down the carriage with me. People must think I'm mad walking back and forth and Lily will happily say hi to them all. But then she can't do that the entire journey so I do need to think of ways to entertain her for 2 hours.
So here is what I have planned for my journey.
1. Plenty of Snacks and Lunch
I always plan to travel at lunchtime. This takes out a big chunk of the travel time as Lily will sit and happily eat her lunch. Then I will bring her favourite snacks. Something about snacks that can always keep children still. So for tomorrow we have Organix crisps and Gingerbread men which she loves. Then some Bear Paws, these always go down well and also mummy doesn't mind sneaking a few to eat.. Yum.
Stickers are Lily's favourite and she will happily stick them to paper for ages. Although last time we travelled she preferred to stick them to my face. I didn't mind. It kept her happy. They are great because they don't cause mess and you can't really loose them.
3. A Magazine
I always give Lily a magazine for the journey and make sure I take a few crayons. They usually have some activities in, and stories and stickers so it can keep her entertained for a while. For our journey I have got her an In the Night Garden magazine. She has already had the toys from the front of it as Ive found toys on the train are a nightmare. Mostly because they get thrown on the floor over and over again.
I always take a few hard board books with me for the journey. You can get quite a few small ones into a bag and looking through a book or hearing me read her a story always keeps her quiet. Though they do sometimes keep getting chucked on the floor which on the train is quite annoying. For the journey I have some of her favourites which include Peppa and Bing.
5. Ipad (naughty mummy)
I have to admit I'm not a big fan of giving Lily the Ipad to play with, and she never gets to play with it without me and doesn't get it often. But Ive downloaded a colouring app on there and she loves it. She is getting really clever with it and even knows how to refresh the painting so she can start a new one. Which amazes me, but also scares me at the same time that she can figure that out so quick. But anyhow that will be my last resort on the train and if I can't keep her still with the other things I know the Ipad will work.
So Im all ready for my journey. Hopefully it went well.
What do you do to keep your children entertained on long journeys?