Assalamu’alaikum and Hello Moms!
The family and I just came back from a two week vacation. We went on a road trip around Turkey – which is huge…drove 3000 miles…the distance from NY to California. You can say my husband and I are incredibly adventurous to do this with a two month old and a two year old. However, after this trip and the many others we have taken with Little Duck, I think you can say I am sort of an expert traveling with the littlest ones. Here are just a couple of tips to start off with. I have plenty more that I will share in the future, Insha’Allah.
Toys and Books Only for Traveling. I cannot remember where I read this, but I thought it was genius – keep a set of toys and activities only to be used while traveling. If your kids are young, it will feel like something new to them and peak their interest. For Little Duck, I had a peg board, wipe-able coloring board, new books, and small travel friendly puzzles. Little Duck was so excited for each “new” item. They kept her engaged and busy on the plane and during long car rides. Best of all, they were educational and not just silly distractions.
Playlist of Songs. Babies and toddlers love nursery songs. After having Little Duck, I memorized a ton of Arabic nursery songs and English ones translated to Arabic, for the long car rides to grandma and grandpa’s. When Little Duck or Peanut need to be distracted or to be calmed, I would go through all the songs on repeat. Little Duck loves to sing along and can have me sing them over and over and over again. It would also be great to have it on your phone or iPod to be played to give your voice a break. I will start posting some of the Arabic nursery song lyrics for those interested.
Games. A game that I am sure every parent plays a version of with their kids is “I spy.” It’s our go to game for car rides. It helps build vocabulary, awareness of the environment around them, and their observation skills.
Electronic Devices. My husband and I do not usually give Little Duck access to much technology. We do not have a TV in the home. Our cell phones, iPads, and computers are off limits unless we are Skyping or showing her pictures. Now that she is two, we are more comfortable with introducing it slowly. For this trip, I downloaded two educational apps that taught Arabic letters, animals, shapes, and colors. I only gave her the iPad after we went through the toys, games, books, and songs.
Of course you could load up a carry on bag or the car with a ton more “stuff” to keep the kids entertained. We like to travel light and don’t want to splurge on too many products. If you have other suggestions of games, songs, or light and travel friendly activities, please do share in the comments!